Receiving exceptional customer service triggers the same cerebral reactions as feeling loved, as per American Express Service Study, which shows that it is not about what customers think for your service, but it is about how you make them FEEL.
Today, many brands are trying to improve their customer services with out of the box concepts, latest technologies and even trends but a very few of them actually understand that among all these changes, the core of delivering exceptional services remains the same – “Feeling” of customers!, of being recognized, listened to, valued and loved.
So being a smart brand, do not fall prey to anything and everything but experiment with below mentioned tactics to delight your customers.
1. Digital Info – sense
As per IBM’s report in 2014, 36% of global consumers are willing to share their current location with retailers via GPS – that’s almost double the year’s 2013’s number.
Today’s cutting edge technology and willingness of consumers to share data online have made it easy for brands to capture useful information like consumer’s location, preferences, buying patterns and much more in real time. And smart brands are making sense of this information by offering real-time custom data to consumers, online and offline, to shape and enhance their experiences/services they receive. Start experimenting with apt technologies and offer tailored customer eservices at the right time and right place.
2. Backup plan
Consumers are in search for ‘NEW’ every day. They are more than willing to try new products and services that deliver better quality and experience. While being in such fierce competitive environment, you should be ready with your backup plan, instead of waiting for your competitor’s next move.
Find out what can be the common pain points of your customers and improvement areas, where you can introduce a complementary offer to please the customer and stop him from the brand switch. Keep offering something ‘new’ which works as your backup plan to retain your customers. These offerings can be small ones which cost less to you but add big value to customer’s experiences.
Example: if you are an e-tailer and promise to offer fastest delivery at home, your
Plan A: Your purchase is delivered to your home within one day.
Plan B: We will deliver it to your nearest retail store.
You can join forces with big retail chain, utilize their local store availability near to your customer’s home and live up-to your customer’s expectations.
3. More than just delivery
Customer centric brands are already going one extra mile to deliver more than just promised. Be it goods or timely services, brands are coming up with innovative offerings added to such deliverable to enhance customer experiences. Do not stick to just delivering what is expected but surprise your customers with something extra being delivered. Keep improving your existing services and start experimenting with some innovative ideas.
4. Interactions via Videos
Tech exists! We have been enjoying on-demand face time with our friends and family since many years, but when it comes to business, many brands are lagging behind. But now is the time to catch up and finally offer effective webcam-enabled face-to-face interaction with help of your customer service team to your customers whenever they need it.
In June 2014, Mumbai based IndusInd bank launched Video Branch: a service that provides video conferencing with branch managers. Customers just need a free mobile or desktop app that enables them to participate in video call, complete transaction and access a contact number. Your customer service is not about offering just a ‘virtual assistance’ but offering an ‘interaction’ that humanize the entire customer experience.
5. Soft Skills to drive satisfaction
The entire customer relationship experience is formed by two way communication and hence it is vital to step into your client’s shoes and understand their behavior, background, expectations and till date experience of using your product or service to deliver exceptional customer support. To make it possible, build a client centric skilled team who listens to client’s complaints with patience, empathy and share feedback with politeness and clear communication. These soft skills are of utmost importance along with deep product knowledge. Start acknowledging their skills and reward them with incentives. Keep the team motivated.
Remember it is about making your customers feel loved. Innovation, trends and new technologies are only means to the end i.e. delighting, surprising and serving consumers. Start looking for fresh ideas and supportive technology or tools like customer support software which offers integrated customer service activities and make it possible to delight customers at every interaction.
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Thanks Bhakti. I would love to hear your experience with any brand that offered you exceptional customer service.