Providing excellent customer support is the most impactful way a company can set itself apart, especially when its competition is just a click away. Happy customers not only buy more but will also pay more and insist that their friends shop with you.
How to Make Customer Support Work for You
There are a variety of ways in which an everyday ‘consumer’ can be transformed into a promoter or ambassador for your company or product — but you want to strive for a Raving Fan.
What is a Raving Fan?
A Raving Fan is a customer who is so devoted to your products and services that they wouldn’t dream of taking their business anywhere else and will sing from the rooftops (figuratively speaking) about just how good you are.
Are there companies that you are a raving fan of? Companies that you buy from over and over again because their customer support is superb?
How Can You Create a Raving Fan?
There are 3 secrets to creating fans and ambassadors of your brand: First, you have to decide what you want, then discover what the customer wants, and finally, deliver PLUS one.
1) Decide What You Want
Create a vision of perfection that is centered on the customer. It is important for you to layout the ground rules of the service your company is willing to offer.
There are a wide range of service types out there, from brick and mortar return policies at stores like Walmart to online retail services at businesses like Amazon. You want to pick what works best for your business model and your customers.
2) Discover What the Customer Wants
A customer’s vision only has meaning in the context of your vision.
Most people will call, email, or chat in expecting basic service — maybe some answers, an exchange, or a refund. The majority of this vision they come prepared with will be based on similar businesses they’ve dealt with or something they’ve seen on your product or website.
The customer’s vision will likely only focus on one or two things. Generally speaking, people don’t expect the world from you. Most consumers would be satisfied with a friendly and helpful response that offers them the one or two things they want most.
Know When to Quit
Know when to ignore the customer or tell them to take it elsewhere if necessary. If a consumer is consistently calling or badgering the service team for the same issue or looking for free items, self-promotion, or creating other problematic situations over time, know that it is okay to refuse service at a certain point.
It is okay to escalate an issue or let a consumer know there is nothing more that can be done for them in the situation. These should be very rare, but it’s good to know how to address them when they do arise.
Don’t Try to be Everything to Everybody
It’s important that you stick to your brand and your business values. You can over-deliver and go above-and-beyond with your vision of service perfection, but don’t try to change up your style and offer based on what the issue is or who the consumer is.
You can’t always give everyone exactly what they want, and that’s okay. As long as you’re doing what you can to put the consumer first and show appreciation and pride in your service you’re on the right track.
3) Deliver PLUS One
Deliver consistently. Stick to the type of service you want to provide and offer it across the board. Yes, some consumers will be harder to deal with than others, but that should not be what determines the type of service they get. Be consistent — word will travel.
Start Small and Only Change a few Things at a Time
You don’t have to have everything figured out right up front. Think seriously about the kind of service you would most like to experience and then decide what you can offer or deliver without breaking the bank.
Focus on the people you’re hiring for this position, or if you’re handling customer service on your own then decide the types of encouraging statements you want to use when dealing with issues.
Meet Expectations First, Then Exceed Them
This is a fantastic way to turn a confused or angry consumer into a raving fan for your brand, client, or business as a whole.
It’s important to patiently address the issue at hand and then offer something MORE on top of the original solution to smooth things over and show that consumer they’re appreciated.
Make Sure You Train New Employees
Ideally, your business is going to grow and you’re going to need help in this area. When you’re hiring a new employee to help with service it’s important to look for someone who will mesh with other employees, as well as with your consumers. When a team puts the consumer first and has standard procedures that show them what they should be doing and what consumers will expect things will go a lot more smoothly for everyone.
Are there any businesses or products you would consider yourself a Raving Fan of? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you.