Your Great Customer Experience Creates Customer Validation!
Your Customer Experience is a Philosophy!
Many people think of customer service as a department. I believe that customer service is part of a companies philosophy, not a company department.
Customer service should be embraced by every employee, regardless of their job and how long they’ve been with a company. The focus on this topic should be about what many consider to be the customer service and support department, the people who have contact and interact with the customer.
Technology Changed, Your Customers Haven’t!
When it comes to the outcome of a customer service experience, the customer’s expectations haven’t changed. They just want to be taken care of.
The difference today is how many ways we have to communicate with the customer and reach the desired outcome. What has changed is the way we go about delivering service.
We’ve figured out how to do it faster, and even better. Back “in the day,” which wasn’t that long ago there was typically just two ways that customer service was provided. Customer Service was done in person or over the phone. Then technology kicked in and we started making service and support better and more efficient.
Delivering Customer Service is Unchanged.
A lot that is changing about how we deliver customer service. If you look at what customer service is today, it is the same as it was fifty years ago. Will it still be the same fifty years from now?
Customer service is just a customer needing help, having a question answered or a problem resolved. Answer the question or resolve the problem and the customer is happy. That’s it.
When it comes to the customer’s expectations, they are the same. In other words, nothing has changed in customer service!
How do You Interact With Your Customers?
Times have changed and direct interaction with customers can come in many forms. It can be the traditional customer service team who fields questions and complaints. Interaction can come through a customer simply calling, for any reason, to connect with someone inside the company.
The customer may reach out to the company via social media accounts, a company website, or a text message. It’s really any interaction with the company.
Does your company just answer questions and manage complaints, or do they validate the customer’s decision to do business with you? In other words, when the interaction with the customer is over, does the customer think, “I love doing business with this company”?
Compare Your Metrics vs. Customer Validation?
Don’t Allow Metrics to Kill Customer Validation!
That makes common sense, but here is where some companies get it wrong. They focus on metrics, or even worse, the wrong metrics.
Metrics are an important way to measure performance, they can tell you a big part of what you need to know. However if one of your key metrics is about getting the customer off the phone as quickly as possible, that could be shortsighted in attempting to achieve customer validation.
Answer Your Customers Unasked Questions.
The best customer support does several things. First, it answers the customer’s question.
Second, it gives an opportunity for the service provider to make suggestions, answer future questions the customer may have but doesn’t know it yet, and much more. This can’t happen if your metric for measuring customer service performance is built on a foundation of rushing to complete a customer’s call.
Focus on Your Customer, not the Clock.
Customers will call for help and support, and possibly even to complain. The customers call is an opportunity for your company to shine and build your reputation and brand.
You can engage the customer using your knowledge, communication skills, patience, willingness to help, and ability to build rapport to build validate the customers choice to do business with your company.
You can ensure the customer is not only happy but has also made the right choice. Validate the reason a customer chose to do business with the company in the first place.
That can’t happen if efficiency is how you measure success. Instead, the focus should be on the customer’s level of satisfaction and eagerness to do business with you the next time they need what you sell.
Customer Validation is not Measured in Minutes.
Validation must be a part of the customer experience. Customer validation creates confidence, which will lead to greater customer loyalty!
Customers Still Seek Validation.
Wrapping up, customer expectations haven’t changed. They still want to be taken care of, regardless of how you do it. It all begins with someone needing help, dealing with a problem, upset about something or just wanting to have a question answered.
It ends with that person walking away knowing they made the right decision to do business with you. How you get from the beginning to the end is not nearly as important as how they feel when they walk away, hang up the phone or turn off their computer.
Customer Validation Hasn’t Changed
It’s actually the same as it’s always been. If you really do it correctly, it’s Customer Validation because their Customer Service Experience exceeded expectations!