Life is about stories. They can be found everywhere and are told by everyone. One single story can be entertaining, thrilling, melancholic, mindful or funny. A set of stories can add up to an epic which combines different attributes.
Customer service nowadays is all about building and maintaining a relationship with your customers. To accomplish this, you have to listen to your customers stories. But don’t just listen to one single story or view these stories in a separated or isolated way. Combine them, find similarities and sum it all up. Create an epic of your customers stories.
This is all about going one step further if you want to be remembered for excellent customer service.
7 ways to influence the stories of your customers in customer service to create an epic
Don’t just do well. Do better.
A good question would be: “What do you want your customer service to be?” But you can even ask this in a better way: “How do you want your customers to feel?” Normally you want your customers to be happy. Define ways how to make them happy. Customer service is not about the destination, it’s the journey that matters. The destination of customer service is ideally always the same: Problem solved. But how the problem is solved by customer service differs every time. So this is where you can create happiness.
Active is good, Pro-Active is amazing.
Following the idea of this post by zendesk, you should not just answer questions of your customers. Because not all of your customers open a ticket for your customer service when they experience problems. A lot of them are trying to resolve them on their own or even looking for alternative solutions i.e. your competitors. You should try to reach out to your customers before they even know they have a problem. Or even before they are customers at all like in this example mentioned by Jay Baer.
Customers are humans, too.
Had an awful day? I honestly feel sorry for you, but that’s no excuse. Treat your counterpart like you want to be treated. Always remember that you eventually save his day. And this should be something that saves your day. Giving may sometimes a one-way street but remember these people you are talking to are responsible for your job. They pay for your service or product and this is great. Make them have a great customer service experience. Feel amazed by amazing others, it’s that simple.
Train your colleagues.
You may think this is not directly related to your customers. You are the person who talks with them every day and no one knows your customers like you do. That’s probably right. But in the end, you and all of your colleagues have one thing in common: You want to build something which makes your customer telling great stories. Considering that it is crucial that everyone gets this idea. Make them aware of the fact that every time a customer gets in touch with your product or service this is a part of customer service. Involve them in your customers stories. Don’t tell them about your customers opinions but about their feelings.
Opinions don’t matter, feelings do.
It’s superficial to just focus on your customers opinions. By doing this, you will always only satisfy their wants. But what you really have to address are their needs. This takes place on a more emotional level. You can dive into this by asking how your customers feel about certain updates, features or problems. But be careful and don’t ask for too much too quick. While you are building relationships with your customers, they will automatically open up and tell you more about themselves.
Automate, but keep it personal.
There are so many opportunities to automate customer service. And it’s crucial for big businesses to do this because you can save a lot of time. But please don’t force automatism for the loss of personalization. This can be simple things like always mentioning your customers names when reaching out to them or more specialized things like industry-slang.
Keep things casual, not sloppy.
Don’t use corporate-speak when talking to your customers. They just want their problem to be solved or get details about new features. They don’t want to ask further questions about what you’ve said. Communicate with them in a simple, yet professional manner. And adjust your language to theirs. Don’t use different expressions for the same things. Make your customer service feel and sound natural.
How do you provide excellent customer service?
These are just a few ways to create an epic of the stories we hear in customer service every day. What do you do for thriving customer service? Share your tips, tricks and thoughts!
I can highly recommend the book “Rework” by 37signals. There are many great ideas to change the way your work. Many of them can directly be applied to your customer service. Further, the Helpscout Blog always provides great ideas. And I embrace the principle that every employee has to work in customer service at the beginning. Zappos does this for example with a 4-week training focussing on customer service. Even for people who won’t work in customer service. Or MailerLite, where everyone has to work in customer service for a week. Even the CEO.