A customer’s experience is as important if not more important than how they experience your product or intended service line. Some of the highest quality products and services are passed up for lesser competitors because those competitors offer superior experiences. Today, we are sharing the secret to perfecting your customer service experience in five steps!
Customer Service Perfection in 5 Steps
1. Make Immediate Contact. Engaging a customer in the first moment possible is the best thing you can start with for a perfect customer service experience. And, it’s not just saying, “Hi” as people come through the door. It’s making eye-to-eye contact and engaging their intentions. It’s also about how it’s done; making immediate contact needs to be done in a way which also decompresses the customer to make them comfortable to explore their shopping environment. “Hi! Welcome to X-Y-Z. If you need anything or see anything you’re interested while you browse, please feel free to let me know!” This is more effective than crowding out your customer by going nose-to-nose with, “ARE YOU LOOKING FOR ANYTHING SPECIFIC TODAY?!” Making immediate contact tells the customer they are the most important person to you. This is the start of perfection.
2. Always Give A Time. A customer’s expectation of the service experience essentially serves as the guide rail to the sum total of the experience itself. What they believe the waiting time to be, how they perceive the process to unfold, and what the end result should be are all elements which need to be carefully managed, addressed, and continually refreshed. The perfect customer service experience follows up the immediate contact, immediately, with a time.
- “Hi there, welcome to So&So! Please sign in here and have a seat.”
- “Thanks for signing in, So&So will see you in 5 minutes.”
- “Hi, I’m So&So, we’re going to have a 30 minute session together. Afterwards, the other So&So will be with you for another 15 minutes.”
- “How was your time with So&So? You’ll be here for about 10 minutes, after which, your product will be ready to take home.”
Interaction where the experience is quickly and precisely defined allows for the provider of the experience to curb any dangerous and imaginative expectations which are outside of the realm of the brand experience. So, be sure you acknowledge your customers immediately, and, do so while giving them clear expectations with lots of updates so they don’t feel left out or left behind.
3. The Royal Treatment. Give every customer the royal treatment no matter what they appear to be interested in. Many times, customer service representatives fail at this because of competing interests such as commissions, quotas, and likely sum of payment. Rather, if the customer is going to pay or not, and regardless of how much they are able or willing to pay, ALWAYS give every customer the royal treatment. I describe this treatment as the combination of how you would treat your favorite person and your boss combined… someone you’re likely to love and please. Sounds a bit scandalous? Good! This type of service means your customers will tell your friends about it. And, responsive referrals by known friends & family have been reliably shown to beat out any other sources or reviews.
4. Finish With A Flourish. Finishing strong is just as important as starting with your best foot forward. When you finish a service experience, always be sure to inquire if there is anything else in the realm of reality and/or the universe you can do for your customer. Keep up with that stylistic encounter by which they are the most important person to you, ever! Finishing strong means you go the extra mile to make sure they are pleased with their experience; this could mean walking them out, helping them bring product to their car, or giving them some extras, samples, or special access to their next time shopping with you. Whatever it is, be sure they remember how the service experience ended. Because, more likely than not, they’ll forget about the details. To quote Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.“
5. Follow Up. The service experience does not stop at the finish; when they leave the store, the service is completed, or the product is shipped. It continues into the follow-up. Managing post-experience review and expectations is just as important as starting strong, keeping up with expectation updates, and finishing strong. The follow up is what seals the deal and singes into the mind of the customer how the experience really went. After all, anyone can put on a brave face and finish with a smile. It takes real genuineness to follow up when no one is obligated to and get the true facts, feelings, perceptions, and the customer’s take on how everything went now that they have had some time and space to think about it. Many times, the follow up is brief and goes just as expected. However, sometimes, the follow up reveals some lacking aspects in your brand experience. More importantly, it opens up the opportunity to do some service recovery, and that, is far more valuable.