Why your customer service should give customers the VIP treatment

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Most customers are insatiable, they really are. They seek for the most satisfying customer service they could get from the brands they support. For you to understand where they're coming from, you just need to close your eyes, and be in the customer's shoes for a while.

Then imagine your latest weekend trip down to the town arcade, when you went out for a quick shopping, movie, and dinner. Perhaps you had a good day and nothing terrible happened with regards to your overall customer experience, but certainly, you had assumed and expected to get a nice treatment from the shopping stores, the ticket booth, and the restaurant you visited.

In short, never in your wildest dream that you expected a bad Sunday rest day from the mall, of all places.

The customer service blunder

The blunder in customer care is that most CEO and brand owners always look for the customers they never had. They splurge sizeable money on advertising and sales to earn new customers. There is nothing wrong with this, as this is a standard operating procedure in business. It just goes off beam when it becomes the primary focus, because such fruitless promotion often leads to the neglecting of the loyal and existing customers.

The business tends to forget to treat their loyal customers as though they are newborn babies, (just like the first time they secure a sale from them) because it is too preoccupied with growing its client base and winning new customers. Hence, the attention now is shifted to the new baby.

The repercussion of neglecting your pool of consumers can be explained by what transpired on the Tarmac of Chicago O'hare International Airport between folk singer Dave Carroll and United Airlines in 2008. Through a song, Carroll tells of how the airline staff carelessly handled—and eventually broke—his guitar. Despite the musician's incessant appeals to have his conked out $3500-worth Taylor guitar paid, he ended up getting nothing.

The big surprise is when it was the guitar brand itself that sent Carroll two new custom guitars, just for the simple reason of "appreciation for the product recognition from the video that has lead to a sharp increase in orders." The lessons here: one wrong customer service move can give your brand name a big whipping , as social media can make a simple blunder into a massive online reputation mishap. That one wrong move can propel a different brand (be it a direct competitor or not) to steal a customer from you and benefit from your mistake.

Giving your customers the importance and attention they deserve lies completely in you. It is your responsibility as a business owner to balance looking for new prospects and customer retention.

Be personal, and omnipresent, if possible

Customers are generally impatient, and they want instant solution to their problem. In this day and age, there are many ways to make the customers feel that they are being served even outside the realms of contact centers and hotline numbers.

Brands these days have a sprawling and comprehensive presence on the web. Like them, you have to have social media accounts where you can address customer needs without going through lengthy phone conversations.

Make a Twitter account to address them immediately the moment they tweeted. You can also throw them a quick video call or instant message on Facebook to avoid letting days pass without anything substantial happening, which could coerce them to write negative reviews about your brand on the Internet.

Go the extra mile

The Zappos customer service story is no myth. It has a generous return policy that lets customers who wish to return a product get a rebate or a replacement for free. There was also a case when their customer support representatives gave flowers to a woman who ordered six pairs of shoes, since her feet were injured by medical treatments.

Trader Joe, on the other hand, had shocked an elderly man—who had had troubles purchasing food from a different food chain—for agreeing to deliver him food in the middle of a storm. Customers want to feel that they are your friend, that you are a brand that is willing to go beyond the usual business owner duties you do.

Reward them from time to time

Some companies just give out rewards during the Holidays or when they need to make amends for their mistakes. Well, if Rackspace managed to send pizza to a hungry customer on the other line for no deep reason at all, then you might consider doing the same thing, too. The simple gesture of rewarding them little things—a discount, a free product, or even a helping hand—is also a way of thanking them for being simply a loyal customer.

The real point of customer service is not to impress your customers. Well, it's a part of it. But it is largely focused on emotional engagement and building a solid bridge between them, a bridge that is unbreakable and accessible any time of the day. You can now open your eyes and ask yourself: Do you want to give your customers a bad shopping day? Think again.

Open Access BPO's top priority is to provide unique outsourcing solutions that are built on unparalleled customer service. Learn more about us on our website or Google+ account.