Put away the bells. Pack up the whistles. It’s time to stop trying to “delight” your customers. Differentiating yourself through a low-effort customer experience is the key ingredient that builds loyalty.
At the “2014 Small Business Forum: The Next Generation Customer Service Experience Symposium,” presented by Bank of America, Mary Murcott, President of the Dialog Direct Customer Engagement Institute, discussed the impact customer service has on loyalty. Three distinguished panelists: Julie Hoffman, Furniture Marketing Group; Paul Koch, Frost Bank; and Rebecca Wright, Truluck’s Restaurant Group, added best-practice tips from their experience with customers. Insights Mary shared with attendees include:
- Delight doesn’t pay. It costs 10-15 percent more and has a low correlation with repeat business.
- Keep it simple. Make it easy for your customers to do business with you.
- Words matter. Make your language positive and intuitive. Avoid cloudy, complicated words that customers won’t understand.
- Be an advocate for your customer. As you solve a customer’s problem, provide solutions to avoid future hurdles.
The panelists gave attendees a deeper look into and shared best practices for how they approach customer service firsthand.
- Providing a specific date and time a company will resolve an issue gives a disgruntled customer peace of mind.
- Collecting feedback in the moment provides a chance to immediately address any concerns and helps avoid negative conversations on social media.
- Employees who have a clear understanding that they play a vital role within a company or organization contribute to the customer experience.
In closing, Mary left attendees with these three key ideas to chase the ideal customer service experience: 1) make it easy to do business, 2) solve customers’ problems, and 3) tell them how to avoid another upcoming issue.
The next 2014 Small Business Forum, presented by Bank of America, is September 25, featuring a panel of local recipients of the Malcolm Baldrige Award for Performance Excellence.