Make Your Customer Service Memorable and Remarkable
Today, much of the customer service focus is on how technology can make a customer experience better. Data personalization, artificial intelligence and many others are driving the future of customer service. Marketing’s future may be embracing artificial intelligence, it’s still important to keep your customer experience human.
In this post I want to shift our focus back to the basics that can still create an outstanding customer experience. Here are twelve ideas as to how you can up your customer service game in 2020.
You Have to Create Your Customer Service Mantra
This is the biggest marketing challenge you can face. It takes time to create a customer service mantra that succinctly tells why your business exists. It will take a lot of thought before you create your mantra.
If you don’t have a mantra, now is the time to create one. Your mantra should be a simple phrase. A sentence or less that sums up your customer service culture. For example, ours at the Better Business Alliance is “Helping Small Business Conquer Their Web Problems.”
You want to be amazing to your clients and help them be more productive and amazing. Mantra’s can be simple phrases, Ace Hardware has a simple one: “The Helpful Place.” The Ritz-Carlton’s credo is a little longer. Their credo states that: “We’re ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.”
Once you develop your mantra, it helps you stay focused on what’s important in delivering an amazing service experience to your customers.
You Need to Out Convenience Your Competition With Your Customers
Your customer service baseline has been set higher than ever. You have to find a way to separate yourself from your competition. Because your competition is also trying to out-service you.
You have to surprise your customers when they are not expecting it. Around the holidays, everyone sends gifts. Find other times to surprise your customers with an unexpected gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It should be a clever thoughtful touch that is noticed and remembered.
You Need to Remain Engaged With Your Existing Customers
Often companies exclusively focus their efforts on acquiring new customers. They make the mistake of doing little to engage and keep their existing customers. You need to keep your existing customers engaged. Depending on what your business does, this may be as infrequent as once a year.
Thank-you Notes are Unexpected but Appreciated
You should send a thank-you note acknowledging someone’s business. When was the last time you sent or received a thank you note? Surprise and delight your customers by sending them an old-fashioned, handwritten note in an envelope with an address and a stamp.
A friend was starting a limousine company and asked me for marketing advice. He was operating on a tiny budget for marketing which created some unique problems. My advice was to take a picture of every group that rented his limo.
Then mail a thank you note to the person that chartered the limo and include pictures for everyone in their party. The response was incredible, the first charter was for five couples going to their prom. The prom goers parents loved the personal touch and booked four future charters. All from less than $10 spent on a card, postage and some pictures…..
Stop Marketing, Make Your Social Media Work by Engaging
Participate in conversations on social platforms and become part of the online customer community. However, this isn’t an opportunity to sell. Using social media gives you an opportunity to engage with your customers.. Remember, this is about engagement, not marketing. There’s a big difference!
Be Customer Focused Rather Than Operations Focused
Share content that is about helping your customer and not strictly about your company. Your content shouldn’t be a blatant sales or marketing piece. At least it shouldn’t feel like it’s a marketing piece.
Be Generous, It’s Good to Help Others
During the holidays we all embrace the season of giving. Broaden your horizons about helping others. Why not actively embrace a cause or participate in a charity? Customers love when the places they do business with give back by helping others. It’s good karma!
Get to Know Your Customer
Do something special for “Get to Know Your Customer Days.’ These days happen four times a year. On the third Thursday of the beginning of each quarter (January, April, July and October). For more information, go to GetToKnowYourCustomerDay.
Your Customer Experience is Built on Your Employee Experience
Don’t forget that what happens inside your business is often felt on the outside by your customer. If you want to have a great customer experience, you need to focus on your employee experience. Take care of your employees, and they will take care of your customers.
Remember to Ask the “One Big Thing” Question
My favorite question to ask my customers is what I refer to as the “One Thing Question.” What I love asking them: “Is there one thing you can think of that would make doing business with us better?” Read and absorb every answer that you receive.
Choose the best ideas and take action on those. It’s amazing what happens when you listen to your customers! When you listen to your customers, they feel valued and appreciated.
Make Your Customer Service an Employee Competition
Have a customer service contest among your employees. Your goal is finding out who can deliver the best experience to an external or internal customer. It’s important to recognize the best, however, the prize should be a random drawing for all those who participated. In this contest everyone should be a winner.
Use Video to Help Your Customers
Video is an amazing tool. It’s inexpensive and can often be posted for free. Use videos for online tutorials, a video version of Frequently Asked Questions and more. Check out this recent Forbes article on using video.
Use My Customer Service Tips to Help Your Customers
There you have it, I’ve shared my top customer service tips and ideas for making your customer service/experience better in 2020. I hope you’ve found them useful, and that they’ve perhaps inspired some business-focused New Year’s resolutions!
Here’s to 2020 being your best year yet, filled with revenue, profits and, of course, amazing customer experiences! Share your tips with us, we’d love to hear what works for you.