Good customer service is key to the success of any business. Seems obvious doesn’t it? Studies show that nearly 80% of companies believe they deliver a superior customer experience, however only 8% of their customers agree. Today’s technological advancements completely shift the level of power consumers have over businesses. Customers now have the ability to publicly voice their experiences to significant masses of people, simply with a tap of a phone screen. This is imperative for businesses to take seriously as 86% of Australians look online for product and service information. Of this, personal reviews are the most trusted source of information.
But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom for your business, glowing reviews and posts also have just as much impact to potential customers. And the best part about it is that is it free! All it takes is showing a bit of love, attention and support to your customers.
As Ezidebit’s goal is to ensure business success, we have collated 3 excellent examples of great customer service and tips that can be adopted into your business. Each lesson has been trialled and tested by real life companies, so it makes sense to implement them into your business!
EXAMPLE 1: A happy and positive attitude is infectious
A few years ago Pearl, an 89 year old employee from a Pennsylvania Arby’s fast food chain decided she wanted to put a bit of ‘cheer’ back into her store. Pearl brought in her old pair of pom-poms and would welcome every new customer into the store with a cheerful hello, big smile and an enthusiastic waive of her colourful pom-poms.
Customers remarked on how contagious her energy was and soon enough the restaurant turned into one of the most popular lunch destinations. As a result, Arby’s customer satisfaction surveys and social media posts produced more positive results.
Lesson: Create a positive and happy environment as soon as your customers arrive. This will ensure that they feel welcome and at home which will result in a successful overall customer experience. In addition, this will also help to distinguish your business from other competitors and spark your customers to post positive feedback online as well as verbally recommend your services to their peers.
EXAMPLE 2: Going above and beyond the call of duty will give your business more street credit than paid advertising ever could
A couple of years back, a family stayed at the Ritz-Carlton hotel chain whilst on a vacation. When they returned home after their vacation, their young son was distraught after realising he had left his beloved toy giraffe named Joshie at the hotel. His parents told him that Joshie was on an ‘extended vacation’ and was due home soon. That night they called the Ritz-Carlton and organised for Joshie who had been safely found, to be sent home. A couple of days later, a package arrived at the families door that included Joshie, a collection of Ritz-Carlton ‘goodies’ and a series of photos that documented Joshie’s ‘extra vacation’.
This is just one of the many extraordinary stories of customer service and staff going the extra mile that has earned the Ritz-Carlton their 5 star status. Many of their stories are similar to ‘Joshie the Giraffe’, and have gone viral with people sharing and spreading their tales of customer service excellence all over the world.
Lesson: Encouraging your staff to go out of their way for customers will never go unnoticed. Even if it is something small like opening the door for your customers or sending a birthday message, it will add significant value to your brands experience. More importantly, actions like these create trust as they make people feel important and valued by the company.
EXAMPLE 3: Listen and learn from your customers
Conducting feedback from customers is vital to business success. A company that knows the benefits of this very well is TechSmith, a world leading provider of screen capture and recording software. Originally TechSmith exclusively provided services for Windows users, but after a feedback survey was conducted, TechSmith saw the need to expand its services to Mac users who were very disappointed that there was no product available for them as well. Over the ten month trial process:
- More than 100,000 people downloaded the Mac screen capture program named ‘Snagit’
- 445,000 people engaged in constructive online dialogues to creating more ideas for Snagit
- 1,200 unique topics were created by users
By allowing the customer base to play a large role in the production process, TechSmith saved $500,000 and created a better product that customers raved about. TechSmith never had to employ a Technical Support team as if users had any questions they simply visited the online forums to find answers. Furthermore once the product was ready to market, the marketing team simply used the online communities to view feedback, test and refine messages before taking to the public which resulted in an accurate vision of the brands new product.
Lesson: Members are your business’s lifeblood. Listen to them, and encourage them to communicate any suggestions, problems or concerns to your business. Start introducing surveys, monthly feedback emails or even just make a point of chatting to customers every 6 month’s to see how your business can continually improve its services. This will decrease the chance that they will communicate negative opinions to their peers, and leave them feeling as if their concerns are taken seriously. If your business successfully and efficiently deals with each problem, it will create a stronger bond between a customer and your brand.
The ingredient for success
These days, it could not be more crucial to the survival and success of a business to put customers first and provide impeccable service. Great customer service can be something small; a warm smile, a friendly welcome and creating a feeling that their opinions matter. It all makes that little bit of difference; and at the end of the day, it can be a differential factor between customers sticking with you or going to your competitors.So go on. Showcase your amazing, happy, positive, caring and loving business to the world! With a big smile on your face and a heart big enough to go that extra mile for your customers.