Do you remember those stickers that said, 'Intel Inside', that were attached to so many personal computers and that appeared in zillions of ads?
It was a very clever attempt at branding something that was not visible to a customer, but which was nonetheless critical to the overall functioning of the product: the processor.
Manufacturers that could claim that their PC's were powered by Intel injected credibility into their other drab and lesser known names on the computer boxes.
Equally important, over time, Intel could release increasingly powerful processors and it would give buyers an enticement to upgrade, which stimulated sales through the entire supply chain.
I'm not here to tell you one chip is better than another, because that may not be the case.
But Intel showed us that there is a perception of value that can be built by touting the innards of a product.
Why would not the same logic apply to customer service?
For instance, what if companies started advertising "Real People Inside"? You know, if you invest in shares of a mutual fund, or you sign-up with a certain Internet service provider, you're GUARANTEED to reach a well informed and well spoken representative when you phone in for service.
You'll never have to hear "That is not a valid option" when negotiating voice mail in a dash to find someone with what to chat.
Would you pay extra for that assurance?
Would that bestow a competitive advantage on companies that could boast, "Real People Inside," versus those that could not?
Would it send a message to the world that humans are needed, and reaching intelligent, helpful ones quickly is something of great value to buyers?
I believe so.