I am sure many of you have purchased from Zappos? They have great customer service, free shipping, 365-day return policy, someone to answer your questions 24/7/365. Plus all those shoes! What is not to like?
Have you looked at the service you offer your customers? Shoes aside, how does it stack up to Zappos?
Some years back one of my private coaching clients set an intention for the year to Zappos! Her goal was 100% customer satisfaction. To do that she needed to go back over all her processes and create written standards and checklists to be sure that every product she offers can be a 100% satisfaction for her customers.
If you look at other retailers, you can see examples of great customer service. Nordstrom is universally recognized for its customer service, and when I shop there I usually head for a personal shopper to make my visit efficient and productive. Recently I ordered a bracelet for my FitBit from Tory Burch, and this company is now in my great customer service category. The bracelet arrived gift wrapped in an elegant box with a note thanking me for my purchase. It sure made me feel special.
Is great customer service one of your goals? Here are some tips:
1. Customer satisfaction begins from the first time someone is aware of your existence. People will draw conclusions about you and your product from the first time they are aware you exist. They also draw conclusions based on anything and everything. For example, if you fly on an airplane and the trays are dirty, you might think that if the company does not care about the cleanliness of the plane, they are not maintaining the engines. That could be extreme, but look at it in relation to your business. If you consistently have mistakes in your pattern directions, that leaves a negative impression on your customers.
2. Accordingly, accept the notion that your product is not just “the thing” that you market. The product starts when your targeted customer first becomes aware of you. It extends until he/she has bought your product, used your product, and is deciding whether to buy again. You have scads of opportunities, along this entire continuum, to make your product better, so take advantage of them.
3. Remember that your customer’s assessment of you begins AFTER the sale is made. Most people do not understand this. While it is fine to celebrate your victory, your customer begins deciding whether his or her decision to do business with you is being validated by your level of customer care.
4. Take time to write what your standards are and communicate them to your team and your customers. You can include this on your website, if appropriate.
5. How do you let your customers know that you value them? It could be extra help on a project, following up personally on their experience, or offering a special gift with a purchase.
6. Improve the way you obtain customer feedback by asking better questions. For example, instead of asking how the customer experience was, ask for three ways the customer experience could be improved. That way you will get information you can use to improve your business.
7. While your goal is 100%, you may not get there right away. You need to have a process for measuring your results and making adjustments.
What are your customer service experiences and standards? How do you measure your results and make adjustments? Please share your thoughts below.