Delivering brilliant service is about understanding how customers want to do business with you.
In the 30 years we’ve worked with large and small businesses, we’ve realised that there are only 6 things that all customers want:
Set my expectations
This is highest priority for a potential customer or an existing customer renewing or buying additional products or services. It means give me the information I need about your product or service – what it will do for me, what it won’t do, how much it costs, how I can get it, what will I have to do, what support do you give, how long will it take.
Make it easy
This is about about making sure customers have the right information and tools they need when they need them, so they make as little effort as possible to achieve what they need to.
Keep your promises
All successful relationships are based on trust. Customers need to believe that you will do what you say. When you set their expectations, you are making promises – if you don’t deliver, you break your promise and lose their trust.
Keep me informed
This is about giving customers the right information when and how they need it. It doesn’t mean bombarding them with communications or giving them lots of information they just don’t need.
Treat me as an individual
Your relationship with a customer is like any other relationship – they want to feel that you know and understand them, will listen and are interested in them. Make sure you only send information relevant to them and keep records, so you can talk about how they have used your products or services in the past. Find out how they want to be communicated with and use that channel whenever you can.
Don’t forget to “Wow” customers sometimes – an unexpected surprise such as a thank you call or letter or a small gift can go a long way to building loyalty.
Put it right if it goes wrong
Dealing properly with complaints is an easy and simple way to build customer loyalty and turn detractors into promoters – if you handle them well. Simple things such as apologising that they have had to complain, giving them a single point of contact, getting to the root cause of the problem and offering a solution quickly are all that customers are looking for.
Make sure that, if something does go wrong, the customer has not been disadvantaged. Sometimes that may mean paying compensation, more often it means going the extra mile to resolve an issue.
Always look at your business from a customer point of view – don’t assume they know as much about your business as you do. Customer journey mapping is a great way to do this.
It’s also a great way to understand what improvements need to be made to grow your business – and now it’s easy to map your own customer journey, see where you can make improvements, and get the right advice to grow your business.