Customer Service: Mind the Gap
Take B-to-B shipping supplies marketer Uline as a good example. Uline can answer its phone with a real person and get a customer to the right rep in less time than a three-tier phone tree. Customers can look up their accounts online because it's hard to remember what they ordered last when there are 15,000 items to choose from.
Spread Good Will
You can't deceive your customers. They can sense the depth of your commitment to their happiness and well-being. If they consistently leave interactions with your company feeling positive emotions like confidence, serenity, competency, pride and delight, they're likely to perceive you as caring and generous. If they don't, you need to make some changes.
Customers have a dizzying array of choices today, and having too many choices puts people under stress. If your cross-channel conflict makes them feel angry, frustrated, incompetent or disappointed, they won't look forward to coming back. And what they tell their friends is determined by how high their blood pressure rises.
Negative emotion has profound physiological effects. A single incidence of anger can shut your immune system down for six to eight hours. Haven't you ever wanted to throw the phone across the room after you'd screamed "representative" three times?
Marco Promotional Products keeps its finger on the pulse of its customers. Marco sends an email survey after every order. The return email on the automated survey comes directly from Nelson, and 30 percent of Marco's customers respond to it. Once in a while, they simply hit "reply" to correspond directly with "Dick," which he likes. Managers and team leaders go through customer satisfaction reports daily, sifting through every customer comment. If something's wrong, they make it right.
Nelson emails everyone on Monday morning about what happened the week before and lets all employees know where they stand with weekly objectives. He trusts people to take care of his customers, treats them like the businesspeople they are, and shares numbers and customer analysis so they understand what it takes to convert "testers" to happy and loyal customers. Keeping people informed keeps fear to a minimum. Being clear about expectations gives people direction.