It’s that time of year, yet again, when we decided that now is the time to kick start our lives or do those things we’ve been putting off. I’ve never gone to the gym before but why not now when everyone else is planning on going. I’m definitely going to start eating better…as soon as I get through all these left over chocolates from the holidays. I’m totally going to get a new job, I just don’t know what that’ll be or if I have the skills for it. Having said that, businesses are no different.
Please excuse the sarcasm (or don’t, it helps my charm) but we all know New Years resolutions are hardly ever successful, and if they were a priority in life, you would have taken the bull by the horns any one of the other 11 months of the year. The aches and pains of bad customer service continue to exist, regardless of how much easier technology and demand has made it for companies and customers to engage with each other. So, in the spirit of ritual and embracing what resolutions truly represent: the hope for positive change, I give you my three hopeful customer service new years resolutions:
1) Be giving with the smiles (and while you’re at it, make eye contact too) – I’ve been taking notice of customer service interactions for years now and I still can’t tell you how often staff don’t focus on customers but rather look at it like an assembly line. Stop. Meet gaze. Smile. If I had done these customer service resolutions since I started this blog, it would have been on the list every year. I can’t go to a supermarket or a department store without having a no-smile experience at least twice a week. Stop it.
2) Be transparent – I have a blog coming up about small print and the sneaky attempt to manipulate customers. Why? Sure you will get them for that meager extra amount of money, but will you have built a positive customer relationship? Nope. Tired of the term, “hidden charges”? Be up front with customers. Tell them all the added costs, challenges and the benefits of your products and service. Your customers will love you for it.
3) Be more about the customer, not yourself – Taking a page from Jay Baer’s book Youtility, companies should aim to be more useful to their customers than promotional. Customers will be much more appreciative that you helped them with their problem rather than told them how great you are. I recently had an issue with launching a website and some technical questions associated with my host provider, BlueHost so I gave them a call. They answered all my inane queries that went far beyond the services I was paying them for. It wasn’t a matter of going “above and beyond”, they were just helping one of their customers get what they needed.
What is your 2014 New Year Customer Service Resolution? For your company or for your customer experience? Share below.