Customer Service Week Takeaways
CUSTOMER SERVICE THIS LAST WEEK
This last week, here in the United States, it was National Customer Service Week. National Customer Service Week was established back in 1984 by the International Customer Service Association (ICSA). In 1992 the U.S. Congress proclaimed the first full week of October as National Customer Service Week.
As we’ve shared here on BrandingPower, customer service is a vital, basic part of any brand. Your customer engagement, loyalty, retention, and trust all increase based on positive customer service experiences. That’s why during National Customer Service Week, brands need to take special care to focus on the impact of their brand’s customer service component. If you missed the week, there are some things to consider and utilize with regard to your brand’s customer service.
Celebrate Your Team
Customer service members tend to deal with a great deal of negativity. It is often believed that only 1 out of 10 happy customers will reach out to your brand in anyway, whereas unhappy customers will call in much more frequently. This results in a much higher rate of negative interactions for your CSRs. Promote your CSRs to the world. Many brands will offer testimonials of customers, thereby putting a face on your customer service. This will let your CSRs and entire customer service team know that you truly value their contribution to the success of your brand.
Realize the True Size of Your Customer Service Team
Many brands make a miscalculation when it comes to determining the size of their customer service team. Just like how it takes the entire company to help a brand succeed, it takes team members in and out of the official Customer Service department, team, or lone support member. While the actual department, team, or individual member is the front line, they are supported by those behind-the-scenes.
As human beings, we enjoy the feeling of value and of being treated above and beyond expected expectations. Help your customer service by providing experiences that exceed the expectations of your customers and your customer service members. Identify the obvious expectations and develop an unexpected experience for everyone involved. Simple ideas could be to “reward” someone who called in but had to wait an unfortunate amount of time with a discount offer immediately before they even tell you their problem. You could reward your internal members when they solve a customer service issue faster than the average time.
If a part of your brand is focused customer satisfaction, allow and entrust your customer service team; give them the ability to correct issues. When your customer service team knows the limits in which they can work they can come up with amazing ways to satisfy people’s problems. When trained properly and, perhaps, given some expenditure authority, you allow your team to solve problems in a fast and reasonable time rather than having to wait to gain approval. Zappos famously follows this model, such as when they sent Zaz Lamarr a floral arraignment after learning of her mother’s passing, making a huge impact on Lamarr and her sphere of influence.
I am a sucker for Disneyland. I love the destination theme park, and a few years ago I had the chance to take my kids to Disneyland for their first time. It was a great experience—everywhere we turned there was a great deal of detail and thought that went into everything. One area that we noticed was the cleanliness of the park. At roughly 175 acres (both Disneyland and California Adventure), there never seemed to be garbage anywhere. Contrast that with a quick side trip to LEGOLAND, with Lego being another love of mine. LEGOLAND—at a smaller 128 acres—had a dirty feel; cobwebs, dirt/dust, and trash where noticeably visible. At roughly similar prices (they vary based on promotions/day) we expected near identical results between the two theme parks. This wasn’t the case for us at least. The details that one focused on, with regards to cleanliness and staff training, provided a more pleasant experience at Disneyland.
When a brand creates an emotional bond or connection with people, the brand becomes stronger. Creating a true emotional connection often takes work and time. When your brand is sincere and strives to build brand loyalty, the emotional connection will follow so long as your brand promise is kept at the forefront and is exceeded over and over again.
Just because National Customer Service Week is over, don’t allow yourself to think that you can wait until next October to implement ideas to improve your brand’s customer service. Initial thought and action will result in happier customers and happier employees.
Ideas To Make Your Brand Better Now:
- Determine how you can celebrate and acknowledge your customer service team
- Determine how to connect your customers and customer service members together in non-negative-based interactions
- Discover the details that make your customer service different and better than that of your competitors