5 ways treating your customers like family pays off
Organizational leaders understand the importance of the right team culture in the workplace. Capturing startup values is vital when your startup is growing. It brings staff together with a united vision, and shows what the organization expects from them.
But there’s deeper value in this, it sets workplace culture, allowing employees to feel respected, valued and listened too. But why aren’t we crafting a similar vision for customers?
You don’t have to spend hours working on these values, and they’re not as detailed as ones you’d put into defining company culture. In fact, these values are closer than you think, you can take them from your family life, consider these:
- How would you feel if you are visiting someone and not greeted properly?
- How would you feel if people just want to show sympathy to your situation and not actually help you escape it?
- How would you feel if you recently went through some accident and none of your family members follows up with you on how you are doing?
We all share the same mutual answer to these questions: not a very good feeling or experience.
This is how our customers would feel if we do not treat them as our family members and be absent the care that they deserve. There are some family values which every customer support representative should have and these values should reflect in your conversations as well while dealing with your clients.
There are basic values which can help you give a great customer experience when helping your customers through any channel.
1. Patience, Adaptability and consistency — We all have family members with different sets of personalities but it doesn’t mean our love is less for any of them. We care about them and maintain the same level of patience, adjust according to their personalities and consistently do it on daily basis with each interaction. Similarly if you are in a customer service domain then there is a good chance that you will come across all kinds of customers i.e. irate, chatty, full of questions, lacking skills to communicate in your native language etc. It is therefore very important for a customer representative to deal with every customer with patience and adapt to different situations accordingly and being consistent with providing great customer experience in every situation and with every conversation.
2. Be thankful — We thank our family members on various occasions like christmas, New year, anniversaries etc. Family members exchange gifts on such occasions as a token of love and appreciation towards each other. We can also follow this with our customers as well since nothing is more powerful than the 2 magic words “Thank you” and they should be communicated in a very generic and authentic tone. You can also thank your customers in other ways, such as by tweeting a picture with your team to thank them for the support and loyalty towards your organization, send gifts to your important clients on occasions like christmas, new year or it can be on client anniversaries as well reflecting the appreciation of maintaining the business relationship with your company over the years. We can go one step ahead by offering discounts or going that extra mile for the client on some special days like “Thanksgiving”, “Christmas” day etc. These little things count in maintaining a strong and everlasting relationship with your clients
3. Personalize — One should always remember that the customer on the other end of the conversation is a human being just like you. So it is completely fine to add a personal touch to your conversations which helps in building a relationship with client. It is just how you speak with your family members when you meet them and you don’t sound robotic while talking to them so it should be same with your customers. There are different ways of adding a personal touch in an conversation like wishing clients on festive days like Christmas, New year etc, remembering the last conversation you had with them and maybe touch base on it next time you meet them which will reflect that you care about the customer, follow up with your clients if they leave negative feedback which will reflect that you care about their concerns and want to help them fix it. Avoid abrupt goodbyes and instead ask if there is anything else the customer needs help with. Saying a goodbye should be with the intent that we “hope to hear from you soon” and reminding them that we are right there for you if you need any further help.
4. Honesty — It is a very common saying that honesty builds trust in a relationship. If we are honest with our family members then they will trust us as well and these are generally signs of a healthy relationship. We need to make sure that we are also honest to our customers when dealing with them because if we are dishonest then it can be very misleading for a customer and can even mean that we are just making a profit off them. For an example, if you are in a software support business and a customer is not happy about a certain feature taking a lot of time to get added in the software then simply telling the customer that “It is being worked upon currently” won’t help much here when you know there are other priority things your development team is working on currently. You can explain to the customer the current state of the matter i.e. the reason for the delay and also tell them that you will be personally following up with the development team and update the customer via email whenever the feature is queued for development or released in the next version. This will add a personal touch to the conversation and clearly the client will appreciate the honest answer rather than going in circles.
5. Empathy — This is the most important skill that I rate high on my list. It is a very common word these days in organizations and it simply means “Understanding the situation by being in someone’s position” which means that you are that person now dealing with some issue so imagine how you would want someone to approach you with help. Sometimes in order to keep your customers happy and give them exactly what they need, we need to step into their shoes and understand the needs their way. It is only then we can get close to giving an awesome customer experience. Empathy is similar to what we do with our family members. If your family member is in trouble then you just do not step away by sympathizing their situation. Infact, you go that extra mile to help them and find a solution. Even if you are not able to find a solution then sometimes your efforts to reach there says a lot of things. It reflects your care for your family member and they will appreciate it irrespective of what the outcome is. This is how we should make our customers feel when interacting with them through any channel.
Customer service is at its best when we are not working towards providing a solution to the customer but an experience of a lifetime. Just like how founders set company values that allow you to feel well treated and thrive as an employee, you should try setting internal values for your customers to get used to a certain type of care when they contact customer support. These five values should definitely help you get started with providing an experience which your customers truly deserve. So let’s start following these from today and you will clearly see the difference when you treat them as your family members.
If you liked this article or want to share your views on what values you follow at your workplace then I would love to hear from you in the “Comments” section below.