What do the brands like Zappos, Harley Davidson and Trader Joe’s have in common?
It’s not their products. After all, footwear, motorcycles and supermarkets are vastly different from each other.
It’s their amazing, efficient and feel-good customer service that allows them to stand out from the crowd and be noticed in a positive light in today’s nearly saturated and over-competitive market.
Now, you can invest everything that you have into making your products different: get the best suppliers, hire the best designers and programmers and even pay the best marketers to promote your product for you.
If you’re providing a bad experience to your customers, though, you can say Adios! to your profit. Studies show that 67% of consumers list bad customer experience as one of their primary reasons for switching providers. Think that’s not such a big deal? $1.6 trillion is lost by companies in the United States due to customers switching as a result of poor customer service.
Here’s the light at the end of the tunnel: U.S. consumers are willing to spend 17% more to do business with companies that deliver excellent service.
So buckle up, take a deep breath and join me in today’s video as we talk about simple and easy ways in which you can improve your customer experiences:
1. Use your title when communicating with your customers.
No, I’m not saying you need to begin the email with your position in your company. A simple email signature with your title works.
This communicates the message to your customers that you sincerely care about them – you care enough to personally reply to them and to resolve their issues even though you’re “quite senior” in the company.
Imagine receiving an email from Tony Stark because of your complaint against Stark Industries.
Use this tactic to make your customers appreciated and special. Everyone wants to feel this way. In fact, feeling unappreciated is the #1 reason customers switch away from products and services. You don’t want this to happen, do you?
2. Always answer the newest emails first.
I can hear you right now saying “Wait, what? I thought we needed to answer the oldest emails first? After all, they’ve waited longer.”
Consider the impact you’d have on these two types of customers:
Peter emailed you 12 hours ago.
Steve emailed you 5 minutes ago.
If you replied to Peter now, do you think it’s going to have a significant impact to his experience? After all, he’s been waiting for 12 hours already.
But if you replied to Steve now, you know he’s going to be absolutely thrilled! “Wow, this person who has an important job title replied to me within minutes! He must really care about his customers.”
This is also why live chat is becoming increasingly in-demand. More people want faster replies real-time. Also, 42% of consumers say they prefer live chat because they don’t have to sit on the phone and wait on hold.
3. Find surprise moments of delight you can bring into the conversation.
What if you’ve made a mistake and your customers complain? It’s fine. As humans, we’re prone to mistakes but make sure you actually solve the problem and turn the experience into something positive later on. 70% of unhappy customers whose problems are resolved are willing to shop with a business again, so you’ve got that going for you. You’re not expected to be perfect, but you are expected to make things right.
First, address their problem. Find out the main topic of the complaint and talk about it before you move onto delighting the customer.
Once you’ve addressed the issue, delight your customer by honestly admitting to your mistakes and compensating them for their trouble. You can compensate the customer by upgrading their experience (overnight delivery or customizing the product they bought), giving them an extra gift or even making their shipping fee complimentary.
4. Adapt the “Always Be Asking” approach.
You’ll never find out if you don’t ask, so as much as possible, encourage feedback. A simple “Hey, thanks for saying you’re happy with our product/service! Can you please leave a review of your recent purchase? It’ll really help our business.”
Why do this? 1) You make the customer feel important; and, 2) You find other areas of improvement that you can work on.
Another example of adapting the “Always Be Asking” approach is saying: “Hey, you sound like a person who’s interested in ______. We normally sell this at $10. Can I give it to you at $8? I’ll just include it in the package we’re about to ship to you.”
Provide great service to your customers and you forge a mutually beneficial and trusting relationship with them – something that your competitors will have a difficult time breaking into.
How about you: have you had any outstanding customer experience before? Let me know in the comments below! See you next week.