For most organizations, creating a customer service process that creates loyal customers is a constant challenge. In the day-to-day rush of trying to keep up with customer demands, it’s easy to lose sight of the principles and practices that have the greatest effect in the customer experience. One approach to ensure that every decision, process, and action makes the most of customers service’s ability to develop the customer relationship.
I rely on 3 C’s to ensure that customer service stays on track.
The 3 super C’s of customer service that create loyal customers:
1. Use Customer Service to COMMUNICATE with Customers
Communicate with customers. Can it get any more basic than this? I don’t think so. But we need to ensure that we’re communicating and not just talking to customers. Too often we just talk at our customers and do little actual communicating with customers. Communication involves a form of sharing and exchanging information.
Customer service communication is GIVING and RECEIVING information. Sometimes we receive customer feedback, other times, the receiving of communication is simply receiving an acknowledgement from the customer that the message has been received.
How many times have your received an email with a reply address of NO-REPLY@COMPANY_NAME.COM? NO REPLY? Why not? What customers have a question, or concern, or comment? Too bad, I guess.
We’ve long argued that getting customer feedback isn’t a right, it’s a privilege. These are people who want to help you succeed. That’s a special thing, and you need to reward them by listening to and acting on their feedback.
Community Manager, UserVoice.com
Evan & The UserVoice team, I salute you! Let’s all commit today to kill Mr. NO-REPLY. Sorry Mr. No Reply, you’re not part of the real customer service solution.
Communicate with customers, besides the actual product or service, it’s what customers want most. Communication is key to making your customers feel valuable. The quicker they hear back from you – the more respected and comfortable they feel that you are capable of serving them correctly.
2. Use Customer Service to CONNECT with Customers
Connect with customers. Send out greetings. Customers are human too, so when it comes to New Years, Christmas, Easter, etc., make sure to send out a mailer to reminder them you care.
If I could marry Zappos I would. They have everything I want in a relationship. They listen to complaints, give gifts as random acts of kindness, and even send flowers when down in the dumps.
-Jacob Ramos, PepperDigital
Does connecting with customers get any better than that? This is successful customer service, creating an experience where great service is associated with your brand. Don’t be afraid to invest money to make money. Every once in a while think of a promotion to make for your clients. Offer a 10% discount – a freebie if they order over a certain amount, send a gift. You will be surprised just how well this works with creating more sales.
3. Use Customer Service to CELEBRATE Customers
And last but not least, celebrate the customer. Even though the customer is NOT always right, they are always the customer. Customer want to know you care. Make sure that they know that you have their best interests at heart and that you are not looking for a quick sale. Smile, bite your tongue often, and no matter what, your customer needs to feel special!
No matter what business you’re trying your hand at, the simple fact of the matter is that you can’t do it without customers. Getting customers is one thing, but being able to keep them and bite them back for more orders is another thing.
Successful organizations with massive positive customer goodwill and awesome reputations are those that have embraced, live by, and innovate in customer service, customer experience, customer interaction and customer delight.