Validating your customers
Validation is about reassuring customers they made the right decision when they chose you.
Many people think of customer service as a department. My belief is that customer service is a philosophy, not a department. It should be embraced by every employee, regardless of their job and how long they’ve been there.
With that said, the focus within this topic is on what many consider to be the customer service and support department – the people who have contact and interaction with the customer.
Direct interaction can come in many forms. It can be the traditional customer service team who fields questions and complaints. It can come through a customer simply calling, for any reason, to connect with someone inside the company. The customer may reach out to the company through social channels, a website, a text message – really any interaction with the company.
DOES YOUR CUSTOMER FEEL YOU WERE THE RIGHT CHOICE?
So here is the big question to ponder: Does your company just answer questions and manage complaints, or does it validate the customer’s decision to do business with you?
In other words, when the interaction with the customer is over, does the customer think, “I love doing business with this company”?
Now, that makes common sense, but here is where some companies get it wrong. They focus on metrics – or should I say, the wrong metrics. Metrics, or measurements, are important, as they can tell a big part of the story. If one of your key goals is to get the customer off the phone as quickly as possible, however, you could be shortsighted.
The best customer support does several things. First, it answers the customer’s question. Second, it gives an opportunity for the service provider to make suggestions, answer future questions the customer may have (but, doesn’t know it yet), and more. The best customer service doesn’t happen if you’re trying to rush a customer off the call.
CHANCE TO PROVE YOURSELF
Customers will call for help and support – and even to complain. And, this is when the company gets to prove itself. Through an employee’s knowledge, communication skills, patience, willingness to help and ability to build rapport, he or she can ensure the customer is not only happy but also has made the right choice.
In other words, validate the reason a customer chose to do business with the company in the first place. But, that can’t happen if efficiency is how you measure success. Instead, the focus should be on the customer’s level of delight and willingness to want to do business with you the next time they need whatever it is that you sell.
Validation needs to be a part of the customer experience. It creates confidence, and that can lead to loyalty!
Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information, visit www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus customer service training programs, go to www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken.
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