Automation is incredibly valuable for booming businesses struggling to keep up with demand. However, automation should never replace the human touch. Problems will alway occur on a regular basis and it’s impossible to have an automated response that will capture 100% of your customers’ inquires and needs. This is where the delicate balance of automation and human interaction comes into play.
Your service team can leave memorable, lasting impressions upon your customers without breaking the bank. Here are three ways you can win over your customers through one-on-one interactions:
Follow-Up After the First Transaction
Why wait to hear about problems after the fact if they could have been prevented early on? Reach out to your customers after their first transaction to see how things are going. Give them a call, send them an email, or write a thank you card. These small gestures don’t take a lot of time (or money) but do leave favorable impressions. Something I have recently started doing with my customer service team is sending hand written welcome cards to our new customers. No, we can’t do this for every single customer, every single day. However, anytime we have lulls in the call queue, they have stacks of blank cards to write on and send out.
Remember the Little Things
More often than not, customers want to know that you care- care about their problems, care about their frustrations, care about finding a resolution. Even though you interact with a lot of customers, the customer in front of you wants to feel like they matter. Whenever you are interacting with an individual, make a conscious effort to remember a detail or two about their story, even if it’s unrelated to their need or request. For example, I had a customer call in recently who shared with me that his beloved family dog recently ran away. Immediately after we hung up the phone, I wrote him a short note wishing him luck in searching for his dog. I called back a week later just to see if he found his dog. To my surprise, he did. The one thing he mentioned- “Very few companies understand customer service anymore and I was shocked to receive a hand written card from your company.” That card cost less than a dollar and a few minutes total, yet created a loyal customer. Remember the little things, for they most likely are the big things.
Build Loyalty through Community
If you view your customers as community members rather than dollar signs, your effectiveness will go a long ways. Inviting customers into your business world, albeit in small ways, establishes transparency, trust, and loyalty. If you’re looking to change your logo or name your new mascot, create an online poll where your customers can cast their vote! We recently did this with the naming of a character for an upcoming project and it was really fun to see the everyone’s ideas/suggestions. And if you’re not already- get on social media! The entire world is plugging in and you should be, too. Leverage the power of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat to your advantage. There are lots of competing platforms, but those are the basics.
Have you won a customer one-on-one? What works for you? Leave me a comment or send me a tweet!