We all do our best to deliver awesome customer service.
We all do our best to deliver awesome customer service. After all, awesome service is what turns one-time customers into regular customers and loyal promoters of your brand. To ensure you always offer the best service you can to your customers, there are some unbreakable rules you should follow...
1. Don't Be Afraid to Break the Rules
Okay, so the first rule is about breaking the rules -- a bit of a contradiction, I know! But hear me out...
Sometimes, breaking the rules is exactly what you need to turn basic customer service into awesome customer service! To start this article off, here are three awesome examples...
Grocery store, Trader Joe's does not normally deliver -- ever. But, recently when an elderly man was snowed in at his home over the holidays, they decided to make an exception. They delivered his groceries within 30 minutes - for FREE!
When a best man's Zappos delivery was sent to the wrong location, it looked like he was going to have to turn up at the wedding barefoot.
Although it wasn't Zappos's fault, they solved his problem as quickly as they could by sending a replacement pair of shoes overnight and giving the customer a refund!
When Peter Shankman, a customer service speaker and long-time Morton's Steakhouse fan, found himself peckish before a two hour flight, he sent out this tweet:
As delivery is not something that Morton's normally offers, Shankman didn't think his tweet would actually be taken seriously. But, to his surprise, look what was waiting for him when he landed...
2. The Customer Comes First
There's a popular saying that I'm sure you've heard:
"The customer is always right".
But, of course, this is not necessarily the case. Customers make mistakes just like everyone else -- sometimes they don't read terms and conditions thoroughly (or even at all!), other times they enter the wrong delivery addresses, and so on.
However, even though they may not always be right, the customer must always come first. Take the adorable customer letter below as a great example:
Now, this isn't exactly a complaint as such, simply a curiosity. A curiosity that a busy supermarket like Sainsbury's could have easily ignored -- but they didn't, they put the customer first:
As most of you will now know, Sainsbury's went one step further to put their customer first. Not only did they reply to the letter and send their young customer a gift card, they also changed the name of their bread based on her suggestion...
3. Remember: Complaints can be a Blessing
It may not seem like it at the time, but when people complain they are actually giving you a second chance. Did you know that 96% of dissatisfied customers don't complain? They simply stop using your company or service.
That makes the teeny 4% that do complain crucial to the improvement of your business. It's rare that customers will complain for no reason, so it is best to listen to their feedback and use it to improve your business processes.
However, not every negative customer experience is caused by the company. Sometimes it's a mistranslation, postage problems, or even the customers own expectations that cause them to complain. Whatever the problem, it's important to listen to the customer thoroughly and keep your composure. From there, when you've heard the customer out, you need to find the silver lining. What will it take to turn this negative experience into a positive one?
A gift voucher?
It may seem unprofitable to give out gift vouchers to unhappy customers, but studies have found that it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience! Why else would o2 buy a year's supply of pizza to save just one customer?!
4. ALWAYS Follow Through on Promises
It's hurtful when someone doesn't keep their promise to you, whether that someone is close to you, or simply a customer service representative.
If you want customers to trust in and depend on your brand, you must always follow through on your promises. Always. Otherwise, what is the point in promising them something in the first place?
The one thing everyone expects from a business is for their expectations to be managed and met. Therefore, if you set realistic goals and meet these on time, you will develop the persona of a strong brand that always follows through on promises.
Usually, because we expect businesses to follow through on their promises, stories only really come to our attention when companies break these promises. A popular example is from a regular Starbucks visitor. The customer went to a store that wasn't his regular, and, to cut a long story short, they wouldn't accept his gold card or give him a refund when he asked for one.
Luckily, this customer rang the customer service line and got through to a representative that was more than willing to make up for these broken promises, giving the customer a $50 gift card for the coffeehouse.
5. Social Media sees Everything
Social media has become a powerful tool for businesses and customers alike. Customers can (and do!) use it to publicly complain about companies that have given them a bad experience. In contrast, businesses use it to interact with their customers and publicly show off their awesome customer service skills.
The great thing about social media is that it sees everything: the good and the bad. Giving you the chance to redeem yourself if customers do complain. Studies have found that over 1 million people view tweets about customer service every week and roughly 80% of those tweets are negative or critical in nature.
But, social media shouldn't just be used as a way to defend yourself from customer complaints, it's also a way to go the extra mile for your customers. If a customer is talking about your product, service, or brand, you have the opportunity to reach out and interact with them -- offering great customer service.
So there you have it! The 5 unbreakable rules of awesome customer service! Do you agree with our list? Or do you think we missed something? Let us know in the comments box! :) Click to edit your new post...