No matter what sector you are in, excellent customer service seems to have become the norm. Thanks to millennial‘s who expect a seamless customer service experience every time, companies have had to think outside the box to impress and delight customers that want more than just a good deal.
Everyday, we hear about examples of excellent customer service. Yet it seems that re-creating these experiences are quite expensive or too over the top.
Fear not, as outstanding customer service isn’t only for expensive products and services.
No matter how small or big your company is, you can also afford to bend the rules and create your own viral stories of excellent customer service.
If you are trying to push boundaries and create more of those magical moments, below we’ll review examples of excellent customer service and how you can do this same regardless of your niche.
1. Anticipate the next move
Tammy (PR Executive, Colorado)
I purchased a birthday gift online from an overseas company I regularly buy from, but thought that their express shipping was too expensive for this particular item. However, I did make a note in the comment box at checkout that this was a birthday present and I needed it before a certain date.
The next day, I received an email from the company thanking me for continuously supporting their business and telling me that they had upgraded my shipping method to make sure it would arrive on time, and included a birthday card for the person I was buying the gift for.
How to apply it:
It’s easy to tell a customer to cross their fingers and hope for the best as this is what they selected and therefore it is out of your control. However, being proactive in making sure that the customer gets what they want is what creates excellent customer service.
Being able to anticipate needs has a lot to do with empowering agents to read between the lines and making the right moves to be one step ahead of the customer.
You can do the same by:
- Research a customer’s case before responding and make sure you cover all the grounds and don’t leave anything out.
- Offer discounts or freebies on repeat purchases.
- Address an issue before it becomes a full-blown problem.
2. Personalize the customer experience
Thomas (Foodie, Florida)
There was an ice cream shop that just opened in a not so busy area close to my home and during the first month they opened, every time a customer walked through the door, all the employees would sing for then. It was so welcoming that despite its not so great location, the ice cream store was constantly filled to the brim. It was a great feeling to receive such a special welcome for buying something as simple as an ice cream.
How to apply it:
There is nothing nicer than knowing you feel valued and special. Creating tailored experiences to each customer has never been easier.
Thanks to the help of CRMs (Customer Relationship Management) systems, you are able to collect all kinds of customer information. from complete name and contact information, to lengthy demographics and purchasing habits, there’s nothing you don’t know about your customers.
Personalize your interactions and create excellent customer service by:
- Addressing your customers by their first name
- Suggest them products and upsells based on their past purchases.
- Upgrade your services based on their purchase history.
3. Tap into your customer’s emotions
Tiffany, (Bar Manager, Arizona)
There is a brand I love that sells handmade home goods from different places around the world. I love their style and design, but I felt even more in tune with the brand when I found out who were the people and artisans creating the unique pieces being sold online.
Not only did the brand do an amazing job at putting a face to the products they sell, they also give back a percentage of their proceeds to improving the community of the artisans.
I now feel that I am part of a cause, and that my purchases help contribute to improving communities worldwide.
How to apply it:
Establishing an emotional connection between your brand and your customers is priceless.
Although it sounds challenging, there are many ways to do this without seeing your customers face-to-face.
Of course you can bring out emotions by delighting your customers and going out of your way to please them. But there are other ways to provide excellent customer service without having to scratch your head too hard.
Tell the story of the producers or even the employees behind your company. Putting a face to your brand is a great way to make it more personal and let your customers know that you are human too.
It also gives them the opportunity to bond with your brand and even become brand ambassadors.
REPRESENT A BIGGER CAUSE
Beyond selling a product or service, CSR has become a vital part of every organization. If you are giving back to the community, be sure to let your customers know about it!
Customers prefer companies who are not only about profit. And when they purchase through you, they feel they’re contributing to the cause and also doing their good deed.
Empathy is a great tool that lets customers know that you really understand their needs. By showing that you are on their side, and are there to help them get what they want, you’ll be able to create a connection.
SPEAK AS YOU WOULD A FRIEND
It’s always easier to speak with one of your own. When customers feel they are speaking to someone familiar, they relax. They become more easy-going and easier to manage.
Whether it be your choice of words or point of view, speak and treat your customers as you would a good friend, with kindness and their interests at heart.
4. Reward your customers
Jeremy (Writer, California)
The first time I rented an apartment on AirBnb, a lovely young lady welcomed me into her apartment and handed me the keys. After she showed me the amenities, she went on to tell me that she had bought a few basic ingredients so I could make my own breakfast in the morning. I was won over by the small attention and have used AirBnB over and over since.
How to apply it:
Competition is an ongoing race. And sometimes the smallest things could make the biggest difference.
Being generous and giving away freebies should be part of your marketing strategy. It doesn’t have to be expensive, a little bit goes a long way. Things such as free upgrades, small tokens of your appreciation, or loyalty discounts and rewards are much appreciated by customers.
Not to mention, it can be the determining factor of why they give you their business over your competitors.
So don’t be afraid to give your customers the most value for their money, everyone likes to be rewarded!
5. Empower your team
The number one way to provide excellent customer service is by empowering your agents. Define the parameters within which they can move and take action to impress and delight your customers. Whether it be a defined set of actions they can act upon or budget they can spend, empower your team with the tools to create unique customer experiences.
Not only should you provide the right tools, but you should also give them the space and environment to be creative thinkers. Create a culture where providing excellent customer experiences should be part of their mission!
How difficult do you think are these experiences to recreate? Let us know how you deliver amazing customer experiences in the comment box below!