09 Apr Improving the Customer Service Experience
What kind of customer service experience do people have when they interact with you and your company? What kinds of opinions are they forming about your brand and the value you deliver? How strong is the relationship you build with your clients? Today, we’re talking about how to improve your customer service experience throughout their journey with you.
The Customer Journey
When customers interact with your business, or with you as a professional, they experience the foundation of your business. I believe this foundation is comprised of four core pillars: branding, marketing, sales, and customer service.
First, the branding pillar is made of your core values. This is the “why” behind what you do. If this pillar is weak, customers will have difficulty trusting you. It might seem like you’re only in it for the money. Your work might not be connected with your purpose, and over time, tiny cracks reveal weakness in your motivations.
Next, the marketing pillar is what differentiates you in the marketplace and is comprised of the who, what and how. Who are you, and what makes you unique? What do you do specifically in terms of product or service offering? How is your product or service different from anyone else’s? Marketing tells people what makes you unique.
Third, the sales pillar matches up your branding and marketing pillars to what your clients actually want and need. If you operate from a silo touting how great your product is, but nobody actually wants it, sales will never come. It doesn’t matter how great your branding and marketing may be. To have a strong sales pillar, you must listen to your customers and understand their problems.
Last is the customer service pillar, our topic for today. This is the sum of all the exceptional efforts you make to exceed client expectations throughout every interaction they have with you. This doesn’t mean working yourself to death, it simply means having processes in place that allow you to overdeliver on what your customer expects. For instance, you might provide a deliverable a little sooner than you said you would, or add an extra surprise when you ship your product.
Customers form emotional connections with you and your company over time while interacting with all four of these pillars. They begin to develop opinions about your professionalism, and make judgments about the level of care and comfort they believe you give to them. The customer service experience they receive will determine your future success.
Steps to Improve the Customer Service Experience
The customer service experience improves when professionals find ways to:
- Be authentic – Stay true to your core values. Nobody else can be you! “Unique” starts with you.
- Be intentional – Think carefully about how you want to strengthen and calibrate the four foundational pillars of your business.
- Be genuine – Who you are, what you do, and how you do it should be aligned with the wants and needs of your prospective client. If that’s not the case, perhaps it’s time to look more closely at who your ideal client really is. Are you trying to appeal to everyone?
- Be emotional – You have to care! Show – don’t tell- your clients that you care. This is an emotional experience for you, too, not just for them. “It’s just business, it’s not personal” won’t get you anywhere in the customer service experience.
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: HOW TO IMPROVE THE CUSTOMER SERVICE EXPERIENCE
Below is a transcript of the video, “How to Improve the Customer Service Experience,” published on YouTube on April 7, 2020.
Speaker Don Mamone:
Hey there. Thanks for being here today. I’m Don Mamone. I’m a hospitality veteran. I’m an artist. I’m also an entrepreneur. Today we’re gonna talk about the customer service experience. More importantly, we’re going to talk about how the journey you create for your customer shapes those experiences, for better or for worse. And at the end of this video, we’re going to answer the question, what can professionals, business owners and entrepreneurs do to increase their customer service experience?
In order to evaluate the quality of our customer service experience, we need to do a better job of understanding the client journey. There’s four foundational elements in business that drive everything we do and shapes the foundation and framework for the customer journey. Those four elements are branding, marketing, sales, and customer service. Let’s take a quick moment to define each of these. Branding, branding is the identity and culture created from your core beliefs and values. It’s essentially why you do what you do. Marketing, marketing is the who you are, the what you do and the how you do it. Next, sales. Sales is basically the convergence and alignment of the who you are, the what you do and the how you do it and the wants and needs of a prospective client. And lastly, customer service. That’s the exceptional efforts you go to to exceed expectations and overdeliver on all the promises you just made.
Let’s take a closer look at that three-step customer journey we talked about. The first step is that prospective client finding out about your company. Next, they’re going to form opinions about your company and those thoughts might translate into words like professional, experienced, talented. The third step is forming an emotional connection with you and your company over time. They’re going to start using words like valued, loyal, confident, comfortable. It’s at that third step in the journey when you can really, truly start creating genuine customer experiences for your clients. So with all that said, how can you accelerate your client’s progress to that step in the journey and increase their client experiences?
First, be authentic. Your core beliefs and values and experience make you who you are. Nobody else can be you and don’t forget unique starts with you. Next, be intentional. I want you to thoroughly consider how you want to create the four foundational elements of your business. Be genuine. Carefully consider the who you are, the what you do and the how you do it, and if those things align with the wants and needs of your prospective client. If they don’t, maybe it’s time to consider that that person isn’t your ideal customer. And lastly, this is my favorite and what I believe to be the most important one. Be emotional. You have to care and you have to care about more than just the business. You have to show, not tell your clients that this is a deeply emotional experience for you, just like it is for them. So lead by example.
All right, thanks so much for being here today. That’s all we have for you, but if you have stories you’d like to share or questions you’d like to ask, please feel free to drop those in the comments below. If you liked this video and I think you did, be sure to check the like button. We’re regularly producing content. So also subscribe to this channel and we’ll let you know when the new ones are out. And lastly, here’s to understanding the customer journey and creating exceptional customer experiences. Thanks so much. Have a great day.