I bet if you were asked to describe your best and worst customer service experiences of the last year you would not be short of something to say…
Most of us have some kind of customer experience most days, yet despite the fact that good customer service has become equal to or sometimes actually more important than price, I’m pretty sure you would agree that there are plenty of businesses who continually fail to recognise the power of happy customers.
So for today’s thought I want you to imagine you are a mystery shopper fo your own business…
I believe there are five things you need to think about and look out for as you go through the process of being your customer to check you are in the ‘them’ mindset rather than the ‘me’ one. That way you will be able to focus on how to show your customers how valuable they are.
In 2021 more than ever, your business needs to be authentic. The last ten years has been a roller coaster of self-service, automation and bots. The human touch has completely disappeared in so many areas of business. Yet interestingly, First Direct has won more awards than any other bank because when you call them, they answer the phone in seconds – with a human being!
Tech is great, but nothing can replace the value of a genuine smile and personal interaction.
Exceed Customer Expectations:
A seamless transaction is great, but if you think outside the box you could really wow your customers by just adding in a simple gesture to their experience… a coffee while they are waiting, a bottle of water, a follow up call to see how they are getting on or a treat. The key is to stay on touch and be professional. We often accept ‘lukewarm’ customer service, so when we exceed expectations our customers will be happier, stay with us longer or give us that all important ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review.
Be where your Customer is:
More and more it is clear we need to use a variety of media and channels to connect with our customers. You may not be a fan of social media, but the truth is if your customers are, you need to be on it.. available and reactive when they get in touch. There are lots of great ways to do this easily and professionally, so by being where your customer is and delivering on the expected IMMEDIATE response that many seek, will put you ahead of your competitors to win the sale.
The Good Old Fashioned Thank You Note:
Our inboxes are full, our doormat covered with flyers… so how delightful is it to find amongst our mail a personalised addressed envelope with a card or thank you note inside. A nice email is a good start, but that extra thought and effort to send an actual physical note to a valued customer will add sincerity to your thanks. This might not be appropriate or time efficient to do every time, and in truth too frequently and it will lose its value, but for your special customers a gimmick and sales free note could reap great rewards in the future.
Be prepared to offer it NOW!
When I was young we had to make things happen – bank transfers from one account to another involved withdrawing physical money and paying it in elsewhere, watch a film meant driving to the video shop and renting it. But in the 2020s that has completely changed. Amazon offer same day delivery; we can click and collect in just an hour or two from so many stores and we get immediate responses via live chat or text. We live in the age of immediacy and so if our customers want something we are offering we need to make our delivery times as timely as we can – whether that is sending a quote, delivering an item or calling someone back. The idea that ‘the customer is king’ is an old one, yet so many businesses forget and leave their customers hanging on…
According to global management company McKinsey, 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.
So as you work your way through your own customer’s journey, decide whether you are treating them the best way you could be… and if maybe there are gaps remember the quote above, employ these 5 simple steps to astound your customers, and I guarantee your profits will rise and your customer retention will certainly increase.