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!
In previous discussions we’ve touched on measuring customer satisfaction. Let’s also explore how to close the gap between customer expectations and customer experiences. The customer experience has several components ranging from packaging to logistics to employees performance.
As an oversimplification, the customer experience can be described as how consumers view and receive a company’s brand. Consistent positive experiences are the springboard to establising loyalty and creating a competitive advantage over competition.
Consumers want efficient service and quality products but they also want to do business with companies who share their values on topics such as diversity, ethics, and the environment. Using data collected from customers through surveys and other means, companies can determine where they fall short. Your approach to improve the situation must be holistic. For example, data may show that customers think your marketing doesn’t influence them. The fix will require re-examining your product/service as well as intangible systems such as empathy, etc.
Implementing a holistic approach to improve the customer experience also includes re-shaping your company’s principles regarding your:
- Customer Service Philosophy
- Vision Statement
- Mission Statement
- Core Values
- Corporate Culture
- Customer Experience Vision Statement
The customer experience vision statement will serve as the guiding light for every employee and will drive business decisions. Every employee plays a role in shaping the customer experience, therefore, all of these principles should be embedded in training and development…they must be at the core of every behavior and interaction.
Be obsessed with your customers’ experiences and make it a great day!
Dialing up the client services department to complain (or compliment) about your buying experience can be a hassle. Let’s be honest, it’s just easier to use social media to convey good or bad consumer experiences to solve our problem.
Social media customer service was once a rarely used service channel, however, that has changed. Companies are bringing customer service pages back to the internet.
According to Forbes Business Magazine, addressing service quality on a social media platform boosts a company’s brand. When executed with empathy, it presents situations to the public that describes how the business treats its consumers (this can also be a golden opportunity to shine if you’re delivering exceptional quality care).
To thrive in commerce on the world wide web, your customer service had better be on point. So, consider this:
1) Identify which social media platform you’ll use to communicate with customers. Ideally, it should be the same platform the majority of your customers currently use.
2) Decide on an appropriate response time. How quickly will you commit to responding to your customers? Most customers expect feedback within an hour. Establish customer expectations with automated responses that identify turnaround time. Post your service hours.
3) Make sure your company’s values are reflected when acknowledging customers criticisms. Coach employees on proper verbal and written tone of voice. Offer specific examples and encourage role play to enhance the training.
4) Monitor conversations on your social media platforms in order to gain insight into public opinions about your business and products. Use it to improve your weaknesses.
Tell us how social media has impacted your customer service delivery.
Remember, 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!