Never underestimate the marketing power of excellent customer service. From a friendly smile to going above and beyond, a customer or client wants their purchasing experience to be easy, efficient, and personalized. Most of all they want to be made to feel like they’re important to you and not an inconvenience.
While customer service is important throughout the entirety of a purchasing experience, more often than not, they note when something goes wrong. Keys to excellent customer service include availability, depth of knowledge, patience and a positive demeanor. Think about recent customer service experiences that you’ve had. Was it a good experience or a bad one? What made it that way?
Good customer service does not happen by chance.
To move your company’s customer service above and beyond your competitors, identify the average customer service standard of your industry and commit to doing better. Hiring, training, and empowering employees to have a customer’s satisfaction as their top priority will set your company apart from others. Customer services is a marketing strategy of its own because you are marketing your relationship with the customer.
Amazon obsesses over their customers.
Amazon is a company that is repeatedly recognized for excellent customer service. CEO Jeff Bezos places emphasis on “Obsessing over your customer.” By investing in company culture, Amazon works to make sure they have happy employees. Happy employees will work harder to make customers happy.
My co-worker experienced firsthand Amazon’s “obsess over your customer” ethos. Of course, she immediately told the rest of us and I am now telling you… (yeah, millennials talk). The situation happened like this: in putting together gift baskets for our holiday party, several items were ordered on Amazon because let’s be honest…they have everything. Notification was received that the product had been delivered and was signed for, but we had no product to show for it. We looked around the office, asked everyone who might have signed for it but came away with no answers. My co-worker contacted Amazon to sort out the situation and was delighted by the result. Amazon refunded the purchase with no questions asked! Upon later finding the package and contacting Amazon to provide payment for the purchase, Amazon decided they would not charge us for the items as they felt we are loyal customers.
Not only were Amazon’s responses prompt and polite, in our opinions, they went above and beyond to recognize that we are frequent and loyal customers. By taking a small loss on the cost of our shipment, Amazon ultimately gained our business indefinitely.
An Etsy vendor goes above and beyond.
Another example of excellent customer service is an experience I had with Etsy. Their platform makes great customer service possible because you are able to communicate directly with the seller.
A couple of years ago I had this big idea in my head that I was going to surprise my best friend for her birthday. I coordinated with her husband and we came up with a plan! I was going to travel the 6 hours and crash their breakfast date, then spend the rest of the weekend with them! Once the plan was in place I wanted to have something special to give her as a present…. On Etsy I found a lady who makes mugs for “long distance relationships” I could enter my city/state and my friends city/state, and she would make a mug with a heart in each city and a line connecting them. This was PERFECT!!
What wasn’t perfect, was the estimated production/delivery date. So I emailed the vendor explaining the situation and wondering if there was any way to expedite the process. She was so excited about my interest in her product and the lengths I was going to in order to surprise my friend. She let me know that she put my mug on the top of her to do list and would try to get it sent out ASAP. Sure enough, I got the mug with time to spare! This is possibly the best customer service experience I have ever had. This kind lady made me feel like my business and my endeavors to surprise my friend were important to her.
Eliminating a middleman can make communication easy and painless and allow the customer to get exactly what they want. An individualized, personal experience is key in delighting any customer.
There are several steps you can take to make sure your company creates an exceptional customer service experience.
- Make sure your employees are enthusiastic and share your vision of customer care. Don’t forget that happy employees will work hard to make customers happy!
- Arm your employees with thorough knowledge and understanding of company products and policies. This will allow them to help customers with confidence and knowledge.
- Allow your employees some extent of autonomy when helping to solve a customer need. If a customer service representative has to constantly check with their superior for clearance, the customer might as well speak directly to the manager.
By following these 3 simple steps you can utilize your customer service marketing and watch how it impacts your users or buyers.