When customers contact your organization they are looking for one thing: a superhero to solve their problems. It doesn’t really matter how the problem came about as much as finding that magical solution that doesn’t involve a lot of effort or stress on their part. Yes it may seem overly simplified and idealistic, but at the heart of it, no matter how small or complex the issue is, to win customers over you need to be able to provide that superhero style of service. No quibble or looking for accolades in the process, rather simply getting the job done. Are you up for the task?
A bad customer experience is never good
But it doesn’t have to stay that way. A superhero turns things around so that there’s a positive outcome. In certain industries bad service has been the norm for so long that it has come to be expected. Service providers don’t even seem to make the effort because, well, that just the way things work. But why be dragged down because of what everyone else isn’t doing? Rather stand out from the crowd. Bad service represents a great opportunity to make things right and by simply doing what you said you would, when you said you would can really wow customers.
Go to your customers where they are
A superhero doesn’t wait for a crisis to come to them, they go out and respond to what’s happening where it’s happening. Depending on who the primary generation of your customers are, you may need to adapt your customer service resources accordingly. Studies show that older generations still prefer to make contact by phone call. However, younger generations do almost everything on their mobile phones and prefer text and chat to talking. Know who your customers are and their preferred channels of communication and then be available to them so you can respond quickly when they do need help.
Superheroes have a good reputation
Be known as the go-to resource in your industry. Customer like to have information at their fingertips and make up their own minds about products and services. They also like to engage with other customers, read reviews and get peer opinions as to what the best alternatives are. If you provide accurate and useful information online – which is where most people search – and engage in community forums to share expertise, then you win customers over with very little effort.
Anticipate risks and pitfalls
You know your business better than any customer so you know what could go wrong. A superhero approach to customer service anticipates the problems and works actively to resolve them before they become an issue. And if that can’t always be achieved then there’s a very clear strategy on how to solve the problem when it does occur. A proactive strategy is always better than being reactive because it means you have more time and resources at your disposal to find a solution. For the customer the problem may seem like a crisis, but when a customer service agent exhibits confidence and knowledge in solving a problem, it certainly can give them superhero status in the customer’s eyes.
Just like that
The amazing thing about superheroes is that they swoop in, knowing exactly what the problem is and what needs to be done, and then they just do it. There’s no bungling around trying this or that, or trying to figure out what the possible options are. They get it right first time around. Sadly in customer service many companies seem to think it is perfectly acceptable for customers to have to follow up and call back or find alternate means of getting their problems solved. There are even strategies on how to make options available to customers to escalate their queries. But why would that even be necessary if you you’re getting things right first time around? Realistically, first call resolution isn’t always possible to achieve 100% of the time, but it certainly should be a primary objective.
If you want to offer superhero type service to your customers, take some time to consider what this might look like. What resources do you have available? How highly skilled are your employees and how committed are they to stepping into the role of being the hero for the customer?
Know that delivering above and beyond customer expectations requires the buy-in of everyone in the organization, from the front desk receptionist through to the CEO. What will it take to make that happen? Additionally, people need the right resources in order to be able to take on that superhero status. This may involve investing in systems and technology, setting up e-Learning and creating ways to get employees even more engaged. However, the investment is worth it. You may just find that when you start to employ a superhero strategy towards customer service that you end up with employees that love taking on that role. That’s when everybody wins!
Carolyn Blunt is Managing Director of Ember Real Results, a Learning & Development company focused on all things customer.