Good or great service may be OK for some companies, but the general view on most customer service is that it’s just mediocre. It works. But the only way to achieve truly memorable service that drives customers to return to your company – to become fans – is to wow them with something truly fantastic.
But how do you move from the average to fantastic?
The business magazine Inc.com recently published a three-step guide. Obviously it’s never as simple as a three-step guide might suggest, but there are three attributes that can describe a fantastic customer experience:
- It’s positive – it is something that the customer enjoyed.
- It’s meaningful – perhaps worth sharing with friends is even better.
- It’s memorable – we can all remember our favourite customer experience and the brand sticks in our mind because of what they did for us.
The real key to making this work is to reward customers with something unexpected. I recently saw a friend complaining to an online movie download service because the agent had used foul language during an IM support session. Clearly the agent had been having a conversation with a colleague or friend and their conversation had been confused, but the interesting thing was how the company reacted.
The support team asked for a phone contact and as soon as they had my friend’s phone number a senior executive called, explained the mistake, emphasised that it was not acceptable, then offered unlimited movie downloads free for the next six months as a way of apologising.
My friend was taken off her guard, expecting nothing more than an insincere apology from someone in the contact centre. It was this ability to surprise a customer – even one who was complaining – that means they can probably do well when trying to create fantastic experiences. They created a fan in my friend and she was originally complaining!
Photo by Erich Ferdinand licensed under Creative Commons