I waited at their concierge for an hour. After which, the receptionist informed me the meeting has been cancelled.
As soon as I reached their concierge, the receptionist guided me to the Director’s cabin for the scheduled meeting.
Which is an example of a good customer service experience?
In an ever-challenging market industry, customers have choices. They want quality, value, and an experience to take home. Brands, on the other hand, are struggling with roadblocks of their own like growing market competition and the consumer’s dwindling attention span.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos rightly states that, “If we can arrange things in a way that our interests are aligned well with our customers, then, in the long term, that will work out really well for customers. It will work out really well for Amazon.”
Jeff is far ahead of his counterparts in customer service because he works with an inventive, research-based and customer-driven mind-set. Jeff believes in creating ‘value’ for his customers. His team finds concrete proof of what will work out and what will not.
Let me share with you 10 Awesome Customer Service tricks to help your brand stay fresh and relevant.
# 1 Live like your customer
Merely knowing the customer is not enough. To succeed, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. I mean, literally. Gather as much information about your customer as you can, specifically through demographics, interests, price decisions, income group, age group, education level, and relationship status.
Devote a day or two to a place your ideal customer would spend time or shop. Talk to your customers directly. Look for online channels where they are most likely to open-up. Only when you empathize and understand their aspirations are you able to create the right solutions for them.
# 2 See your customer
Your customer might not sit with you in boardroom meetings and he or she may not know your name, but that doesn’t have to keep them out of mind. Whenever you pin down a new product, launch strategy, or a sales-plan imagine your customer. How will he or she react? Will they understand the message? Will they be willing to buy from you?
Marketing and sales plans are built around your customer— not the other way around. Be a trouble-shooter. Offer them what they are looking for, via the best channels you can. Strive to create a niche and relatable identity for your end-customer.
# 3 Listen to your customer
Carry out quarterly surveys to understand the immediate needs and concerns of your customer. Ask the right question and go to the right places. Explore new user markets and do the same. The more you probe the more you will get better answers.
Be a good-listener and tell your customers you care for them by requesting customer feedbacks and suggestions. Create regular records of this information. Then use it to compare and compile data that will improve the health of your products and services.
# 4 Show your customer that you care
Educate the customer about the product or service. Offer valuable insights to what good you are offering them. Give them a reason to contact you for more clarifications and any assistance they might need regarding your offering.
# 5 Network smart
Bring targeted users to your brand on LinkedIn. Drive meaningful engagements by offering the right content. Initiate building client-centric relationships via LinkedIn groups and forums. Ask questions, answer queries, and address user concerns. LinkedIn is a great platform to build authority. Let your customers know that you are working for them.
# 6 Get social
Your consumers are looking for you on social media channels, online discussions, review portals, and competitor’s networks. Kick-start a blog to keep customers engaged. Send them e-mails to inform about new offers and to stay in touch.
Do not offer them an e-mail or a toll free number when they ask for help. Shorten your response time by boosting personal interactions on social media. Share inspiring stories about your brand. Be proactive by offering instant help on your social media channels.
# 7 Pitch it right
Write precise and effective copy-writing. Do not misguide the customer, while creating adverts or offering information about products or services. Tell them whether an offer is absolutely free or if it has a hidden fee attached.
Do not fool the customer into buying a product or service they might regret later. Create customer-focused publishing material. Don’t be too lazy to put in the research and effort to create an effective copy.
# 8 Pluck negativity
Clean the air of negative opinions, your customer might have of you. Religiously track changes in customer-satisfaction levels. Make sure your customers Google positive things about you. If you get criticized, be wise, to address it as soon as possible to maintain trust.
Don’t be shy to apologize and take the onus of the blame.Stay away from the blame-game, especially online. Never use your social media to argue with your competitors or to make your customers feel silly. Act mature.
# 9 Act friendly
Send hand-written post-cards to repeat customers. Remind them of events or thank them for their contribution. Just remember, a personalized, hand-written post-card will go a long way to create a lasting impression. It will ease recall and polish your customer-service skills.
Send post-cards at regular intervals. Even the excitement of receiving a very personal message will thrill your customers! Besides, it’s a cute and easy way to stay away from digital-clutter.
# 10 Don’t be too loud
When setting expectations, it is a good practice to under-state your offer. Deliver more than what is expected. This will help you gain more trust and followers.
Be punctual with delivery. This way you will never leave a customer complaining. In the long run, you will accumulate more positive feedback and appreciation. Setting the just the right expectation is a subtle way to delight your customers.
A parting tip:
Stay relevant. Interact with your customers. Give them a platform such as a forum or a social media channel to voice their concerns. Do not settle for less. Strive hard to build result-oriented and satisfying experiences across customer-service platforms.
Embrace change because it’s part of the growing process. Learn from the best marketers and customer service experts. Incorporate new practices to personalize your customer-service.
To drive innovation and productivity, make the customer the nucleus of your business.
Pratik Kanada is Founder & CEO of 360 Degree Technosoft. His vision to re-innovate and re-set the technological trends. He likes to blog about ‘tech that touches life’. An avid reader, he loves interacting with bright spirited technocrats, in his spare time.
Image credit: CC by Manchester City Library