Okay, okay, customers want great products and they are always in pursuit of the best option when it comes to value for money, but brands tend to forget that people are prone to pay a bit more for excellent service and a worth-sharing experience. In today’s hectic society what matters the most is that you make your customers remember you. How do you do that? One word sums it up: experience.
So, the first question you should ask yourself when it comes to your customers: are you offering them a top-notch experience? There are many marketers who say they are are all about customer-centricity, but in fact, that does not really happen.
Improving your customer’s experience will impact your business in an undeniable positive way. If you are not doing this already, here are a few reasons you should start immediately:
Tony Hsieh, the CEO of the online shoe and clothing company Zappos, talks about creating a memory in his Delivering Happiness book. And we couldn’t agree more, creating memories for your customers implies having a strong and valuable relationship. A relationship you should focus on building, if you want success as part of your business now and in the future.
”…on average, every customer contacts us at least once sometime during his or her lifetime, and we just need to make sure that we use that opportunity to create a lasting memory.”
In the book, there’s also a great example of customer oriented attitude. As you might already know, Zappos is well-known for its amazing customer support. So, the story goes like this: while at a hotel, a few hungry peeps want to order a pizza from the room service menu, only to discover the restaurant’s hotel closes at 11 PM. Someone comes up with the idea to call Zappos in order to see if they could help. The rep that answered their call patiently guided them to the five options they could turn to in terms of proximity and working hours. Needless to say, Zappos is not a pizza delivery company, but this is just the epitome of excellent customer service.
Also, I must share something from my past experience within a gaming studio, where we did deal with a lot of customers interactions per day. And there were cases where people were asking about other games, naming the issues they encountered within those games or simply with their computer, but that did not stop our community managers from stepping in and helping them. Where did that lead us? Happy customers who have subsequently started using our products, as well.
Let’s take another example – Ritz Carlton luxury hotels chain, where Ritz-Carlton employees are basically enabled to provide customers with great experiences and services and that happens mostly because most of them are independently authorized to spend up to $2000 on improving customer satisfaction.
Customer service expert John DiJulius talks about forgetting his laptop charger at the hotel, only to discover the next day a package from the hotel, with a note telling him that they thought he needed the charger as fast as possible and they have also put an extra charger in the package. How does this translate? An empathetic, thoughtful act in the name of excellent service, customer oriented, basically. Can you name an example of you doing that for your customers? Going the extra mile? If you cannot, well, I hate to break this to you, but you are doing something wrong. The good news is that it is never too late to start doing that.
Going the extra mile does not necessarily imply spending a fortune on making your customer feel special. As you might already know, money does not buy happiness. Even though, I guess it would be easier to cry on a desert island with a cocktail in your hand instead of in the bus on your way to work, while stuck in a traffic jam. But joking aside, as I was saying you do not need much to make your customer feel more. Pay attention. Remember. Appreciate. Express gratitude. Be present. Be thoughtful. Remember his birthday and send him a cute, authentic message (and do try not to copy paste birthday wishes from the almighty internet, your customer is one search away from discovering they are not that special after all). Maybe offer him a discount. Maybe ask for his opinion first-hand before launching a new product. Treat him as he is – special for you.
Well, you might think a successful transaction ends with your customer paying for your products, but in fact, that is not really true. Staying close and being present – just like in any relationship weighs a lot in the customer’s decision to make use of your services again. And the part related to success is connected to you being present wherever your customer is.
Let’s take Social Media presence as an example. You might have Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc. accounts for your business. You are going social, right? But you are really being social? How fast do you reply to your customer’s inquiries? How do you treat negative feedback? Do you just ignore it? What do you actually do to make your customers happy?
Bad feedback is a great opportunity for you to step in and transform that experience into a good one, just by means of being present and taking the necessary measures to solve any issue they might have encountered. And since we are talking about being present, it would be great to have a tool that could help you out with online mentions, right? Sether is one of the great platforms out there that offers you web monitoring tools that can ease out the struggles of bad feedback and will enable you to become that sweet friend who is always there, even online, always paying attention to his customers. Give us a shout and we can talk more about this.
And the same thing goes with feedback that does not belong to the big bad wolf, called negative feedback. Express your gratitude, say something nice. Talk to your customers on a constant basis, do not be that distant relative that only calls them during the Holidays to talk about what special offer they have. Nobody will listen. So, start building a meaningful relationship with your customers and results will not fail to appear.
Authenticity is without saying a very important aspect of communication. Whether you make a visual, a tutorial on how to use your product or simply, answering to your customer’s inquiries, being authentic is a great way of making people remember you for you and not identify you with just another company that does something, cannot really remember what. You do not want to be that guy, let alone, have people confuse you with someone else.
Speaking of authenticity, let’s take Wistia as an example, a video hosting platform. They believe in the power of video to help tell company stories who tailor their experiences accordingly to their every customer.
They create personalized how-to videos and individualized thank-you notes to guide their customers and to also, showcase how to use different aspects of the software using a visual medium, which has proven to be very successful.
This is Wistia’s way of achieving success when it comes to good customer service — by showing, rather than telling, customers how to troubleshoot, and so, customers can learn more effectively and remember solutions better simply reading some instructions received via an email or some phone calls, in which someone will keep asking “And what do you see now? Oh, you should see a little green button. Go back and let’s try this again”
And their customers sure seem happy about their services:
We encourage you to find your own way in which you could tailor an amazing experience for your customers. Take the time to make it matter. Take the time to personalize, as this will allow you to enjoy amazing results, and customers will appreciate you taking the time to guide them along this journey. You get what you invest, so, you’d better pour in some good vibes, resources, and creativity into immersing your customers into care and authenticity.
One last mention – of course, your customers need your constant attention, so, these are only a few steps that are basically just the beginning. Invest your efforts into delivering more than expected for your customers and don’t forget the question that should always be in your mind: are you offering them a top-notch experience?