Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
A recent “customer experience” caused me to reflect on how I have observed that phrase over years.
Recently, I began using a new upscale grocery store shopping app. My personal shopper was unable to fill several items in my order. Since the pandemic, I’ve become accustomed to expect inventory shortages due to the “global supply chain crisis” so I wasn’t particularly upset by the grocer’s foible.
A few days later, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email apology for the “lack of service” and shortcomings in their job performance. They assured me that the deficiency does not represent nor comply with their company’s core values for client satisfaction.
Included in the email was a “because you were inconvenienced” coupon that allows me to order a high end product—at not cost. It is a product that I have purchased from their store on several occasions.
Even though I did not submit a complaint, this level of empathy demonstrated that the store understands how to:
- Be accountable. They stepped up and addressed the fact that they missed the mark by not meeting my expectations and that their own internal service standards had been compromised.
- Stand out from the competition. Their acknowledgment of the situation followed by an olive branch apology in the form of a product they know I like is a display of vulnerability. They know I will shop for that product again…regardless whether it is at their store or at their competitor’s store.
So, how were they able to provide stellar customer service to me in the face of perceived failure? Because they know the basic tenets of the “amaze your customer” model:
- They initiated a plan for problem resolution. Their email explained that, even with global supply shortages, they do their best to monitor stock levels in order to set appropriate expectations for their customers.
- They monitored my shopping activity. Apps are data rich and are uniquely positioned to synchronize customer information into a clear picture of the customer’s style and taste. In my case, they noted the number of chats I had with my personal shopper via the app.
- They were able to detect an issue and quickly respond. Chatting with a shopper is not in itself unusual, however, the number of canceled items in my order raised a red flag. The grocery store shopping app reacted to that red flag by reviewing my shopping experience and the grocery store manager reached out to me to resolve the issue.
Has your business implemented an “amaze your customer” model? Let us know in the comments below. Remember to always do your part to make it a great day!
A memorable experience! As a consumer, who among us doesn’t want that on a consistent basis?
Customers form opinions about your service based on many things—beginning with the way you talk to them.
Great customer service begins from the first point of contact…over the phone, virtually, online, face-to-face. Regardless of the method, your greeting should impact customers such that they have a longing to do business with you indefinitely.
A genuine embrace with your body language, facial expression, other non-verbal acknowledgement tells them you affirm their presence…it is the first step in building a relationship. Now, that’s only the beginning. The following are basic principles to consider as you protect one of your most precious assets…your client:
- Ask how he/she/they want to be addressed…”Mr. Smith”, “Mrs. Johnson”, “Dr. Matthews”. Do not use their first name unless they’ve given permission to do so.
- Your greeting should be professional and not rehearsed. Avoid too much banter and being loquacious.
- The ability to read body language, tone of voice (written or verbal) can offer great insight as to the level and frequency of interaction a customer prefers. For example, an introvert may prefer a quick greeting void of small talk. Remember to offer a sincere smile while speaking on the phone, texting, online, and face-to-face…your client can hear it in your voice.
Your greeting provides an opportunity to deepen the relationship, create community roots, and increase customer loyalty.
In the comments below let us know what makes your customer greeting special. Make it a great day!
According to Wikipedia.com, cancel culture is a form of “shunning or boycotting” an individual based on their egregious behavior or controversial statement. Undoubtedly you’ve heard of celebrities being “cancelled” and falling victim to cancel culture, but what about companies? Yes, companies have also gotten caught up in cancel culture. Look no further than your breakfast table and you’ll find examples of companies and brands such as Goya Foods, Aunt Jemima (Pearl Milling Co.), and Cream of Wheat that have recently faced such backlash.
Being prepared is a company’s best defense when it comes to cancel culture. First and foremost, hear your customer clearly and assess the gravity of the situation. Never underestimate the power and reach of social media. Baby boomers may mistakenly view social media as frivolous; however, it is important to actively monitor your social media for customer complaints. Addressing customer complaints quickly and properly is imperative. Using social media to solicit solutions from customers is a great way to show customers that you care and you’re listening.
Second, consider all the ways your message could be interpreted. This is one of the reasons diversity is important. Despite your intent, your message can be interpreted differently by others based on their life experiences and beliefs. Draw on your team’s diversity for feedback.
And finally, mistakes are bound to happen. But it is important to quickly address errors and accept responsibility. Offer an empathetic and genuine apology alongside your plan for improvement or prevention.
Now, let’s go out there and make it a great day!
At last ! The world is slowly reopening and employees are returning to work. Everyone is excited about being out and about…especially business owners. In all of the commotion, there’s a high probability that abundant changes are needed in the workplace. In this blog, we’re offering ideas about how to enhance employee morale, strengthen customer service, and increase sales.
Change your perspective
View “new normal” challenges as opportunities for growth and improvement. Avoid approaching problems with a defeatist attitude. Visualize how positive outcomes will help your firm thrive. Then share your ideas with clients via social media and other communication outlets.
Get back to basics
Revisit soft skills basics such as effective communication, empathy, and positive attitudes. Now is not the time to allow customer service to fall by the wayside; in fact, it’s time to double down on delivering an experience that is unique only to your brand. Empathize with customers and maintain a positive mindset.
Communication is key. Be upfront and honest with clients about what they should expect from the level of service you’ll deliver. Keep them in the loop about policy changes.
Set realistic attainable expectations from your team. Highlight expectations in weekly staff huddles.
If a project cost is going to run over due to price increases in raw materials, share this information with clients immediately. Give as much information as possible to ensure an understanding that they’re not being overcharged.
Let your customer know you appreciate their patience by writing personalized “thank you” notes, applying a customized postage stamp, and dropping it in the mail.
Products and Policies
Due to shifts in the marketplace, consider whether you should update your company’s policy or services. Whether it’s a reduced staffing model or limited supplies, these “constraints” may require a change in how you conduct business. Doing so may increase employee efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Let us know in the comments how your business is pivoting in the face of such challenges.
Make it a great day!
As many offices begin to re-open, workers can expect to be met with new safety protocols, open concept workspaces, and varying levels of comfortability in our world of the “new normal”. As we adjust to these fresh starts, it is more important than ever to draw on our ability to empathize with others and maneuver workspaces with thoughtfulness.
Tip 1: Review Covid-19 Safety Protocols
Policies and rules vary from business to business, so be sure to take note of all safety protocols provided by your employer prior to returning to the office. Pack an extra mask so that you’re prepared for situations such as offsite client meetings that may fall under different protocols than your workplace.
Tip 2: Avoid the “V” Topic
Returning to the office provides an opportunity to become reacquainted with colleagues and catch-up on life events. Conversations can quickly turn to vaccination status and it should be avoided. This is private medical information and intrusive inquiries are inappropriate. Likewise the oversharing of vaccination information can also make people uncomfortable.
Tip 3: Leave Your Tchotchkes at Home
Many companies are moving to open concept workspaces with unassigned seating. This can be a big adjustment for people who enjoy having all their creature comforts nearby. Also, refrain from encroaching on temporarily unoccupied desks with your overflow.
Tip 4: Embrace Meeting New Neighbors
These new open concept workspaces create a fluid community. While some may prefer the routine of seeing the same faces everyday, open concept seating allows for new connections and communities to grow so it is likely you will have rotating workplace neighbors.
Observing these general tips should help with the transition from remote work. Be sensitive to the fact that everyone’s level of comfort will vary (respect one another’s boundaries). Extend a bit of grace as we all continue to shift and pivot.
We’d love to hear from you. Please share your tips for transitioning from remote work in the comments below!
Make it a great day.