In today’s world, consumers demand flawless customer service. The bar has been raised, and being average is no longer acceptable, otherwise, your business could be crushed by the Amazon effect.
You must back up your product with an experience that shines. That means more than just answering your customer’s questions politely and in a timely fashion. That might have worked once upon a time, but it doesn’t cut it today.
Why are Customer Service and Customer Experience More Important Today?
There are hundreds of customer service statistics to prove that showing why putting customers first is important. However, out of all the stats, one that stands out the most is the impact the quality of customer interactions has on churn. According to Microsoft, 56% of consumers around the world have stopped doing business with a brand due to a poor customer service experience.
Clearly, the impact of poor customer service can hurt any business tremendously. But these moments are only one component of a successful customer experience, which encompasses every moment of the customer journey.
While help desk interactions are just a moment in time, the customer experience is the entire journey. Those interactions can have a great impact on how your customer feels about your company. And that’s a very good thing:
“Crafting a well-executed customer experience strategy will not only help your business retain customers, it will also help to endear new buyers and skyrocket your revenue over time.” (Forbes).
What Makes for Memorable Customer Service?
So if everybody is doing it, how can your company rise above the rest? These are three key ways to go above and beyond to provide stellar customer service, such as:
- Personal: Start with a human touch. Personalized interactions let customers know that your company cares about them and their specific pain points. For example, having a live agent resolve a complex issue instead of a chatbot.
- Unexpected: To stand out, you need to do things that not everybody is doing.
- Timely: The right experience at the right time makes all the difference.
10 Ways to Create Memorable Customer Service Moments
In order to create memorable customer service moments, you need to build the infrastructure into your company that makes stand-out interactions possible.
1. Understand Your Customers
Looking to wow your customers? You need to listen. Understanding your customers is vital, and it starts with having intimate knowledge of the customer journey.
Focus on customer satisfaction levels in order to get a sense of how happy (or unhappy) consumers are with your brand, services, and products. Feedback is a clear and valuable indicator of customer satisfaction, so pay attention to it!
Collecting customer feedback can also help improve your services and products and offer you data to make the right business decisions. Feedback can come in many forms:
- Social Media
Ensure you don’t just wait for customers to leave feedback – be proactive and ask them for it whenever you get an opportunity. You can use a free survey maker to create a survey and share it with customers after every interaction to learn how satisfied, or dissatisfied, they were with your service quality.
2. Embed Customer Service Excellence Into Your Company Culture
Online retailer Zappos is famous for its wow moments, and that’s no accident. It’s part of who they are as a company. And that focus is reflected everywhere. Access to their reps occupies prime real estate on their website, eliminating the need for customers to go hunting for help.
Nextiva is another example of a humanized B2B brand that emphasizes its commitment to customer service and reliability across the entire website experience. On their virtual phone system page, they flex an endorsement from Shark Tank’s Mr. Wonderful, regarding their amazing service and reliability. Again, highlighting reviews and comments is a great way to put your customers first.
Nextiva also has a page dedicated to explaining its ‘Amazing Service’, which is trademarked as part of the brand’s promise. If your brand considers itself customer-centric, it could help to create a webpage dedicated to your customer service promise. This is another way to build customer confidence.
3. Train Your Support Agents
From day one, you need to teach your customer service team how to speak to your customers’ needs. On a basic level, your reps need deep knowledge of your products, services, as well as your customers.
Most turnover at SaaS companies is due to poor training and onboarding. Your company should have a robust employee training curriculum in order to ramp- up new hires fast and effectively.
4. Empower Your Support Agents
Once your reps know how to create memorable moments, you need to give them the power to make decisions that will delight customers on the spot.
For example, according to Zappo’s’ website, “all representatives have the authority to accept special-case returns, offer partial or full refunds in cases of loss of service, pay for damages, and provide solutions in any other manner they deem appropriate.” Putting this expectation out there for your customers is just one way to empower your team.
5. Reward Stellar Customer Service
Another way to motivate your employees to provide excellent service is through incentivization.
Make sure to recognize employees who go above and beyond. This encourages others to do the same. Consider utilizing employee performance management software to track common customer service metrics like Average Handle Time, First Contact Resolution, Length of Support Queue, and more. The more data you have on your support agents, the more accurately you’ll be able to craft incentives.
6. Invest in Building an Immaculate Online Presence
The customer experience starts at the first impression. For most businesses, that first impression is your online presence where the impact of online reviews is significant.
Aside from a highly optimized website experience, reputation management plays a critical role in today’s B2B buying process. In fact, Miller Heiman Group cited that at least 50% of B2B buyers have already made up their minds before talking to a sales rep.
One way to boost your online reviews is to encourage customers to leave a review after they’ve had a positive experience. When it comes to negative reviews, you can use this as an opportunity to respond to dissatisfied customers and instill confidence that their next experience will be better.
7. Personalize Website Interactions
No one wants to feel insignificant. Using a customer’s name is Personalization 101. Greeting people by their names or using their names in conversations assures them that they aren’t just a faceless number to you.
However, in this day and age, personalization goes beyond the first name. This can be as simple as remembering their coffee drink without them having to spell it out each time. Or it can be as complicated as recording information in your CRM to use in follow-up conversations.
The point is, you must anticipate their needs and then exceed customer expectations. Even better if you can do this with your product or service.
8. Aim to Delight Your Customers, Not Just Satisfy Them
You need to delight customers by going that extra mile. Do something special, give them royal treatment that makes them happy, and makes them want to share it with their family and friends.
Hand-written notes are often more memorable than the fanciest email sequence. For example, online pet retailer Chewy sends hand-signed birthday cards to every customers’ pet on their birthday. This simple gesture really stands out.
Give loyal customers an added advantage or special treatment. It could be something small like a free coffee after every ten purchases.
Or it could be something big. Amazon Prime members not only get free shipping, but they also get access to all kinds of benefits like extra discounts and early access. Both of these center the customer’s delight around your product or service.
9. Provide Omni-Channel Customer Support
Technology exists to provide world-class service to customers, no matter how they decide to contact your business. Communication channels like a commercial phone service, live chat, SMS, email, support tickets, and bots are essential today.
Tech-savvy brands go the extra mile to personalize the support experience as much as possible, in order to avoid having the customer repeat themselves or explain the same situation to multiple support agents.
Finally, social media is an increasingly popular channel, and you don’t have to be a social media expert to tap its potential. In fact, 67% of consumers said they have used a brand’s social media page for support outreach, so you should be right there to handle any issues that arise. Companies in today’s omnichannel world need to monitor social media complaints and respond to issues with empathy and humility.
If you allow for omnichannel interaction, then treat every channel as an opportunity to serve your clients. For example, if you allow customers to leave reviews for your products, then respond to those comments. And don’t just limit yourself to responding to problems. Thank customers if they leave a positive review, engage with them in discussions, ask them how you can make things even better — all this shows customers that you’re listening, and that they’re valuable to you.
10. Empower Customers With a Stellar Knowledge Base
Sometimes customer satisfaction means not having to contact a company at all. Empower your customers to thrive without you by providing resources they can access all on their own. These resources could include customer training materials such as knowledge base articles, how-to videos, webinars, and other enablement collateral.
Make sure your resources are relevant, easy to find, and timely. Invest in tech that puts the right resources into your customer’s hands at the right time. This might mean making resources available across channels and media.
We know that 80% of consumers expect better customer service since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Can your business afford to not raise the bar?
Memorable customer service moments can really enhance your customer journey and drive profits. Ask yourself: Are you providing enough of these moments to your customers? Are there areas of the customer experience that you need to improve? There probably are. Don’t delay it any longer, make it a priority today.