GUEST POST from Shep Hyken
Customer service and customer experience (CX) are more than what happens after the sale. It’s not just a department to call when there is a problem. It actually begins long before a customer ever makes a purchase. Then, there’s the experience during the sales process and what happens after the sale, which could include a typical customer support call and more. Every interaction the customer has with us, from learning about our company, our marketing messages, the sales experience and then anything after the sale, is all part of the customer experience.
I’m often asked to be the keynote speaker at sales meetings. Most of the audience expects to learn a new sales technique or tactic; instead, I teach customer service and experience techniques and tactics. I refer to this as Selling with Service. I share how to create the experience that makes customers want to do business with the company, not just buy the product. That’s also the experience that gets customers to say, “I’ll be back!”
So, today, I have three tips for anyone who interacts with customers (not just salespeople) that will help you create an amazing customer experience.
- Respond Fast – I love to talk about the Jimmy John’s experience. For those outside of the United States or those in the U.S. who aren’t fortunate enough to live near a Jimmy John’s, it is a chain of delicious fast-food restaurants known for its super speedy service. Whether you are ordering your sandwich in the store or having your meal delivered, you will experience what Jimmy John’s calls “freaky fast!” So, be “freaky fast” in responding to your customers’ calls or emails – or any other way customers reach out to you.
- Always Do What You Say and More – One way to blow credibility is to not do what you promise. So, this is simple: Just do what you say you’ll do. The “and more” of this tip falls under the strategy of “UPOD,” which stands for the old saying, under-promise and over-deliver. If you say you’ll get back to a customer by the end of the day, get back to them a few hours earlier. By the way, if you create an expectation you plan to exceed, ensure the customer will still be happy if all you do is meet that expectation.
- Be Prepared – If you want to frustrate your customers, be unprepared. Even if you’re not unprepared, you may exhibit behaviors that make you appear to be so. Being unprepared is a sign of disrespect toward your customers, and I don’t know any customer who enjoys doing business with someone who doesn’t respect them.
The commonality between sales and customer service/CX is not just about getting customers but keeping customers. These three tips I’ve shared are just the beginning. Over the years, I’ve shared hundreds of tips just like these. Regardless of what department or role you have with the company, your goals should be to create the experience that customers want and crave and to be so good they wouldn’t even think about taking a chance doing business anywhere else.
Image Credits: Shep Hyken, Unsplash
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