Your job as a marketeer isn’t selling products, it’s selling a experience.
Inspiring your customers to fall in love with your company requires more than grand gestures. It takes an ongoing investment of consistently great service. This can feel daunting, especially if you’re a small business with limited staff, but by incorporating a few core principles into your business model, customer happiness can be integrated into everything you do.
1. Be human
Customers want to interact with human beings who are friendly and helpful. In every aspect of your company — from email marketing to your help desk — approach people like you would approach neighbors (not the one with the dog who keeps on barking). By creating a human experience, you can spark meaningful relationships with current and future customers.
2. Always listen
Listening is a skill. After all, don’t you hate being interrupted? There are a lot of ways to listen to customers, but the most important thing is to make sure they know you hear them.
During all interactions, mirror back the experiences of customers with understanding. Combined with social listening tools and feedback analysis, this empathetic approach can set off fireworks between you and your community. I use a CRM where I write everything a customer tells me, from the birthday of their spouse to favourite whisky.
3. Be transparent about changes
Every organization is going to hit bumps that disrupt business. Whether it’s a mistake or a data leak, you’re more likely to recover if you get out in front of the problem. Always practice transparency. Share the problem and your concerns, along with any steps you’re taking to resolve the issue.
Don’t forget: Your clients wants to hear about breakthroughs too.
4. Treat every customer like a VIP
Being a VIP has some real perks. More than any specific benefit, VIP status offers the warm-and-fuzzy that someone values and appreciates you. The good news is that you can give that to every customer, regardless of their budget or needs.
5. Value consistency
In the service industry, you’re only as good as the last meal you serve — and that’s true of any customer service business. It actually takes 12 positive experiences to offset one not-so-great interaction.
To hit the mark every time, companies need to empower employees with cohesive values, standards and guidelines for interacting with customers. The trick is to provide consistency in the level of service while still enabling team members to play to their strengths.
Saying sorry is always essential, but sorry isn’t always enough. Companies need to put that sentiment into action to make customers fall in love. First, fix the actual issue. Next, make up for the fact that there was a problem at all.