When we think of good or bad customer service we don’t always
consider search engines. Maybe that’s because they are free services.
And we rarely have direct contact with an employee as we use a search
engine. So we see them in a different context than, say, a coffee shop
or an auto dealer.
But search engines, like any business, do deliver customer service.
Some do it very well, like Google. Others, could use some improvement.
Here are the most recent results from the American Customer Satisfaction Index,
a leading survey done every year to gauge how industries and companies
are serving their customers. As you can see Google is head and
shoulders above the rest.
At the same time, Google’s market share in the USA is over 70% while
Yahoo, MSN and Ask together are about 26% , barely more than a third of
Google’s. (Data from Hitwise as reported by Google Operating System blog.)
Why does Google beat the competition in customer service rankings?
One, they give their customers what they want. They do search better
than anyone else. Their results are fast, relevant and useful. They
index new content faster than the others and they aggressively knock
out spam sites. Customers have responded by switching and staying.
Two, they engage their customers very well. From blogs to new
products and services to tools you can test and offer feedback on, they
keep finding more and more ways to reach out to their users. And this
is why they’re able to give people what they want better than the
others. The effort they invest in engaging their customers pays off
with priceless knowledge of what their customers really want, and how
Google is doing giving it to them.
Three, they offer more value than the others. The speed and
creativity with which Google offers new products, tools and services is
mind-boggling. They never stop. And what they offer is almost always
well-done and useful. Again, this is because they know what their
customers want better than anyone, because they’ve taken time to get to
It’s easy to say Google can do this because they’re so big and rich
and powerful. But they haven’t always been. They started out as small
and insignificant as any other successful technology company. They
built their resources on their successes. And they created their
successes by giving people a lot of value. They did it by serving their
customers better than anyone else.
How could your company use these three lessons to dominate your
market? How could you engage your customers better, then use that
information to give them what they want better than anyone else? Crack
that code and you’ll be the Google of your industry!