Great Customer Service: 5 ways to make your customers smile
Thanks to a powerful cocktail of social distancing, heightened consumer expectations and the fragility of the economy, giving great customer service is harder than ever right now. But delivering a fantastic experience for those who choose to spend their hard-earned money with you has never been more important either.
Get it wrong, and you could quickly find your company starts losing out to competitors – but get it right and the payback will rapidly start to materialise.
As the great business and marketing guru Seth Godin puts it: “Customer service isn’t simply an expensive, time-consuming obligation. It’s a strategic marketing investment if you want it to be.” By that, he means that the powerful word-of-mouth publicity you gain from putting the effort into beyond-expectations service can be cheaper and more effective than any amount of advertising.
So read on for five ways to help your business truly stand out by giving your customers a warm, fuzzy feeling on the inside.
1. Engage positively
Quite simply, positive engagement builds trust. And customers who trust you will buy repeatedly from you, buy more from you, tell their friends and colleagues good things about you – and even make your life easier if something goes wrong.
A great way to enhance those positive interactions is to ensure you have as much up-to-date information as possible about the people and businesses you’re dealing with – a ‘360-degree customer view’ supported by accurate and well-managed data.
2. Listen to your customers – and respond
More than ever, as we all feel the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, you need to understand what’s on your customers’ minds, what their problems are and how you can help to solve them. So ask them. Listen to them. And adapt your business to meet those needs wherever possible.
There’s also a lot to be said, in the current climate, for giving added value wherever you can – such as discounts or additional services if you know it will help. Customers will never forget which organisations were there for them during their time of need and which ones were not.
3. Be brilliant at what matters most
By listening to your customers, you’ll know what matters most to them. And that’s what you should be doubling down on. And don’t worry if you’re not brilliant at everything, as no business can ever be. Just be sure to excel at what your customers really need and expect from you and they’ll be more inclined to forgive your weaknesses in other areas.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that what matters to your customers now, and the expectations they have, may have changed radically from pre-lockdown days.
4. Make the online experience better
In a matter of days, back in March 2020, the UK started doing almost everything online. This mass migration to cyberspace may not last forever, and as lockdown eases, our yearning for human contact will kick in and face-to-face encounters will be valued more than ever.
However, the new online habits we’ve developed will not disappear either. So make sure that when your customers interact with you online, they get the best possible experience. Whether they’re speaking to you on a video call, buying something on your website or raising a problem via a chatbot – the experience needs to be consistently brilliant.
5. Love – and trust – your employees more than ever
Fact: happy employees treat customers better. Another fact: empowered employees – who are trusted by their bosses to do the right thing for their customers, without constantly having to refer back to management – help to create those positive engagements (see 1 above) that lead to customer love.
So look after your people. Give them the data, the tools and the permission that they need to look after your customers. And let them get on with putting smiles on your customers’ faces.
If you’d like to find out more about how good customer data, supported by powerful and user-friendly technology, can help your business to deliver great service and stand out, we’d love to have a chat.