Delighting your Customers
Nothing is more powerful than going out of your way to give a customer something that they weren’t expecting or anticipating from you. It’s like giving them an unexpected gift!
Experiencing a ‘wow’ moment, especially when given early on in the customer service cycle, can change the mood and perception the customer has of you and elevate the whole customer experience. This can significantly help to build long term loyalty and trust to your whole business or brand.
Delighting your customers doesn’t even need to be onerous. Here are some practical tips:
1. Identify examples of ‘wow’ moments in your organisation
These could then become part of your standard offering, helping to continuously raise your customer service standards.
2. Adapt these customer ‘wow’ moments
Try to embed them into other aspects, or touch points, of your customer service process.
3. Recognise and reward outstanding employees
Staff who provide these customer ‘wow’ moments should be rewarded as quickly as you can; usually within 48 hours.
4. Consider ways of adding value and making things easy
Think about how to enhance your customers’ experience when they buy your products or services. For example:
- Offer additional resources or product features
Think about how you could improve part of the overall service, or product package. For example, if you are a car manufacturer, this might be fitting an accessory socket in your new cars, compatible with the latest electronic gadget.
- Trial optional packaged services
This will make things easier for your customer. For example, Amazon offer customers a gift wrapping service, along with delivery options, at the time of your product purchase, to speed up the process of sending presents worldwide. How can you improve the packaging of your products or services to make your customer’s life easier?
- Offer out of hours and automated customer support
As technology and communication tools are now available to us, progressive organisations now provide customer support in different formats that are available 24 hours, 7 days per week.
- How much on-line support information and purchasing options can you provide on your products and services?
- How easy is the information to find and how well does it cover every aspect the customer may need?
Recent research suggests that more and more customers want automated processes and information at their finger tips. However, you may want to provide a telephone, email or on-line customer forum to better respond to customer questions and needs, especially where you are offering bespoke services. Which model/s would suit your customer’s needs and business services best?
- Provide a returns service that is easy for the customer to implement
A number of major retailers provide an on-line option to record the return and print out the return label, without having to pay an additional fee.
- Pick up on customer comments via social media
This is especially important as more people turn to social media to share their day-to-day experiences. One example being the hotel in the US who replied to another hotel’s customer, tweeting that they were in a very long queue at a hotel check in. The hotel manager responded by wishing him a good stay in their city, ideas for eating close by to the hotel and his contact details. Not surprisingly, the customer booked with that hotel next time they were in the area. He also told some friends who then booked a large conference there the following year, based on their service!
- Offer different communication methods
Embrace individual customer needs and preferences. Consider a visual, auditory and kinaesthetic approach, rather than just providing written information to promote your services and products.
- Send staff out as ‘mystery shoppers’ to your competitors
Let them see for themselves what others are doing. Get them to share their experience with you and the team and see what best practice or ‘wow’ moment for delighting your customers you can adopt and what ideas you can implement.
5. Invest in customer service training
This will stimulate ideas to enhance your customer service. Choose a provider who will really get to know your business and who can support your business strategy and service standards.
Develop your own short internal customer service training sessions to raise the importance of customer service and get your employees really involved.
About the Author
, MCIPD is Company Founder of KSL Training. Kim has 30 years training and HR management experience in the Retail, Hospitality and Pharmaceutical industry.