Do you remember when customer service became exciting? It used to be that Customer Service counters were reception areas for complaints. Thanks to innovations like ‘Service with a Smile,’ ‘We Deliver,’ and ‘Delivery in 15 minutes,’ the customer experience is reaching deep into what we really want, before we find out we want it.
Here are three sentiments that demonstrate the evolution of customer experience, thanks to the willingness of business to look within, and find the strengths in their organization, as well as the willingness to look without, and learn from their number one customer, you.
“I’m Never Going Back to that Bank Again.” Banking is synonymous with lines, or queuing. More tellers doesn’t mean more personalized service. It just means that more people are waiting, standing, fidgeting in the cold discomfort of uncomfortable chairs and under the weight of large paintings of their founders.
However, online banking has taken off—better in some countries than others. That has led U.S. banks to put the power of transacting from the teller window to the computer screen. After setting up your online account, there’s nothing holding back U.S. bank account holders from never walking through the heavy double doors of their financial institutions again.
Consolidating utilities and credit card accounts into a one-click portal at each depositor’s home, the banking industry has freed us from hours of pretending not to look at other people in line again. It doesn’t only save us the hassle, but it frees up resources at the bank itself, saving operation costs.
Make it easy for your customers to transact online. They may never come into your store again, but why would you still want them to? Customer service says save people time whenever possible. With so many online shopping and payment options, it should be a crime that your business still doesn’t have a website wherein a catalog and a ‘buy now’ button.
“From Disappointment to Delight.” Turning the customer experience around is one of the greatest coups your employees can perform. When we tested one dry cleaning store ahead of time, and found that our secret shopper’s jacket hadn’t been pressed, our planted customer pressed back, stating that an important dinner had come up and he needed immediate service.
Instead of turning the customer away, the creative frontliner had the presence of mind to go the extra mile, and even turned it into a chance to upsell. The woman behind the counter gave our secret shopper the option to wait an hour, or take a look at some of the products sold in the dry cleaning shop.
Ten minutes before the promised time, the jacket was cleaned, paid for, and our secret shopper left with a travel kit that matched his luggage.
When faced with a customer or client that clearly has urgent needs, turning a distressing customer experience around delivers results that may not be in the employee handbook.
“A Promo that Truly Promotes.” Just for kicks, you dropped your business card in the fishbowl, and you walked around the exhibition hall going from this booth and that. Just then, you hear your name over the loudspeaker. You just won something! Could be SWAG, could be a tablet. Could be a trial subscription of the major sponsor’s magazine.
The excitement of winning a promo must be the high point of the many seminars and expos we attend, yet the administrative processes of receiving your reward can take the wind out of our sails. So when you’re getting your potential customers’ spirits up in a promo, make sure that the awarding portion is fun and celebratory.
Write their names down on a handheld whiteboard or colorful paper, have at least two people there to give out smiles and congratulations, and be ready with a camera and your company’s representative to shake hands, and remember to tag them in at least one social networking site. Make the I.D. check the most laborious process, and ride the gust of promotional marketing all the way.
The beauty of the customer service is that it can happen at any time. Don’t take anything for granted, because exciting people when they expect a normal day of errands and shop talk can turn into a shining moment for you and your brand.