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When you step into the customer service world, you must go through the customer service training first. During this training, you will learn about a product, a company’s culture and a service that you should provide.
If your training is advanced, a manager tells you what characteristics you can have to make customers satisfied. For example, they can say: “You should always listen to customers,” “You shouldn’t interrupt them,” “You have to be patient with them” and so on.
You’re being told how you should behave. Like it was so easy to hold your tongue and don’t scream out loud: “Listen: I already told you, we didn’t receive your payment!” Aaaaaa!!
Well, even if you have a patience of an angel, every once in a while you want to answer badly, scream at a customer or show off your knowledge, proving them wrong. After all, we’re only humans. That’s why telling a person how they should behave when working in customer service is just a start and your manager should not stop at this point.
From now on, you should be working on these qualities and never forget to include them while improving your customer service. After a while, these qualities will be a basic behaviour for you, and you’ll use them when creating new ideas and solutions that will allow you to provide memorable experiences.
Attentiveness – Am I focused on my customers?
Attentiveness in customer service means that when somebody comes to you with an issue, you give them all of your attention. It also means that you’re able to listen and recognize their problems.
It might sound simple, but for people who can only focus on one task at a time (which in most cases it can be all of us) it might be hard. Luckily there are ways you can save yourself some face, by showing customers you’re always there.
Let’s take a restaurant for example.
A waiter is responsible for a few tables. His job is to always keep an eye on his customers, so when somebody wants to order something new or ask for a check, they shouldn’t try too hard to catch the waiter’s attention. Instead, everything should be smooth. While it may seem obvious, we still face the lack of attentiveness in customer service situations.
Now, let’s say that you handle a case over chat.
You start talking with a customer who’s facing an issue, and you say you will get back to them when you have more details about their case. You know how impatient customers can be, when they need to know something. Don’t let them wondering too much. Write to them that you’re still investigating the issue – keep in touch with them.
Here's the example of my conversation with Mailchimp support.
Openness to other human being – Can I be more personal?
How great it is when you call the hairstyle salon to book an appointment for another time and they already know your name? They also know which stylist you often go to.
Or, how great it is when we greet you on chat and ask how you’ve been for the last couple of weeks?
Isn’t it great to know your regular customers? The more you know about them, the more personal contact can become.
In order to provide memorable experiences, you need to be able to create a personal connection with customers. You need to be open for people and don’t be afraid of conversations and connections. Seems obvious? Maybe, but in customer service, some people behave like they don’t like people at all. And if they don’t, how can they create a bond or even nice experience for them?
It’s important to personalize the way you talk to customers – and the solutions you offer them. You can integrate LiveChat with CRM and have all the information about customers in one place. This way you will know their chat history which is useful when talking with your customers in the future. You can also take the information from CRM and implement into your email marketing tool – use the gathered knowledge to greet customers in your email campaigns.
You can also adjust your communication to the industry they work in, ask the questions on social media that are related to their business and that might help them. There are plenty ideas for personalization.
Step into your customers’ shoes. There are many ways to show openness and use a more personal approach when talking to customers.
For example, I wrote about it in the “Unsubscribe Email Message Examples That Will Prevent Users from Leaving" post.
Awareness – what do customers need?
There are many businesses that still offer products which include an outside component, integral to its use or making it more user-friendly. If you represent one of those businesses, chances are your customers are not getting a memorable experience.
Let’s take a bakery for example. If you sell birthday cakes for special orders, do you offer candles to go with it? Why customers would have to go to a different store to buy things to your cake, so they can present it at the party? I think it’s wise to offer everything under one roof.
Or let’s take dental practice. Do you offer disposable toothbrush or dental floss in your bathroom? It’s very convenient for customers, who don’t have to carry around their own toothbrush all day. This definitely creates a nice experience.
No to mention a coffee shop that should always provide some cups to go (with the cover on top if somebody’s drives a car).
To create memorable experience, you mostly need to think about adding additional elements to your product or service. You need to consider “what more can I do to make experience even more smoother?”
If you’re aware of customers needs and if you care about creating memorable experiences for them, it shouldn’t be tough. It also won’t cost much, but it can change a lot for your customers.
Appreciation – do I thank my customers?
Appreciation is one of the best ways to create memorable experiences. Especially if you take it as seriously as TD Bank did. Here’s a little story of how you can show appreciation to your customers. You’re about to find out what happens when you change the typical automatic process in a human experience to enrich customers’ experiences.
ATM stands for Automated Teller Machine, but for one day it changed into Automated Thanking Machine. And the experience it gave TD Bank’s customers couldn’t be better.
A group of customers were invited to TD Bank for just one reason – to test out a new model of ATM. But when they used the machines, however, they didn’t get cash or checks Instead, the machine only spat out gifts.
What kind of gifts? The most desired and personal ones. I don’t want to reveal too much, but there was a mom who’s daughter had cancer and she received a plane ticket to go see her. One lucky Blue Jays fan received an invitation to throw the first pitch at a home game. Isn’t it a true dream come true, for an avid fan who probably dreamed of it his whole life?
The whole video is touchy and makes you wondering – why more brands don’t do it for their customers? See it for yourself.
This action is even better than the previous one. Over 30,000 TD Bank customers received recognition from the bank. Customers logging in through their online banking or over the phone were informed that they would receive a direct deposit of $20.
What was the outcome of TD Bank’s action?
The biggest outcome was the experience of a lifetime a few customers who received a gift. Besides that, the action generated a huge word of mouth that resulted in people expressing their delight, suggesting that they will or already have switched to TD Bank after watching it.
No surprise. If you have to choose between a regular bank and the bank that knows how to make gifts and be human, you surely stick with the second one. You can always hope to get this kind of treatment yourself.
Creating memorable customer experience
The more stories we read, the more obvious it gets – creating memorable experiences is not about learning a few skills. It’s mostly about showing your heart and human side to your customers. It’s about the attention you give them, awareness of their needs and willingness to fulfill them.
What’s also important in creating memorable experiences is the drive to make more than expected just to make customers feel great. Not in a stiff manners because you position requires you to help, but from the bottom of your heart just because you feel it’s the right thing to do.