4 dirty little secrets about customer service

Excellent customer services shouldn’t be difficult. It’s simply about delivering to the customer an experience that you would expect from any other company. But in the real world, things are a little more tricky. Your business processes can become overwhelmed. Customers can be left out in the cold. Things can go wrong.

shutterstock_304243793Knowing how to optimise customer experience is crucial in making your business stand out. So here are some dirty little customer service secrets that can do just that.

Handwritten notes

Imagine for a moment that you’re a customer of a company. You’ve been chatting back and forth with this company for several days about a service. How would you expect them to communicate with you? Probably by email, maybe by post. Certainly not via handwritten note. But imagine how you’d feel if you really did get a note all to yourself. It would be quite something that you’d no doubt remember.

It’s ironic that by doing everything we can to escape from the handwritten note, we’ve made it into something special.

Customers don’t want to do anything

Customers don’t want to do any work – usually. They don’t want to have to follow a dozen links to get to the product page they want. They don’t want to have to buy shipping labels to send something back to you. And they don’t want to have to troubleshoot software with you.

All they want is for their lives to be as comfortable as possible. In fact, how smooth their interactions are when they deal with you will determine their perception of your customer service. In other words, think proactively about how you can reduce their workload. Maybe you could automatically direct them to the right product page. Or perhaps you could include shipping labels in every parcel you send out. Or perhaps you could offer to take control of their computer using software like Teamviewer and do the troubleshooting for them.

Use reciprocity

Human beings love to trade. It’s something that we’ve been doing for thousands of years. And it’s one of the few things that sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom.

Businesses need to learn how to make this ancient behaviour work for them. Yes, of course, there is reciprocity in all business interactions. The customer pays you in return for your product.

But you can take the concept of “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” a little further. When presenting customers with the cost of your services, try to sweeten the deal. If you’re a restaurant owner, you can do this literally. Give customers a sweet with their bill, and they’re likely to give a larger tip than if no sweet had been provided in the first place.

Give your customers what they need

Customers are people too. That means that they have needs, just like anybody else.

With that said, many businesses act as if their customer’s needs don’t matter. They just want to get down to the sale.

But picking up on a client’s needs can be a significant advantage. You learn about what that person really wants from you, both emotionally and financially. It’s not your job to be agony aunt, but a little empathy can go a long way.