Too much is never good. A good balance of everything is what people need. That is also the case in customer service. Technicality is important but a good amount of creativity will go a long way. Especially in this digital age where people get bored easily and want an instant answer and access to everything. Giving customers creative support will be very much appreciated.
According to a 2016 research by the University of East Anglia (UEA), they found out that there is higher customer satisfaction for companies and organizations that have more creative employees than those who have less to none. This research has led many companies into making it a part of their goal; to incorporate not just technicality in customer service but also a good amount of creative processes.
The lead author of Delighting the Customer: Creativity-Oriented High-Performance Work Systems, Frontline Employee Creative Performance, and Customer Satisfaction, Dr Ieva Martinaityte, who is also a lecturer in business and management at UEA’s Norwich Business School, have stated in the research that: “We are living in a constantly changing environment and companies need to adapt to changes in technology and customer needs. Customers want a more personal service and we show that a more creative approach is a way to enhance their experience. Delighting the customer will increasingly stem from frontline employees’ creative rather than scripted role performance.”
And her statement is even truer now than when she had said it. Customer service will overthrow price and product quality as a factor for buying which indicates that companies really need to step up their game. Satisfying these consumers will be harder than before. With tons of competition, you need to stand out from the rest.
Balance Between Creativity And Technicality
People have always seemed to think that science and creativity cannot be combined. However, that is truly false. Scientists are probably one of the most creative bunches of people. We will not have these technologies if not for their creative minds and curiosity for the world. But what is their relation to customer service?
Marketing and sales people rely on science in gathering their data and how to approach the consumers. They depend on the numbers, statistics, and researches from trustworthy sites, companies, and organizations to give them what is right. Because of that, people think that marketing and sales people are rigid and just inflexible. They are focused on their goals and their plans to achieve them.
Now, that is not the case anymore. Giving the technical answers to your customer’s inquiries can be fun and entertaining too. The software or technology used for customer service varies from company to company. Finding the right tool to serve their customer will be up to them, how compatible their strategies are to the tool. Whether it be on social media, email, phone, or live chat, giving customer support through these channels need not only be information-heavy.
Just like how a famous streaming music site has been doing for the past few years. Spotify is one of the pioneers of customer service on social media, specifically Twitter. They have been utilizing the social media giant to their advantage and mixing the right technicality with creativity in their answers.
Now, customer service should not only be about agents answering people on different channels. It could also be about FAQs on a website, blogs, webinars, and other aiding materials that could help your customers answer their own queries. Just like this FAQ page of Now Novel.
Importance of building customer relationships
A statistic from Microsoft revealed that 54 percent of customers will increase their expectations for customer service today compared to a year ago, and that percentage is even higher for people aged from 18 to 34 years old. This fact alone proves that companies and brands need to go out of the box or even create the box themselves for customer service.
The result of the research alone will make businesses realize (if they haven’t yet) that they need to build a good customer relationship with their consumers. It is not a one-way street anymore. Consumers have the say to every product and services they are being offered now. Moreover, Millennials are becoming the top consumers in many parts of the world and they are also the generation that is born in the middle of this digital revolution, more that should make them prioritize customer service in every channel possible.
As Gartner predicted, 89 percent of businesses are expected to compete mainly on customer experience. If companies are serious with building customer relationships, they need to know that the battlefield is now in customer service. Having a good relationship with your customer will make you more attractive to non-customers.
Quirky and witty replies will not only make you look good and approachable look but it is also a great way to pursue your branding. Every communication made between a customer and a brand is a way to build a relationship. Whatever they hear, see, read, and or watch about a specific brand will stay in their mind and in the future, they will associate it with them.
One great example is Wendy’s Twitter account. With a description that says “We like our tweets the same way we like to make hamburgers: better than anyone expects from a fast food joint.” They surely will captivate people into buying their products. Moreover, they reply to many of their customers’ tweets in a hilarious and “savage” ways. Their Twitter account is known for it.
Though not every tweet is guaranteed to build a relationship, it does more good than bad. They took their chance and have built an online persona.
Another example would be Amazon. We cannot talk about great customer service and not include Amazon in it. They pioneered many customer service strategies that many brands are using nowadays. From free shipping to free movies and other things, they take care of their customers the best way possible.
Maintaining good customer relationships
Having a good customer relationship with your clients can mean good customer retention and an increase in sales and revenue. By putting the needs of the customer first, companies are able to see their wants and are able to provide for them.
The richest man in the world, Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, has always said that they put importance to their customers rather than their competitors, and it shows. They do not project to them but rather show it in their actions, offers, services, and products. They let the customers do the talking for them and advertise them to other non-customers.
One example to elaborate on that is when you compare two coffee chains with both amazing products with each other, customers would usually pick the one that they think has better customer service. It’s a no-brainer that a customer would choose the one that they are familiar with and the one that serves them right.