#7 How to Meet Customers Expectations.
Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong. ~ Donald Porter
What's perfect anyway? Perfection is a subjective call. We are emotionally more sensitive and educated at the same time than we have ever been. We understand.
What can we do as customer experience superstars to make clients loyal to us?
What can we do to keep them with us in this ever changing world of preferences?
Trust is the queen of everything. Would you give your money to somebody who you don’t trust? My wild guess is “NO”. Then don’t expect customers to give their money to you if they don’t trust you. It's that simple.
How to build trust?
Do what you promise - If you promise to call, then call. If you promise to answer in 2 hours, answer in 2 hours. Sometimes life happens and there might be multiple reasons why you can’t keep your promise. Be honest and let your customers know what happened. In my experience, people are more or less really understanding and you can still be friends.
Communication - Always keep your customers updated what's happening. If you see people in their 30s with grey hair, it’s mostly because of not knowing. Be flexible with different social channels that your customer chooses. Always reply in the same channels, whether it’s facebook, e-mail, twitter, phone call etc. Also, double check that the info about your company is the same in different channels. If it’s not, it confuses people and it’s bad for your business. We had that same problem in Shipitwise for a short period of time after pivoting. A lot of people had a different understanding what we actually do.
Invest in customer support - CS team talk with your customers the most. Coach them how to solve problems. Coach them how to approach different personalities. Every single person in your team is your brand ambassador. Every single person needs to be motivated and feel valued. They sell your vision and ideas out of the office. It costs more to have naysayers in your team than invest your time and effort in your people. Can you really afford unhappy employers who don't like their work?
Don’t force your product/service to your customers - You have 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason. Use them in the same 2:1 ratio. Listen 2 times more than you speak. I do it every day. I advise people to use other services when I feel that my service isn’t the best option for them today. Your customers remember that you put their needs in front of your ego and they refer you to their friends.
Always be respectful about your competitors - I recently changed my mobile operator. After I made the change, my old operator called me and basically told me that I made a bad choice and my new operator lied to me. Guess if I’m interested in going back to my old operator? Hell no.
You might not always have a solution for your customer, but you must always be empathetic. Always reckon with their emotions. It’s important that you prove you actually care. Always know their name and use it to make it more personal. If there are any problems which are why they most likely contact you, apologise that the issue occurred.
Show that you understand why they might be pissed and that you would do anything in your power to make them happy. Always keep calm even, if they are not. Ask them how would they solve the problem so that the customer would be happy. You might get really good feedback what they need to keep them satisfied.
Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. ~ Damon Richards
When’s the right time to respond to your customers? 5 minutes before they contacted you.
In Shipitwise we answer maximum 5 hours after they contacted us. For urgent matters, we also use live chat on our web page. Keep in mind that once you have opened a new channel for your customers, you can’t go back. Opening new channels always guarantee the best quality, quantity comes second.
If you only use e-mails and phone, it’s totally fine as long as your quality of response is high. Even though customers expect us to answer them instantly, keep in mind that quality of your answers is more important than the speed. Answering after 5 minutes that “I’m working on it” is rarely enough. Quality comes first!
Your service needs to be easily accessible, realistic, understandable. Customers need to be sure that they get, what they pay for.
Feed from feedback. Always ask for it and let them know that it’s really important to you and for them. Feedback is the core. You build your product or service on that feedback. You have to understand, our customers dictate what kind of service they use and are ready to pay for. Things have changed in the past 10-15 years. Go with it.
The more you engage with customers the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing. ~ John Russell
It’s everything that the customer can see, touch, smell. In the internet era just having a digital presence is not enough. Physical presence is really important. Customers need to know who they are dealing with. Show your people, your office, send them birthday cards, meet them in person etc.
As you see it all comes down to basic human interaction. I really hope you found something that you can put to good use right away and helps you connect better with your customers. Having a loyal customer is the key to sustainable business.
Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you. ~Chip Bell