Having a killer customer service team (which I will refer to in this article as “customer happiness”) is invaluable. Many businesses choose to outsource their call centers, and while this certainly is an option, you’ll sacrifice the ability to connect with your customers on a more human-to-human basis. What I‘m referring to is surprising your customers in a more personal manner, or in this case, wowing your customers the “old school” way.
The Benefits of Customer Happiness
First, let’s start with the benefits. Superb customer service is important because it turns customers into brand advocates and repeat purchasers. Fact: it’s a lot more expensive to acquire customers than to retain them. To get these people to trust you and to continue to buy your product, give them a reason to come back — aka, an unrivaled experience.
Having a dedicated and diligent customer happiness team can also be a differentiator between you and a similar company. If, in the mind of the consumer, both companies offer similar quality and prices, having a great experience may be the deciding factor as to whether or not they choose you versus the other guys.
Now that we agree that customer happiness is important to the success of your company, let’s talk about ways in which you can go above and beyond their expectations. Our mission at Readers.com is to be the world’s most people-focused eyewear company, which means that we make our customers a priority. Although there are many ways to wow your customers, we really believe that in a world that is becoming more and more automated, you can stand out from the crowd by going above and beyond customer expectations. Below are a few methods that have worked well for us, and that we suggest giving a try.
Write Thank You Cards
Our Customer Happiness Team hand writes thank you cards to customers every week. Because our target audience is baby boomers for our reading glasses brand, Readers.com, we have found that this age group really appreciates the gesture. Our team makes each card personal by reiterating a connection that was made during their conversation or interaction. This could be about their order, or a personal tidbit, such as their upcoming vacation.
While we don’t write cards to everyone, we try our best to reach out to as many customers as our workload allows.
Allow Customers to Place Orders Over the Phone
Give your customer happiness specialists the ability and freedom to help customers order your product or services over the phone. Although this may feel tedious, it will build brand loyalty and your less tech-savvy customers will love you forever. At Readers.com, we’ve been able to establish personal relationships with our customers and it shows — 25% of calls to our Customer Happiness Team are people placing an order.
Allow Customers to Change Their Orders
If the product they have ordered has not already shipped, let your customers change their order before the package leaves the warehouse. While this may seem like common sense, many companies do not allow customers to change their order once they’ve confirmed their payment.
Follow Up With Customers Who Have Had Past Issues
No matter how hard you try, there will be customers who are not happy with your site, product, or service. Instead of ignoring the negativity in a review, or deleting the review, try reaching out to the customer to see if there’s anything you can do for them. Taking the time to dig through product reviews and NPS feedback is a big commitment, but it is a great way to connect with customers and show them that you value their feedback. And if you find a customer with a complicated issue or an item that needs to be replaced? Take it one step further and reach out again after a week or two to ensure your solution completely satisfied their original complaint.
Recommend Similar Products for Sold Out Items
When a customer orders a product, occasionally the item will be sold out. Instead of shipping the rest of their order without the out of stock item, call the customer and recommend other options. Not only will this outreach surprise the customer, but you might be able to find a product for them that they didn’t even know existed.
Offer a Variety of Ways for Customers to Reach You
Not all customers are alike. Some feel more comfortable emailing your business than they do calling you. For this reason, it’s important that you give your customers options. At Readers.com, customers can reach us through live chat, email, phone, social media channels, and text. We even still list a fax number on our website and take money orders through the mail for customers that are skeptical about shopping online.
When you provide great service and make your customers happy, not only will they be more likely to come back, but they will also become your biggest fans. One way to stand out from the sea of businesses and brands is by using “old school” techniques to wow your customers. Try a few of the above tactics, and you’ll find that people really do appreciate the effort!