What does excellent customer service feel like? Think about your recent experiences as a customer or member and what was most important to you.
Which moments made you feel valued and happy? Smiling to yourself did you think I need to do more business with that organization?! Which experiences made you wonder to yourself why is nothing simple anymore?
What Kind of Experience Do You Offer Customers?
When was the last time you thought about what your customer, member, or donor’s experience with your organization is like through each potential step of the process? Whether it’s to make an inquiry or a purchase, check out what it is really like anonymously. What are all the points of potential interaction someone can have with your organization and where are the potential annoyances?
Call your reception desk or call center, email from an anonymous personal email address, place an order, test your e-commerce or online donation system. What impression did you get? Where are things going smooth as clockwork? How were you treated? Were there some surprises, bumps or bruises?
Watch for potential points of frustration and think about what you need to do to ensure your customers feel appreciated. You know what superlative customer service feels like, envisioning how to offer that same level of service is a matter of commitment to anticipate and avoid those aggravations you wouldn’t want to experience if it were you.
Another strategy I always suggest is to ask staff to share comments and feedback they hear from customers. What are the most important trends that members, customers, or donors praise or complain about? What the pressing issues customers talk about? In so many organizations this feedback is never shared so decisions are made that ignore the reality that customers feel and express to first line staff they talk to. Social media listening, that is monitoring customers’ conversations online, is another important way to hear feedback in addition to whatever regular market research you conduct.
Not every organization has the budget to offer superlative Nordstrom level customer care but it doesn’t cost a lot to make people feel special – starting with just how they are treated. For example, the tone everyone in your organization uses with customers is free — and imperative.
What are the strategies you use to make sure your customer service builds strong relationships and leaves your customers and members smiling?