Customers Don't Want To Buy Your Love.
You aren't delivering customer service if you expect your customers to pay for your effort.
In this age of cheap prices and add-on fees, it's easy to confuse "quick fix" revenue generation tactics with the long term profitability that comes from an outrageously positive customer experience.
The idea of charging fees for additional service is at times a smart one.
It makes for better options.
Instead of forcing buyers to make bloated choices that are full of services they would never use, you can introduce a sleeker offering that has just enough of what they want for them to begin a relationship with your.
It's a good move for airplane tickets, pizza delivery, and online purchases.
The up-sell, add-on, and "pay-for more" sales cycle is a brilliant exploration in mad scientist marketing. But like any other marketing strategy, "how" you go about executing on the concept makes a big difference.
Your intentions drive the experience.
If your intentions are not to deliver an outrageous customer experience, you'll just use these tactics as a way to pad your top line in the short term. (And you'll be the same person wondering why your customers seem to keep leaving you as quickly as you bring them onboard.)
Frankly, in the world of a la carte shopping, consumers are used to paying for additional requirements. Whether it be faster delivery or a different color scheme, even options like a particular seat on a plane or how quickly you board your mode of transportation -- consumers are willing to pay for extra value.
No matter how much they are willing spend, they can't pay you enough for great customer service. That's because great customer service isn't a transactional process.
It's an emotional process.
Creating an engaging, satisfying consumer experience might be as simple as smiling more, answering the phone with a kind tone of voice, or saying a heart-felt "Thank You" after a purchase is made.
This effort costs you nothing financially.
Just like it costs you nothing to send a follow up email message to make sure that the support request you just closed was answered adequately or you calling past customers to make sure they were able to use the full extent of your technology.
Those things don't cost you any money. They do require emotional energy and process.
Which is why you can't charge for them with a fee.
Consumers can't stomach the idea of buying love.
It's easy to assume but the right move in business is the one that makes you the most money right now. But in the age of quick answers and quick deals and quick access to options, poor customer service can be quickly penalized -- permanently.
Buyers can choose a different airline, a different boutique, or a different consultant with the push of a button. And do it without ever coming back to tell you how horrible you made them feel or how lousy your expectations of a relationship really are.
Remember that the next time you sit in a business meeting discussing ways to monetize your customer relationships.
Maybe the best option is the one that delights the most.
Maybe the best play is one where you exceed the expectations of the person spending money with you. Maybe you ask for less now and invest in the loyalty consumers really want to give to you.
More times than not you'll probably come to the conclusion that "quick fix" fees, add-ons, and "pay for faster service" options just cripple your ability in the long run to grow and engage consumers who would otherwise want to know more about what you have to offer.