Me and some of the guys from the team joined an event called the Loyalty Recipe a few weeks back. The event was hosted by Johan Wallquist at The Service Corporation, and held at SUP46, the Stockholm startup mecca. Among the speakers were Magnus Kolaas, European Manager at Djenee, and Julie Fosselius, Service Guru at Zendesk, and besides chicken wraps and free beers, we got a few takeaways with us that I’d like to share.
Essentially, the message was to rethink your approach towards customers, because really, who’s loyal to who? Due to the shift in social, global and mobile, it’s not really about getting loyal customers, but rather, getting satisfied ones as a result of you being loyal to them. In a big and fast-moving market, customers are empowered, and their loyalty is nothing to control, but something to earn. So in order to lower the opt-in threshold, you also got to lower the one for opting out.
“In the near future, we can expect larger companies to leverage this new in-app communication channel to provide service and support to even greater numbers of mobile customers. Imagine being able to communicate with a support representative from Comcast, Walmart, Target, Amazon, or Starbucks, in real time while you’re on the go… For forward-thinking businesses, this customer-centric future is not far off.” Abinash Tripathy in VentureBeat
With that being said, I know you know it’s way more expensive to attract new customers compared to keeping existent ones. Actually, it’s like 6-7x pricier. And I know you know users are more likely to share their negative opinions over positive. So essentially, how can you avoid shit hitting the fan and earn that loyalty? You rhyme.
Speed is the number one success factor for customer service. Solve the problem asap, answer your users/customers immediately, and let them know that at least you’re working on it. Julie the service Guru said,
“Everyone’s gotta start somewhere. Fine, if you can’t manage every part of customer service, just manage this one thing”.
Personalize the customer service interaction. What does this particular user need help with? Sometimes, a friendly tone and a genuine connection is actually all it takes to keep customers at ease. Other times, when fuckups, they deserve some special treatment!
On the other end, be careful with auto replies and generic BS.
After experiencing bad service, almost 9 out of 10 customers stop doing business with that company.
At the end of the day, it comes down to the “deed”, or how it’s perceived anyway. Do your users/customers get the help they are looking for, and do they get it fast enough?
Don’t let them navigate in a universe of different help service platforms, or reach out to more than one person, and be greeted by auto replies. And yeah, don’t let them wait.
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