“Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” ~ Damon Richards
Stories of customer service that goes above-and-beyond are always captivating. Most people expect either run of the mill or poor service with long wait times and an uncaring staff. When the opposite of that happens, it’s like stumbling upon Harry Potter riding a unicorn at the bottom of a rainbow.
These tales are also heartwarming because the representative on the other end of the phone acted like a real person with a full range of human emotions. This is something that shouldn’t be so surprising, but it never ceases to amaze.
You might hear these mighty tales and think, “There’s no way I would be able to achieve anything like that. My business is so small.” The thing is, you can! Great customer service doesn’t always happen in grand gestures. The smallest things can make the biggest impact in customer experience. Here are four ways you can show your customers how much they mean to you.
Being Helpful Can Mean More Than Making Money
Sometimes, your customer will run into a pickle that will involve your product. Instead of making them figure the issue out themselves, help them to solve it. There are tons of stories like this from Zappos, the online shoe retailer that always goes out of its way to make its customers extremely happy.
One example of customer appreciation includes a man who had ordered shoes from the online retailer with enough time to receive them before he needed to travel for the wedding. He called Zappos when his shoes didn’t arrive due to the shipping being routed to the wrong location. Ready for the magic? Zappos set up a replacement pair to be sent to the groomsman’s destination and had the previous pair rerouted to return to Zappos. But that’s not all.
The man was then upgraded to a VIP account so all future purchases would have free shipping. And then the customer service rep told him since he was VIP, he gets a full refund on his shoes. That’s right. Zappos sent this man a free pair of shoes!
Yes, it’s important that you don’t give your products away for free constantly. However, when your customer is left in a lurch because of circumstances beyond their control, you can take the reins and make it right. We promise your customers will never forget it and they will tell everyone about it.
Your New Motto: Be the Ritz-Carlton
A little boy visited a Ritz-Carlton in Florida for a weekend getaway, and his beloved stuffed giraffe, Joshie, was left behind. The Ritz’s Loss Prevention Team contacted the family to let them know they had the little stuffed toy. The boy’s father explained how he had told his son a story of Joshie taking an extended stay and requested they send them an image of Joshie lounging poolside.
A few days later, Joshie was returned to his family in a package with some Ritz-Carlton branded toys. There was also a binder full of images from Joshie’s extended vacation.
The Loss Prevention Team at the Ritz could have taken the one photo and been done with it. Instead, they made a story that endeared the hotel to the parents and made the child feel better about where Joshie had been.The very fact that the Ritz has a team solely dedicated to lost items says a lot about how important their customers are to them. Taking the extra step for your customers really shows you care about them and their business.
Send Them a Replacement
The fact that this is a 7-year-old makes this story sweet, but we’re pretty sure Lego would take such awesome customer service measures with kids of any age.
Luka Apps sent an email to Lego after he lost one of his minifigures at the grocery store after his dad had told him to keep them at home. He even made a confession in his email: that he had snuck them into his pocket. Check out the correspondence:
So, Lego not only took the time to write the perfect letter (life lessons abound), but they also sent a replacement Jay Minifigure and a bad guy for him to fight. It doesn’t get much better than that. Understanding that your customer is human and, therefore, not flawless will help you to create an empathetic customer service support system.
Lego could have sent a letter telling the kid they were sorry he’d lost his minifigure with a discount coupon – pretty milktoast. Instead, sending a thoughtful letter with a replacement item and a new item the customer would enjoy helps to solidify the customer’s relationship with the company.
Make Your Communications Personal
Yes, you can keep things completely professional when your customers reach out to you. You can stick to the script and keep things copacetic – your customer will likely hang up the phone thinking things went just fine.
Or, you could pretend you’re a character from Star Trek during your entire conversation with customers and create a one-of-a-kind customer service experience. It appears the CSRs at Netflix are encouraged to stay in a character of their choosing when doing live chat sessions with customers.
Not only does the CSR stay in character, but the customer gets on board for the whole conversation. While it’s a step that could have easily been avoided, it made the experience memorable and fun for the customer without taking any additional time other than the CSR looking into the customer’s account to see what he watches.
Making your communications with the customer personable is just another way to show your customer how much you care. It’s so easy to stick to a script, or to be another person on the other side of a phone call or a live chat session. Why not make the experience something more memorable? It only takes a second.
Do you want to show your customers the love? It’s going to take a few extra steps and a willingness to make your business as customer-centric as possible and, though these companies are large, their customer service can be scaled down for even small businesses.
If you’re ready to build a customer-centric business, here are some handy tips from Micha Solomon on the Forbes site.
We’re ready to hear from you! What are some of your favorite examples of companies showing their customers some love? Tell us in the comments!