“The only purpose of ‘customer service’ is to change feelings. Not the facts, but the way your customer feels. The facts might be the price, or a return, or how long someone had to wait for service. Sometimes changing the facts is a shortcut to changing feelings, but not always, and changing the facts alone is not always sufficient anyway.

— The only purpose of customer service — Seth Godin

It’s a short article but it’s one I come back to every month.

The customer doesn’t care if they’re right or wrong about the situation, they care about the feeling associated with it. I’ve never had a good feeling from past situations with a certain big Internet company I use. In the past, I’ve gotten discounts from them to make up for their shortcomings. But even that cold, hard cash doesn’t leave a great feeling.

Compare that with how my bank – USAA – treats me. Every interaction with them leaves me feeling great about my choice to do business with them. Often times, I feel better after talking with them compared to when I first contacted them. That’s why I recommend them any chance I get.

Godin sums it up perfectly at the end – “The feelings are all that matter, and changing feelings takes humanity and connection, not cash.”