Customers are the backbone of your business. If you want to start a business then you can either do all the non-essential things like designing your office, renting a big place, doing fancy meetings and so on.
Or you can get your first customers. Because once you have people paying for your product or service then you have a business.
The first part of a business is to get the customers. But the next and most crucial part is to keep the customers for a long time, ideally a lifetime.
Thus, you get a recurring, steady source of income. Also, because of your trust built over the years - you can sell tangential products and increase your revenue.
And guess what, your satisfied customers are the best source of advertising. You can pay for expensive hoardings on blogs or physical stores and expect a tiny conversion. Or you can wow your customers and they will bring you their friends and family as your new customers. Hence, the process looks like this - you sell your service, customers use them and if they want some help - you deliver it above their expectation. And you have an awesome business.
In every business after a certain time, the management does the analysis. To see where the money can be saved.
And often it is decided that serving the customer after-sales is a waste of time. That’s why you have an automated machine answering for customers. And a huge long wait if you want to speak to a human being.
This is saving money in the short term. But losing money in the long-term. When your customer service experience isn’t human, then there doesn’t form a connection.
And if something cheaper comes along or a little better service, you lose out on customers.
At that time, you won’t know why they are leaving. But if customer sticks with you despite terrible or bad customer service then you are lucky. However, the internet has accelerated how things will be done. Sooner or later, a better values company will pop up and you will have no time to make amends.
Instead, you should do the opposite. Invest heavily in areas where your customer interacts with your brand. At the initial sales time and after-sales service.
A simple example is when car dealers pay poorly to people at forefront of car sales. Instead, they should be the ones who are paid handsomely, trained and incentivised to have the best customer experience.
A Simple Loop Of Customer Service
Make it super easy for customers to access you and get a feel for your product or service. Answer all their queries. Be persuasive but not forceful.
And if you find that they aren’t an ideal customer, be open to letting them go to the competitor. In fact, help them. This will make sure that you know what your brand stands for. And your product or service isn’t for everyone. You will do everything to help if you are the right customer. And if not, you will guide them to a possible better solution.
The next big thing you should do is make it easy for your customers to cancel their subscription if they want.
And your customer service should have a FAQ and common queries page. But if a customer wants to speak to a human, they should be routed asap. Ideally, within a minute of wait time.
When you are angry because of something not working, you need a human touch to let yourself out, be calm and collect yourself.
‘Dial 1 for refund’ just doesn’t do the job. The below conversation does magic for customers in pain.
Customer: I need a refund.
Customer Rep: Sure, I am processing it. May I know the reason for it?
Customer: It’s not working, I don’t want you sorry, just give me my money back. (Very angry tone)
Customer Rep: We understand how it feels, I have processed your refund. And for your trouble, we have issued a $5 extra refund. Thank you for doing a service with us. If you need more help, we are here.
This is an example of an extremely angry customer. And how you handle things. For most customers, you will get a reason. First, resolve what they want. And then communicate to the product team to fix the issue they had. If you find they weren’t the right customers, reiterate to the sales team to not sell to everyone.
Some Pointers Of Great Customer Experience
- Customers can easily reach a human customer rep.
- No metric for how much time you spend with customers - each one of them is unique. Spend as little or as long time a customer wants.
- Refunds processed quickly.
- No matter how absurd a query might seem, you try genuinely to help.
- No funny charges were added via tricks.
- You don’t cater to everyone - you know your potential customers.
- If there is delivery, it’s as fast as it can be.
- You pay well, train and have a community of employees such that your brand interaction is awesome with each one.
- If someone buys their product for someone they love - and they die. You don’t cite your refund policy date is over. You act human.
- You don’t give discounts to new customers and lock your previous customers at high rates.
You aren’t in the business of fooling and taking the money. You do a great service, form a connection and take a fair price.