If you respect your customers, they are more likely to respond positively to you and you will increase customer satisfaction.
That sounds pretty simple and straightforward, right? However, it’s not always easy to find the respectful interaction that will work for both you and your customers.
While perhaps not every company will achieve glowing satisfaction ratings like Zappos or the Ritz (though every company should try), there are at least a few basics that you can follow.
Let Me Do It – Self-service
The most basic way to respect your customers is to start with the assumption that they can answer at least some of their own questions if you provide them with the proper tools. Be sure you include enough information on your website to answer basic questions like what are you selling, why do your customers want to buy what you have to offer, and what different types of options do you provide. You should also ensure your website is user-friendly and information is easily accessible.
When it comes to customers contacting you, it’s OK to automate at least part of your system. For instance, an interactive voice response (IVR) system can provide quick access to information like bank statements, store hours, or directions. This type of automation empowers customers to quickly resolve questions by providing basic options without a lot of needless conversation.
Just be sure to ensure that your automated system is working properly and is easy to navigate. There’s nothing satisfying about trying to interpret a garbled system or dealing with an automated phone system that breaks down during heavy usage times.
Let Me Talk to You – Assisted Service
Self-help is great, but there are moments when your customers’ requirements will go beyond the basics. That’s when it’s time to provide access to a human being.
The first step is to make sure that your website provides multiple ways to easily interact with a live person. Social media can provide that avenue, but remember that that’s a very public way to handle things. In addition, today’s online businesses must use engagement tools like chat, cobrowsing and screen sharing to guide their customers through the online experience.
Most customers recognize that not every question can be resolved immediately. As long as you really hear what they have to say and make your best effort to close out the conversation in a matter that’s satisfactory to both parties, you’re on the right track. And if the customer follows up at a later date, the agent handling the issue should have the customers’ information ready and easily accessible, so they don’t have to repeat the entire story.
Respect Goes Both Ways
People who have a respectful experience are more likely to be repeat customers. Moreover, they are likely to share their experience with their friends and families. Word of mouth is a powerful influencer in the buying cycle.
If you provide respectful customer experiences, there is no doubt that you will reap the rewards for your efforts.