In 2018, providing adequate customer service simply isn’t going to cut it anymore. With more options than ever at their fingertips, customers aren’t just looking for decent customer service, they want an experience. And with limitless resources such as online reviews and social media, it won’t be hard for them to sort out the good, bad, and exceptional. How can you ensure your business lands in the “exceptional” pile? Here are 5 keys to providing an exceptional customer experience.
1. Personalize service whenever possible.
People love working with companies and brands that they feel “get” them. Whenever possible, try to integrate personalization into your interactions with your customers, whether it’s adding their names to the conversation, remembering previous products or services they purchased, or making notes about their preferences (and following through on them). Making your customers feel valued and understood on a personal level is a crucial component of building lifetime loyalty.
2. Remove all roadblocks to speedy response time.
If your customers take the initiative to reach out to you- whether its to voice a concern or complaint, ask a question, offer a suggestion, or even give you a pat on the back- make sure you’re ready to receive their communication and respond quickly. We live in the age of instant-everything and as customers, our expectations are beginning to reflect that. Don’t waste an opportunity to engage with your customers while you have their attention.
3. Own up to your mistakes, fix them, and then some.
Plain and simple, if you’ve made a mistake, accept responsibility and find a way to correct it. Think you’re done? Think again. This is a great opportunity to not simply appease a customer, but to delight them. Once you’ve corrected the initial problem, do a little something extra to apologize for their inconvenience and let them know how much you value their loyalty. Interactions like this will serve to not simply please your customers, but really wow them.
And guess what delighted customers often like to do? Talk. Giving them something great to talk about is an investment in a lifelong customer, and also terrific word-of-mouth advertising.
4. Customer service isn’t just for “customer service.”
While it absolutely makes sense to put your friendliest faces on the front line, it’s still important to create a culture where excellent customer service is a priority across all communication channels; phone, email, social, and web. You never know where a customer will interact with your business. Make sure all of your employees have a customer-friendly mindset, and are ready to serve your customers however they reach you.
5. Follow up with your customers.
You’re not done once the service has been provided. Make it a point to reach out to your customers to make sure they’re satisfied, find out if they need any additional services, and see if they have feedback for you.
Most of the time, creating an exceptional customer experience doesn’t require a whole restructuring of your business practices and processes, but it might take a little refining. Although it might take some extra thought and effort, but the companies who to it right are sure to come out on top.