An article from JoAnna Brandi
I call you, you call back. I buy something, you say “thank you.” I have a problem, you solve it. There is a natural give and take, stimulus- response thing that needs to happen in any interaction. When it doesn't, something feels not quite right.
Remember this basic law of physics? For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Oh yeah? Then how come you didn't reply to my last e-mail?
It flatters my innate need to feel important when you answer my call promptly, solve my problem quickly, or write back in a timely fashion. When you don't, I feel that I'm not worth your time.
Responsiveness is key to winning the loyalty of any customer ... especially this one.
When a business shows a willingness to help and responds to my needs and my requests quickly, I respond to theirs, too. I am quicker to say “yes” to an offer because I trust they'll respond to me. Other things being pretty much equal, the person who responds and pays attention to me will get my nod, first.
Ask yourself ...
Would my customers say that I respond effectively to their requests and needs?
Responsiveness ... IN ACTION!
On a daily basis, a company I know takes the names of every customer who reported a problem - or who appeared to be unhappy at the end of a phone call - and routes the names to a trained senior customer care specialist. That person calls each customer the next day to ask how well they feel their problem was handled ... and to determine if anything else could or should be done to make the experience more positive.
How can you implement a version of this idea within your business?
Create your own minimum standards for response time to customers. If your organization already has them, see if you can beat them. Answer the phone in the first two rings. Return all calls within twenty-four hours. Make sure your tech support people can respond FAST. Call back with technical support within two hours. Have wait staff at the table in less than three minutes. Develop whatever standards will make you excel in your industry and use them as benchmarks. Set up a system of goals and rewards and celebrate when you achieve your goals.
Keep a log of customer complaints.
Include your on-line reviews! Review them frequently - looking for indications of product defects or service snafus that could be addressed or processes that might be improved. For example: Repeat calls asking for help in completing your forms may suggest that you need to make the forms easier to fill out. Be sure to thank customers for their complaints. You might even send them gifts. After all, they gave you one!
Under promise and over deliver.
Don't make promises you can't keep. Think before you make commitments. And then try to deliver more than you committed to.
JoAnna Brandi has been speaking, writing and consulting on customer care and helping brands create lifetime customer loyalty for over 30 years. She brings a fresh perspective to Customer Experience with practical tips to help marketers transform their CX. JoAnna is a Certified Happiness Officer and Coach. You can find her at https://returnonhappiness.com/ and https://Positiveenergizer.com. She is the author of two books on Customer Loyalty and the illustrated gift book “54 Ways to Stay Positive in a Changing, Challenging and Sometimes Negative World”.