Is Being Over-Techie Your Failed Loss Leader?
Technology is a wonderful thing. Advancements have allowed companies to automate, well, nearly everything. These advancements save a great deal of money and, without them, there wouldn't be so many great deals on the Internet. Trust me, I love a great bargain. However, I'd much rather walk away from a deal feeling like my patronage was truly appreciated.
With still only 24 hours in a day, and additional demands we put on ourselves (some of them rightly so!), social media, meetings and the normal tugs-of-war when it comes to running a business, it is quite easy to overlook the entire reason we're here: to serve our customers.
Now is the time to put ourselves in check. Not only because many people are still very selective about what they'll spend their hard-earned cash on, but also what they'll think of us (our companies) after things get so much better.
No company is perfect. We all make mistakes. Making customers feel appreciated should never be one of them.
With ever-growing needs for technology, and our ability to adapt to automation, some things shouldn't change. Keep these key points in mind when making efforts to otherwise simplify your workload:
Personalize. This means taking the time to address the customer by name in all correspondence. It also means answering questions as a person, not a machine providing stock replies.
Be Grateful. Never miss the opportunity to thank a customer for his/her business. Automated emails are fine for order confirmations, followups and email sign-ups, but when a customer takes the time to tell you about your store and your products, be grateful he/she took the time to do so, and return a heartfelt thanks.
Be a Real Person. There's many reasons companies like Zappos! are so successful, and allowing people to be, well, people is one of them. In a restaurant, a good waiter or waitress adjusts personality traits to accommodate each customer. The same goes for customer service reps. If a customer is apparently witty, laugh and create a lighter conversation. Customers will remember the personality of the rep, and in turn, the company.
Cut the Shorthand. Whether responding from a desktop system or a hand-held device (iPhone, Pre, Android, etc.), be wary of using shorthand and web acronyms. Take the time to type in complete sentence form sans abbreviations. When appropriate, smileys are okay. :)
Be Clear and Concise. Just as they don't want to read lengthy text on a web page, customers aren't interested in lengthy diatribe - they just want an honest answer. Yes, when owning up to mistakes, feel free to tell them what happened and what you're doing to fix the problem, but don't overstate the issue. Try to keep otherwise lengthy emails to no more than 2-3 brief paragraphs.
All in all, you want to make customers feel like you're listening to their needs, you're taking steps to address concerns, and you value their business. Technology and automation plays a big role in this sense, but by recognizing the call for human interaction, you can gain a much more loyal base.
Hi Pamela! I appreciate your job. This is definitely true points that you listed here. I will try to post this to all my friends. This will help those who still don’t know how to satisfy customer. This will help them to get an idea. Thanks for sharing, Pameal.