It is not easy, is it? Customers today are a challenging bunch who seem to be impossible to please for more than 5 minutes. They expect that you know them, so you can provide them with an Apple-like experience with your products and in your shops while also demanding a Soulcycle-worthy level of support leniency. Sure, that should be easy enough, right?
But if you really break it down, it is very easy.
Just ask yourself some important questions:
- Why do your customers come to you for your product / services?
- What problem does it solve for them?
- In which context are they using your services or product?
The answers to those questions will provide you with the information you need to constantly improve your offerings, sharpen your focus on what is needed, and understand how to deliver it so your customers find it at the right time, place, and situation for them.
Then, when you have customers, you want to make sure to assist them so they are happy with what they purchased from you. Don’t underestimate the fact that many people buying a service or product don’t know how to use right away. This is where your customer care efforts come into play so you can make sure they are happy on day two, in four weeks, or in a month. If they have a problem, or something is broken, your first and most important objective should be to get them back to using your product again. If they don’t, all of the marketing money you invested has gone to waste. It is not just a cliché that keeping a customer is less expensive than winning a new one.
Let the customers tell you how to keep them happy!
So why do so many support organizations have such a hard time keeping their customers and keeping them happy? It is often very easy to do. Customers are telling you straight on what it would take to make them happy. If your customer records, your metrics, or your CRM data are correct, you know very well what that customer’s worth is right then. Add in the word-of-mouth value of a happy customer vs. an unhappy one, and you should understand very well that investing a bit more into your relationship with a customer is worth more than saving a few bucks.
Lastly, and this is what I’ve come to learn over the span of being in marketing and customer success, and, frankly, just being a consumer, user, and client: Just get over yourself. I’ve experienced so many support interactions that failed because the support agent was not able to let things go and react in a way that focused less on principle but on the task at hand. This is not to say that you should let your customer walk all over you, but your support efforts should focus on the happiness of your customer rather than upholding some unspoken principles.
In summary, what does it take to make your customer happy? Be there for and with them and you will quickly learn how little it takes to not be screamed at during support calls or, virtually, on messaging boards across the digital landscape.
Here are some key statements I’ve come to learn, appreciate, and respect:
- Availability and basic decency during any interaction with a customer creates a foundation on which your relationship with your customers can flourish.
- Active listening, open-minded questions, and a genuine interest in the customer’s situation provides plenty user intelligence.
- Solving a user’s problems comes first. There is nothing more important.
- Every customer is important and you want them all to come back.
- Data never lies, but not every resolution should be data-driven.
And finally, the most important lesson that I was lucky to learn very early:
It’s not about you, dummy. It’s about your customers.
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