Personal service can make all the difference to customer success
Personal service can be your key point of difference when it comes to creating customer success. When you are serviced personally by the business owners, from the initial phone call, through to the successful settlement of the sale, it can be most gratifying.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to service every customer on every deal on their journey; others have to be involved.
Spreading the word about your services and customer successes
Word-of-mouth is the most potent marketing initiative you can implement during a customer success journey. What better things for a customer to be talking about than the services they have received and their customer experience.
While serving customers and fulfilling their stated wants and needs is crucial, it is not enough to ensure loyalty. There needs to be something else. Something emotional, that involves the customer, making a connection with them and increasing the likely hood that they will spread the word for you.
Help customers to learn from adversity.
I recall during the first significant drought I experienced, learning a valuable lesson about the customer success journey experience. What customer in their right mind would buy a big tractor, or header harvester in a drought?
Offer terms which extend beyond the tough times
When I was in the agricultural machinery business, I remember going through tough times with a rural recession and droughts. Well, we had to make sales to survive during these significant and prolonged periods, and here are some of the strategies we adopted:
- We would always talk about positive outcomes. What would happen when the drought broke when others would be scrambling to buy machinery
- Provided extended interest-free payments for an extended period which would hopefully go beyond the tough time was always a winner
- We had to provide our customers with reasons why they had made a purchase. It was to help them save face with their mates who would say they were stupid to be buying anything during a tough time.
We sold many machines during the tough periods and created positive experiences for our customers which they came to appreciate when hard times passed, and others were scrambling to acquire the machinery to meet their requirements. The clear message is you help your customers through tough times, and they will return the favour. At least most of them will.
So, what can you do to improve your customer success journey and improve the outcomes for your customers going through hard times? The key is to keep in mind there is always something you can do. No action and maintaining the status quo are usually not appropriate options.
Aggressively seek new ideas
Most of you have had similar experiences. The “not-invented-here” syndrome in many businesses, is merely another way of procrastinating about making changes as to how you treat your customers. Unfortunately, disruptions are a fundamental part of today’s business environment. New means of providing better customer experience are being invented every day. Tap into your creativity, no matter how long it has been since you used it to innovate.
Buy yourself a ‘playbook’ and start doodling, let your ideas flow freely. You might be amazed at how many good ideas and opportunities you will uncover. Here are two things you can do to start thinking outside the box.
Winners are grinners. This young man knows the value of close targeted action orientation.
Imagine that there is a vastly better, cheaper, faster way to provide your customers with a new and better experience. You need to use it as competitors may have already discovered something which will put you out of business.
Imagine doing precisely the opposite of what you are doing today. Allow your mind to float freely and consider how current trends and paradigm shifts will change your outlook when it comes to customer service and the experiences.
A great customer experience, once you put it together, isn’t going to stay that way on its own. The customer experience requires different approaches at each stage of development.
It needs continual work and reinforcement on the part of your organisation at all levels. Every person in your team should be taking responsibility for customer service, from the first smile to ultimate satisfaction as use the products and services. Of course, if your organisation’s values are not congruent with the types of customers you are trying to attract, there will be little success for anybody.
“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things”. Peter Drucker
“The more you engage with customers, the clearer things become and the easier it is to determine what you should be doing”. John Russell