With all the focus on how technology—including AI, data, personalization and more—can drive a better customer experience, I wanted to shift my focus back to basics. To this end, I recently published an article in Forbes about ways to create an amazing customer experience in 2020, and I thought it would be enjoyed by our Shepard Letter subscribers as well. It was quite long, so I decided to split it into two parts. If you want to read all twenty right away, you can do so here. Here are the first ten of twenty ideas as to how you can up your customer service game in 2020.
- Stay in touch. Too often companies focus all their efforts on acquiring new customers instead of keeping existing customers. Don’t forget about your “sold” customers—stay in touch on a (somewhat) regular basis. Depending on the type of business, it may be as infrequent as once a year.
- Send a surprise “gift” when your customers are least expecting it. Everybody sends gifts around the holidays. Find other times to surprise your customers with an unexpected gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Just a clever, thoughtful touch that gets noticed.
- Eliminate long hold times. Don’t waste your customers’ time. If you must make them wait, let them know for how long and give them the option of being called back.
- Send a thank-you note. When was the last time you sent or received a thank you note? Surprise and delight your customers by sending them an old-fashioned, handwritten note in an envelope with an address and a stamp.
- “Freaky Fast” Response Times. Who doesn’t love fast service? Jimmy John’s, the fast-food chain known for “freaky fast” service and delivery, knows how much customers appreciate speed. Take a leaf out of their book by finding ways to be freaky fast for your customers.
- Do something special for Get to Know Your Customer Days. These days happen four times a year on the third Thursday of the beginning of each quarter (January, April, July and October). For more information, go to GetToKnowYourCustomerDay.
- Use video. Video is an amazing tool. It’s inexpensive and can often be posted for free. Use it for online tutorials, a video version of Frequently Asked Questions and more. Check out this recent Forbes article on using video.
- Call the customer instead of making them call you for appointments. It’s one less thing the customer has to do when doing business with you.
- Celebrate National Customer Service Week (the first full week of October). You’ll have to wait until October, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning now. For more information, go to the official website for National Customer Service Week.
- Share content that is all about the customer and not about the company. In other words, it isn’t a sales or marketing piece. Well, actually, it is, but it shouldn’t feel like it.
There you have it—your first ten tips to make 2020 your best year of customer service and experience yet. I’ll be back next week with numbers eleven through twenty, so be sure to check back then!