Shep Hyken's Customer Service Blog

Who Owns Customer Service?

Customer service is what I’m all about. It is my life’s mission to help companies create a customer service experience that customers think is amazing. So, I thought it would be nice to own the domain name CustomerService.com. But, surely some company that is totally focused on their customers would already own it. So, I typed the URL into the Internet browser and found out… it was for sale. Nobody was using this domain. Really?

I thought to myself that it would be cool for my brand to own this domain. How much could this be worth? Well, it was expensive, at least by my standards… unless I wanted to have an asset that would brand me to customer service forever. Of course, I would! However, budget is an issue, because domain names like these sell for big dollars.

That made me start thinking of the brands that would love to have their name synonymous with CustomerService.com. The first ones that came to mind were the obvious rock stars in the business world. American Express, Amazon, Ace Hardware, Nordstrom, Ritz-Carlton, Lexus, Zappos… I think you get the idea. These are the brands known for amazing service.

Or how about a brand like Comcast Cable? It was just a few years ago when a phone call from a customer to their support center was handled poorly and went viral across the Internet. Since that time Comcast has been working hard to turn around their reputation. So, does owning CustomerSerivce.com make sense for them? If so, they better hurry before one of their competitors, like AT&T or Sprint beats them to it.

Whoever does decide to buy the name should be prepared to pay a good price for it. I’m predicting the owners will sell the domain name for more than seven figures, but for the right brand it will be well worth it. For example, who better to own Toys.com than Toys ‘R’ Us. In 2009 they paid $5.1 million. If you’re in the mortgage business, it seems like Loans.com would be a natural. In 2000 Bank of America bought the domain name for $3 million. Imagine owning the URL that can help define who you are.

So, which brand should own CustomerService.com? Why not you?

Hypothetically (or maybe not), what if you did own the URL? That would mean you would have to live up to “owning” customer service. Do you believe you are worthy of owning it? More important, do you believe that your customers would agree that you are worthy of owning it? If you did own it, would you do anything different than you’re doing now to live up to the expectation of a brand that owned CustomerService.com?

These questions are good ones. So, pretend you own the URL. Do a little homework. Take some time to answer the questions, as if you did own the name. Your answers may give you a few ideas to deliver an even better customer service experience. The point is, whether you own CustomerService.com or not, I want you to play as if you do.

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken

(Copyright © MMXVII, Shep Hyken)

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  1. Shep, I love this analogy. Those are indeed big shoes to fill. I often think of this while working for a company called FCR. It’s not just a name, it’s a really important metric.

  2. Shep, love it love it and totally agree with the premise. I lappreciate ow every article and post continues to reinforce your core message!

    At Businessolver, one of the elements of our common language is “embrace the reverse golden rule”. It is all about empathy and understanding what the person on the other end needs and not what I think he/she needs!

    • Hi Rae – Thank you for the kind words. And, love your concept of the reverse Golden Rule. Very cool! Appreciate you stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  3. Shep, as an individual I belive I live up to thst URL. However….the company I work for..not so much. If I did own it, my Guests would say that I live by how I treat them whenever they come in to visit. As always, there is room fof improvement in anything undertaken by anyone, so to continue to be worthy of that URL, I would be continually asking questions of my Guests, my peers, etc. as to what they like, don’t like, and what they would like to see next…all so that we are constantly exceeding beyond expectations!

    • Hi Lisa – You are what I call “The Force Within.” Keep doing great things and hopefully the others will pick up on your energy and passion. It’s contagious!

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