Ever wondered how to provide revolutionary customer service in a digital setting, across numerous platforms? How to be in all places at all times? How to manage the overwhelm of this? You are not alone!
As increasing amounts of business transactions are conducted in the digital space, it becomes challenging to manage customer service communication across all interactions. Customers are no longer in one physical location and customer service training can no longer be limited to shop front staff. As our social media generated connections increase, so does the need to widen our customer service delivery expectations. For businesses setting up in a purely digital service delivery, this is even more critical. In this article we look at ways to take what could be a potential threat and turn it into a golden opportunity.
“Revolution starts with a clear vision of a world different from the one we have today” according to John DiJulius whom I had the absolute pleasure of hearing presentation in San Diego last year. The list of tips below are drawn from the key learning that I took away from his presentation.
1. Customer experience is the new marketing
Ever talked about a brand experience, good or bad, on social media? Increasing numbers of consumers are doing just this. How they felt and what they experienced with your brand, often complete with pictures is posted far and wide for other to see – sometimes there commentary is so witty (or unfortunately scathing) that it at times goes viral across that platform.
Enter, the new realm of customer driven marketing – ignore it at your peril.
Through the ‘word of mouse’ your customers now have the ability to talk on your social media page, to connect with your customer and it allows communication to hundreds maybe thousands of your customers. it’s a scary thought but also, a brilliant opportunity. If you can assist in making these conversations positive, if you empower your customers with respect and recognition, you are effectively creating brand ambassadors from them. They can then promote your brand as third party, non biased marketing.
It’s not free marketing because you need to take the time and resource to support this interaction however, it is incredible powerful marketing. The type that money can’t buy. The experience and opinions that your customers share about your brand, the advocacy that this provides is fundamental to building your customer community in a digital world.
2. The age old adage, the customer is always right
In the digital world, this doesn’t change. The basics of good customer service still apply, it is the application of how this service is delivered that is changing.
Good customer service comes from a place of almost obsessing about your customers. They need to be placed at the center of importance in your business. You need to focus and work on establishing and maintaining powerful, meaningful relationships. Thinking about how can we delight and exceed expectations for our customers.To do this, businesses need to have a very clear understanding of WHO there customer is, what motivates them and why they fit the parameters of your ideal customer. Once you know this, it becomes easier to understand what it is that your customer wants from you and how you can ensure that they’ll always have the perception that they are ‘right’.
Customer power – word of mouse
3. Take the negative offline
Inevitable at some stage you will experience negative customer feedback online. We are all humans at the end of the day, we make mistakes. Making the mistake in business or delivering bad customer service is not the threat, it is how that mistake or negative interaction is handled that provides the potential threat.
At the point at which your customer leaves negative feedback, you are actually provided with an amazing opportunity if handled correctly. The opportunity to be a hero. Your customer is feeling vulnerable and you have the opportunity to rescue them. If it is your business approach to customer service ‘that no unhappy customer be left behind’ that every negative experience will be rescued, you create the opportunity to turn it around, to change this into a positive.
Acknowledge your customers negative experience and take responsibility for it. Once the acknowledgment has taken place publicly via the online method that your customer reached out to you, take it offline. Offer a suitable resolution for the issue and offer to provide that resolution directly with that customer. Do not let it continue to play out in a public digital space. Ensure that you and your team learn from this experience and that it is not a repeated issue.
If the complaint of concern is managed proactively and in timely manner, you have the potentially to turn this customer from feeling dissatisfied into feeling advocacy for your brand. The experience can actually increase that customers’ feeling of loyalty towards you.
4. Create a Customer Service Vision Statement
To truly put customers at the center of your business, it is important to create a vision that is just focused on your customer service delivery. This is not a marketing statement or about the direction for your business, it is about verbalizing the experience that you want for your customers. This vision needs to be shared by every single person in your business, you must live, breath and deliver on your service vision at all levels of staff. Through every customer interaction, every time.
Revolutionize your business by making sure that at every level, through every communication point, the focus is on your customers. Give more customer satisfaction and experience at every touch point. Whatever business you are in, make sure that your entire team understands that you are in the business of people. Without your customers, there is no business.
If you implement a successful customer vision and turn your business into one that always delivers positive customer experience, you move away from competing in price. You can become a brand that your customers won’t want to live without. The experience that you provide becomes and integral part of their life and this helps in your radical over through, to make price irrelevant.
Every person has story. To help create a digital customer service revolution in your business, develop the story around it. Communicate this internally and help all staff foster a sense of ownership for your customer service expectations. Make it second nature, the way you do business and make the most of the opportunities available through digital communication.
If you’d like to contact me to discuss digital customer service, I’d love to hear from you! You can email me directly via firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also check out The DiJulius Group website where you’ll find more information from John DiJulius about the Customer Service Revolution.