I am always on the hunt for great articles and advice on how to take care of customers. Great customer service is my passion and nothing annoys me more than poor customer service. It’s one of those things that is so easy to get right just by paying attention to the details. By contrast, nothing makes me happier than when a company gets it right.
I recently read an article on ways a company can make their interactions fantastic. I love the word fantastic. For me, it congers up words like wonderful, sublime and in today’s vernacular: awesome! But I digress.
What follows is an excerpt from an article that I read by Sophia Bernazzani from Hubspot.com. They provide some great advice and I unashamedly post Sophia’s article here. When you have great advice, its worthy of reposting.
How To Have Fantastic Customer Interactions
Your customers have high expectations — and if your business can’t meet them, they’re going to leave you for your competitors.
If that sounds harsh, well, it is. In addition to getting a product or service that works for them, they want to buy from companies that make it easy to get help when they need it, that go above and beyond for them, and that make them proud to support their corporate culture and philosophy.
You already know that the customer experience doesn’t end with a sale — it’s an ongoing work in progress that companies should be constantly seeking to improve and iterate on. To get you started, here are our suggestions for how you can make your customers love interacting with your business.
Customer interactions are instances when people communicate and engage with businesses. These moments occur throughout the customer journey and typically relate to marketing campaigns, sales promotions, and service-related issues.
There are plenty of reasons why customers interact with businesses — not to mention the plethora of channels they use, too. In fact, the image below shows us five general examples that can be applied to most customer experiences.
How to Make Every Interaction with Customers the Best it Can Be: 7 Tips
1. Show empathy and gratitude.
Are you familiar with the golden rule? “Treat others as you want to be treated.”
The customer service golden rule should be “Treat customers as you want to be treated as a customer.” (I know it’s not as catchy, but I’m making a point here.)
We’ve written about the importance of empathy in a customer-facing role a few times before, and it deserves to be underscored again here.
2. Be conscientious.
This is a lesson you may have learned when you were a student, or in your first job, and it’s important in your customer-facing job, too.
It’s of utmost importance to be conscientious, and to responsibly follow-up to every customer communication you engage in with a solution, a forum for feedback, or helpful educational resources they can benefit from.
Whether you’re connecting with customers on the phones, via email, or by commenting on social media, your customers might think that reaching out won’t solve their problem (because — let’s face it — it can feel like that’s often the case when it comes to contacting customer service).
3. Be transparent and communicative.
It’s extremely important to be transparent when you communicate with your customers — especially if it’s about a mistake or error caused by you or your product.
Using your empathy and gratitude muscles, don’t hesitate to explain the situation, apologize for the issue, and communicate how it happened — and how it won’t happen again. If it could happen again, be clear on that so your customer can prepare for the future.
4. Ask for and act on customer feedback.
You can’t just give the term “valued customer” lip service — you need to walk the walk by regularly asking for and acting on customer feedback.
Regularly asking customers for feedback via surveys is an effective way to identify potential problems before they cause your customers to churn. Surveys also provide customers with an avenue to voice their thoughts on your product or your customer service in a way that makes them truly feel valued, and their specific feedback on 1:1 interactions with employees gives you the opportunity to better hone your processes — or to shout out employees going above and beyond.
5. Delight your customers whenever you can.
We’re big advocates of delighting your customers, and a big element of delight is the surprise element.
Make sure to take time periodically to surprise your customers. You don’t necessarily need to surprise them with a gift or a discount (although those can definitely be nice). Sometimes, something as simple as a thank you letter, company swag, or a shoutout on social media can go a long way towards building goodwill and an emotional connection with your customers. And an emotional connection can sometimes be a bigger predictor of loyalty than responses to customer satisfaction surveys.
6. Go where your customers are.
As a customer, nothing annoys me more than when I send a Twitter DM to a company to complain about something, and they reply back with a number I can call to voice my concerns. I’m already experiencing friction dealing with an issue with the product — I shouldn’t have to wait on hold to hear from a customer support rep, too.
It’s your job to make it as easy and painless as possible for your customers to get the answers they need to use your product or service. To do that, you should have a plan in place for providing service across a variety of channels where your customers typically reach out to you.
7. Talk like a human.
Our final suggestion to make your customers love reaching out to you — even in cases of problems — is to talk like a human.
Your customers aren’t looking for scripted corporate-speak when they call or write to you in need of assistance. Particularly if you’re communicating with customers on social media, scripted, formal language can ring hollow and insincere.
If you’re in the middle of solving a customer issue, feel free to keep language professional. But once you’ve solved a customer’s problem, or if a customer is reaching out to share positive feedback, feel free to be less scripted, and more yourself.
– For the full article, click HERE