Customer service that delights. That’s always the goal, right?
It’s easy for business owners to get bogged down with all the options for creating the best possible customer experience. From paying consultants to software to chat tools and on and on…there are a number of solutions right at your fingertips.
The thing is that all the tools and software and consultants can’t beat a strong sense of empathy and a willingness to work with your customers. So, it’s time to put your wallet away and start looking inward.
You don’t have to have a crazy huge budget or own a giant corporation to provide a Zappos-level of customer service. Check out these tips that will help you create the kind of service your customers have always wished for.
1. Pretend you’re speaking to your favorite person in the world.
I’m sure you’re aware of the phrase, “Fake it till you make it,” and people use it all the time because it actually works. You aren’t going to like all of your customers. Yet, maybe if you pretend they are someone you love, you’ll be happier to delight.
So, you love your mom; everything she says is like music to your ears and you would do anything to make her happy. Now, pretend that distraught customer is your mom (just don’t call that person mom). Soon you’ll find you’re eager to help customers no matter the circumstances.
2. Pay special attention to your current customers.
A lot of companies place a huge emphasis on bringing in new customers and then letting them fend for themselves forever after. Why isn’t it the opposite?
It’s a fact that only a five percent increase in customer retention can increase a business’s profitability by 75 percent! Acquiring new customers is extremely costly, so taking care of the customers you have is critical for a business to thrive.
Check out our infographic on the importance of customer retention to learn more.
3. Remove the phrase “I don’t know,” from your vocabulary.
We’re all human beings. We can’t possibly know all there is to know, but by removing this phrase and replacing it, “Let me check on that for you,” can both build trust with your customers and communicate that you will do what it takes to find an answer. On top of that, negative speech doesn’t go over well with an angry or upset customer. Keep it positive.
4. Answer your phone with a live person.
Automation has its place, but most people would rather speak directly with an actual person than wading through a sea of options with an auto-attendant.
According to the Genesys Global Survey, 40 percent of customers crave better human service. The crux: it can be difficult to answer all your phone calls and run a business. A simple solution is to hire an off-site live receptionist. Whether you choose to use a service or a remote employee, it’s a great way to get the phone off your plate.
5. Accountability is your friend.
I’ve shared my own experience about just how powerful taking the blame can be, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Business and customer experience experts agree when accountability is taken from the shoulders of the customer, it makes the organization look stronger.
For the naysayers out there: taking the blame for a problem is not the same thing as saying the customer is always right. In fact, you can take accountability even when a customer is technically incorrect. Just be sure you place the ball in your court.
6. Go beyond listening and actually pay attention.
I know you’ve heard this one before, but it’s always good to get a little reminder. It’s really easy to listen to someone talk on the phone or to your face. But are you actually hearing what your customers are saying to you?
One of the biggest keys to providing the type of service that delights and goes beyond expectations requires an empathetic ear. A lot of people don’t know how to actively listen. Need some practice? Check out this post by Marie-Claire Dean about honing the art of active listening.
7. Get some damn sleep.
Get some damn sleep.
The CDC reports that one in three Americans is getting at least seven hours of sleep per night. What this means is there are plenty of exhausted business owners working on little sleep; nearly 98 percent of the population either works for or owns a small business.
The physical advantages of a good night’s sleep are pretty obvious, but there are less obvious pros to getting eight or more hours of shut-eye. More sleep makes you more productive, increases cognition, and helps with problem-solving. And, let’s face it, more patient and kind.
So, do your customers a solid and get more sleep. Learn more about why sleep is so essential to your business here!
If you want to provide the kind of service that blows hair back and warms hearts, it’s going to take some work. And a lot of that work is taking a look at your own reflection and making the choice to change for the better for the sake of your customers. Trust us – they’re worth it.