Five Tips to Improve Customer Experience
Customer service is all about leaving people with a positive memory of your business and not just about fixing bugs and handing out discounts.
Lakshmi and Uma booked a stay at Bison Woods, Yercaud, for a three-day stay a couple of years ago. It was off-season. Their check-in time was noon. However, they started from Chennai around 2 pm, and they could reach Yercaud only at 8.30 pm.
Around 3 pm, they received a call from the resort asking them about the likely time of their check-in, and they informed them that it would be in the evening. Around 6.30 pm, they received another call from the resort asking them if they needed any help in reaching the resort. They also spoke to them about their preference for dinner, and they took the orders.
So, when they reached the resort at 8.30 pm, they checked in and were told that their dinner was ready. Everything they ordered was there in order, and the Chef was around to explain how the food was made.
Both of them were impressed as well as fascinated by the Chef’s preparation. So, Uma checked with the Chef whether they could be a part of preparing food the next day. So, the Chef invited them to the kitchen the next morning, and he guided them through making a pancake and a couple of other dishes. They went there the subsequent two mornings as well.
Once they were back from the resort, they kept raving about the resort and how the Chef made them feel. To this day, the mention of Yercaud takes them back to that experience that Bison Woods provided them.
Bison Woods gave enough memory for Lakshmi and Uma to take with them, and that has become a collective memory of people who know them.
How Do You Provide This Kind of Customer Experience?
Bison Woods is an organic boutique resort with defined customer experience principles.
Everything Bison Woods does is personal, as personal as you can get.
How do you get to that level of personalization in your customer service?
1. Start with a few questions.
What are you trying to accomplish as a business? Are your customers at the center of everything that you do? Do you have defined customer service expectations? Have you shared them with every team member to ensure that you earn the reputation of a business focused on customer service? Does every member of your organization understand how their work impacts customer experience?
2. Personalized note.
We have always been fond of handwritten notes and letters. When your customer open their first order, imagine their delight if it goes along with a handwritten card from the CEO of your company.
When they partnered ‘Big Bang Theory’ to do their merchandise, the Souled Store came up with this offer.
“Shop for the Big Bang Theory merchandise worth Rs. 749 and get the Roommate Agreement free.”
This Roommate Agreement was drafted by Sheldon and signed by Leonard when they became roommates.
Related blog: Personalized Customer Experience
3. Be proactive.
Identify all friction points in your customer service. Be proactive in addressing those customer friction points and moments in advance. If the issue is beyond your reasonable control, keep your customers informed upfront so that the customer doesn’t have to deal with surprises.
4. Respond quickly to queries.
Define your SLAs and keep your customers informed about them. Stick to your SLAs always. Even if you don’t have a solution to their problem, go back to them with the expected resolution times.
For instance, my Internet connection in my office did not work when we had floods in Chennai. Several trees fell, and all the last mile cables had disruptions. We had two connections, and both of them did not work. One of the providers proactively kept us informed that it would take 15 days to restore the Internet line, and the other provider was not even reachable.
Who do you think we continued to work with?
5. Own your mistakes.
You cross half the distance when you accept that there is an issue at your end. Customers don’t expect you to be perfect, as we all are human beings. However, they expect you to empathize with their situation, own up the issue, provide the resolution, and ensure business continuity.
I guess these five insights will be a good starting point in providing the best possible customer experience.