A contributor on Smallbusinesscan shared their customer care story (or lack thereof). This subject has been on my mind a lot recently as I had a few very disappointing experiences myself. I take a bet your customer service sucks too.
When Jeff Jarvis famously posted his “Dell sucks” blog post, it set off a firestorm of complaints about Dell’s customer service. Eventually, Michael Dell took up the challenge and joined the conversation his customers were having without him. You should start having similar conversations with your clients.
No longer business as usual
In “No longer business as usual”, Brian Solis talks about the brand being the sum of the customer experiences and the need for the product or service to be engaging in the moment (due to our shortened attention span).
What does that mean for every company? It means that design becomes absolutely essential. And not just design of the product, but the design of every possible interface you have with your clients and your staff (they are clients too).
Mediocre is no longer acceptable. Friction in any shape will cost you customers, will do damage to your brand and will damage your social capital online.
By friction, I mean:
- Queuing in shops
- Queuing when you are trying to call a call centre (PS only 2% of under 28s will use a call centre)
- Having to register your details several times
- Having to explain things twice
- Waiting for responses for longer than a few hours when I complain on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr or other social media platforms.
- A product breaking down
- Difficulties in navigating the website when looking for information
What do books tell you
The book “The best customer service is no customer service” explains that it makes a lot of business sense to design a product or service that needs no customer service. Imagine if your company was Dyson.
“The New Normal” explains that staff and clients expect frictionless interaction using technology. If you are over 35, you don’t understand, because you are a digital nomad as distinct from a digital native. Ask your kids what they really think about your product or service.
“Delivering happiness” is about delighting your customers. Is your interaction with your clients truly delightful? Do you do more than expected? Do people fall in love with your company?
“The thank you economy” suggests that we should empower our staff and instil an extreme customer care culture in our businesses. Every one of Vaynerchuk’s staff have a personal marketing budget of €2,000 to spend on wowing the clients. They have total autonomy in dealing with customer issues. How does your customer care staff rate against that?
Business as usual
There is nothing new in this. What is new is that everything you do is amplified online. In a good way and in a bad way. Your reputation is everything online. That reputation is created by the way your company acts (PR, advertising, etc. will only work when it is genuine). If your product, your service and the way you treat customer sucks, very soon you will not have a business.
We be very interested in your customer service stories, share them (good or bad) on www.smallbusinesscan.can