No matter how much technology is used to facilitate customer relationships, a great customer experience comes down to human-to-human interaction. No matter who I ask about great customer experiences, the common theme among the best experiences are the way people communicated with them and made them feel valued. Whether talking about health care, travel, online shopping, or tech support, these universal languages of customer experience create goodwill and build a stronger relationship.
The best companies demonstrate this – they recognize us when we call in, go online, or go into their store, office or restaurant; they address us by our names, they remember us, and they act like they care we’re there and are ready to assist. Do you remember your customers? Do you know their names? Do you recognize them and welcome them? Even if you don’t know them, do you make them feel welcomed and appreciated? Recognition is one of the easiest and most impactful languages to speak.
Everyone’s time is valuable – yours as well as your customers. If you want to be a world-class customer experience company, demonstrate that you respect and care about your customer’s time. Answer the phone quickly, get them to the right links and pages quickly. Do the work for your customers. Give your customers uninterrupted time in a way that demonstrates you are focused only on them. Listen. Help them. Be of service. Respecting your customer’s time – or not – is heard loud and clear.
I’m a fan of Hug Your Customers, but the author Jack Mitchell didn’t only mean physical hugs. There are a lot of ways to deliver a non-physical hug, and whether we’re communicating remotely or face to face, delivering a metaphorical hug is a powerful and unforgettable language. An act of kindness, empathy, and appreciation can make somebody’s day. Everyone has stories of positively unforgettable customer experiences. Those stories set the bar for all of us. Ask your customers to tell their stories of how you’ve touched them. Use their stories to build your literacy.
It’s great that companies recognize their customers and give them undivided attention. Companies also need to act – to provide help, fix a problem, or resolve an issue. When you listen to customers and meet their needs, you learn how to take positive action so that you deliver better CX to all your customers in the future. Words alone don’t matter without the language of action.
Are you speaking your customer’s language?