When was the last time you visited a retail shop or engaged with a brand online, and were blown away by the level of support and service you received? It's a nice feeling to be 'taken care of' in this sense. As a consumer, we have so many choices when it comes to where we spend our money, that it's nice to know the businesses we're choosing to buy from appreciate that. An attentive, positive customer experience is the best way for a brand to do demonstrate this.
When we experience great customer service, it's hard not to want to tell someone about it.
Maybe it's the marketer in me, but when I come across a company that's absolutely stellar, I tend to share that brand with family and friends. Both encouraging them to have the same experience I did, and to support the brand in their growth - because that positive experience created a bit of an invested, emotional connection for me.
When creating a customer experience for your wellness brand, consider how to make your customers feel that same overpowering excitement. That *falling in love* feeling can really make a difference in the health, size and value of your customer base.
Because what it boils down to is this: good customer service creates a positive experience which facilitates brand love.
And think of the benefits of brand like an equation:
brand love = loyalty + repeat business + customer advocates
Who doesn't want that? Most of us know it's easier to retain an existing customer than gain a new one, and word of mouth referrals are often the cream of the crop when it comes to new customers.
From the first point of contact to the ‘check-out’ phase, every step counts in the customer experience. You've got to be able to anticipate roadblocks and questions and be prepared for any situation to occur in order to make the experience as easy and delightful as possible.
Here we've listed four important factors to consider when creating a truly "wow!" customer service experience.
4 Factors to Make Your Customers Say "Wow!"
1. Know who your customers are
We've said it before and we'll say it again. It is so important to know exactly who your ideal audice (or *cough* Brand CompanionTM) is. Understanding this will help you create a customer service experience that best serves them and fits their particular needs.
Build a Brand CompanionTM profile complete with:
- What makes them happy?
- What do they value?
- What solution benefits are most important to them?
- What makes them tick?
- What's their preferred communication? (chat, email, phone, video..)
This information sets the foundation for you to provide the best possible experience. Think of it in terms of two individuals you know.
For example, to resolve a conflict would you respond to your sister the same way as your best friend? Or to work through a technical issues, would you follow the same steps for your colleague as you would for your grandpa?
Most likely your approaches would be different. And if really prepared, the tools and support would be different. Not only because of age but because of what you know about those individuals and what they value, know and need.
Treat your customers how THEY want to be treated, and you're well on your way to a positive customer experience.
2. Listen and be empathetic
Whether your customer is happy with your brand or voicing a concern, it's important to listen to what they have to say and be empathetic to their situation.
You get bonus points if you use that information to fix problems and make positive changes to your processes moving forward.
Treat customers like human beings with valid emotions and the result will be twofold:
- The customer will remember that you listened and provided a solution
- You'll be aware of any hiccups in your process you should correct for the future
You won't always be able to create a mistake-free, perfect experience for everyone - but if you take the time to fix problems in a timely, compassionate manner, you'll go a long way towards building a lifelong customer base.
3. Create a system for communication
Create a clear and structured system for communicating with your customers so that it's easy for them to reach you and easy to receive their feedback and respond. The biggest ways to kill a brand following are by not giving them a voice and by not responding when they do reach out.
Setting yourself up for success by implementing a system you can actually manage is key.
For example, I was visiting a website the other day that had a little chat bot. It popped up and 'Stacey' the support rep asked if there was anything I could do to help. And, as a matter of fact there was. I responded with my question. And then I waited...and asked again...and waited. After TEN MINUTES (which in chat bot world is an eternity) I gave up and left the site.
My situation is not unique. If you have a form of communication available for customers, you either need to man it like your life depends on it, or be crystal clear about what they can expect. In this example, it would've been helpful if they either made it clear 'Stacey' was actually a bot, or that they were away from their computer at the moment.
In what ways can your customers communicate with you? Are you as responsive as you know they want you to be? Or even as responsive as YOU would want you to be? If not, make adjustments. Revisit your Brand Companion profile and make sure you understand what communication options you need. Maybe you don't need a call-in number, maybe they just need a website chat. Maybe they're ok with a 48 hour response time on emails - as long as you notify them of that in the auto-response. But unless you ask and refine your process - you could be losing customers.
Combine each of these factors to create a base for truly brilliant customer service. If done right, your customers will be bragging about you for years to come.
4. Adapt to changing times.
In times like now, with the growing cases of COVID, or in the face of any national changes, tragedies or otherwise, it's always important to be sensitive to the times. To make sure you're always evaluating your resources, support and service in a timely and relevant way. Where possible, adjust expirations, extend warranties, offer refunds - where you may not have normally done so. Extend that compassionate, listening ear even further as individuals struggle through tragedy that's affecting how or if they can use or continue with your solutions.
The brands that can adapt to best serve their customers in times of need will be the brands that thrive through economic downturns, changes or even disaster.
So, to sum it all up...
Remember your customers are human and at the end of the day we all just want to feel loved! Make them feel heard, taken care of and valued and their trust in you will build, eventually fostering into a beautiful, longterm relationship with your brand!
This post was originally published on April 4, 2019 by Melissa Little.