How to Provide a Delightful Customer Service Experience

customer service experienceDid you know that 55% consumers are willing to pay more to have a delightful experience?

A report by McKinsey says that 70% of product or service buying experiences are totally based on how the customers feel they have treated.

For about 62% organizations, customer experience is viewed as a great competitive differentiator.

The takeaway?

Customer service experience matters significantly for the organizations as well as their customers. Justifying it with numbers is equally important as testifying it with some of the real players of the industry. Here we bring on to you a long list of customer service experts who share their suggestions on delighting the customers. Experience matters, right? So read and follow what they say:


Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken 

Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations

Delighting your customers doesn’t mean you have to be “over the top” to amaze them. The best companies and people are just a little better than average… all of the time. It’s the “all of the time” part that separates them from everyone else. Customers will say, “They are always friendly, always knowledgeable, always helpful…” the word always followed by something positive is the consistency customers want. A consistent and predictable above-average experience is what makes great companies and people great… even amazing!

jackmackey

Jack Mackey

President/Co-Founder/Keynote Speaker

The Service-Profit Chain is a management model developed over a 5-year study by a group of researchers at Harvard Business School. Their research data demonstrates that profit and growth are stimulated primarily by customer loyalty – especially in retail and service businesses. 

But how can we expect our customers to love us…if our employees don’t? Can’t be done! 

And there is plenty of evidence that “happy employees create happy customers who create happy investors.” Decades of research confirm customer loyalty comes from high customer satisfaction, which correlates strongly with high levels of employee engagement. And highly engaged employees are an outcome of effective leadership! 

In order to scale up employee engagement, we must first scale up our leadership. There are thousands of books on what that means, so here’s just one concept: Strive to create a warm and friendly culture. For example, foster a fun, even playful environment in company-wide meetings.

Senior managers who exude humor and goodwill during these events send the message that company leaders are regular, accessible folks, not stuffy, starched shirt executives who are apart from the team. Plus, having fun makes people feel safer which increases creativity and their willingness to contribute their ideas. Coming together for annual meetings should reinforce company camaraderie and strengthen employee engagement. 

Employees watch everything management does. They take their cues on how to treat customers and what kind of emotions are appropriate at work from company leaders. Leadership interactions with employees manifest in employee interactions with customers. Great customer experiences start with leadership!

Nicolle Paradise

Nicolle Paradise

Senior Director of CX at ADP
I've found that whether you're a start-up or a massive organization, delighting customers actually starts with understanding, "Delight, as defined by whom?"

Customers assume they’re going to get the value and outcomes for which they’re paying. You don’t get credit for that and that doesn’t automatically equal delight.  Delight is the science of understanding what that means from the perspective of the customer, not the company.  Sounds fairly straight forward, though few companies actually practice that.  

A case study example:

  • In 1981, Xerox was trying to figure out why one of its new copiers was perceived as "overly complex."  Company managers blamed unsophisticated users and proposed adding even more complexity to the machine in the form of a video display terminal.
  • A researcher/grad student from Berkeley persuaded Xerox to install some of these copiers on campus, so as to videotape the experience when folks tried to run a few simple copies.  When Xerox engineers saw the recording, they dismissed these folks as "too dumb," until that researcher/grad student identified some of individuals as the world's foremost computer scientists.
  • What was the result?  An obvious, single green "copy" button became standard on all Xerox copiers (still is, though says "start").  
  • Customers were delighted by Xerox's willingness to listen and by all accounts, still are: Xerox is now 112 years old and in FY17, reported impressive revenue numbers of 10.26Bn.

Whether a company is 112 years old or a brand new start up, there are an infinite number of way to delight customers; the true competitive advantage is to understand what the trends and levers are -- as defined by their customers.

Claudette Harris2

Claudette Harris2

President at Service Solutions Partners

  • Delighted customers are ones who have their expectations not only met but exceeded. “The best way to meet or exceed a customer’s expectations is to break down the product and service into various levels. Each plan meets different expectations and must be established on the basis of the customer’s need at that level”. Organizations need to deliver a “wow” experience that their customers always remember and will share with others.
  • “Customers now are more apt to use social media when they have a good/bad experience, which can make or break a company’s image with a single post! Sometimes, when a good word goes viral, the company benefits in terms of increased brand value, more leads and boosted business.

Cecilia Hugony

Cecilia Hugony

Director at Fravega SACIEI

I believe the best way to delight a customer, is to have employees with the ability to make a personal emotional connection. Understanding that “customer experience” is the way customer's perceive their interactions with the company, which basically means how they felt and what they will remember when they think about the company.

One of the simplest way to make somebody feel good, is to really listen to what they are saying, understanding what they need, and connecting with the emotion they are feeling. If you got this part right, then you will be more equipped to provide the best possible solution, exceeding the customer's expectation.

Jeremy Watkin

Jeremy Watkin

Director of Customer Experience at FCR

Rather than giving my customers the "right" answer, I aim to give them the "best" answer. This means taking the time to answer every question the customer asks and even the ones they might not know or think to ask. While it might take a bit more time in the moment, it saves our customers the valuable time and frustration of having to contact support again in the future.

Jenny Dempsey

Jenny Dempsey

Customer Experience Manager

Delighting my customers isn't always about bringing a smile to their face. While I love singing songs or writing poems to customers (yes, I'm that kind of customer service agent), I enjoy delighting them by ensuring that their issue is in good hands. That they can trust me. That I will follow through. And I always do. I'm transparent (and lucky to work for a non-scripted company where I can be this way), I'm honest and I'm genuine.

Kenneth L. Brown Sr.

Kenneth L. Brown Sr.

Service Desk Technician at Landis+Gyr

The key here is 'delight.' Giving great customer service is one thing, but delighting the customer involves much more than just giving the customer what they wanted. Delighting customers involve going an extra step each and every time you are in contact. Delighting a customer says, now that I have helped to solve your issue, how can I educate my customer so that if this issue arises again, I have empowered them to be able to handle the issue themselves.

christopher-brooks

Christopher Brooks

Customer Experience Consultant - Lexden Ltd

When you are clear about what matters most to your customers, overlay the brand values on these statements and you will start to design uniquely motivating experiences for your customers. This will deliver a level 1 wow - making what's relevant to them, in your brand design.

Now you have their attention, take it up a notch and wow your customers with this simple workshop technique: the 6 star hotel. It's simple to apply. Create the best version of what you can do for your customers and call it 3 star quality. Now keep improving it adding more and more 'quality stars' until you reach the peek at 6. Step back and reflect on what will be a real 'wow' improvement.

Rebecca Hill

Rebecca Hill

CX Representative at Direct Energy

I suppose the most important aspect of customer service and perhaps one of the most unexpected, is the skill to listen. I am constantly being thanked from those I have the pleasure to assist because I listened.

Most people want to know they matter and when they feel heard, they are more likely to trust you as a someone they want to give their business to. I have helped those frustrated, and worried, to those happy and on point... either way, listening delights my customers every time because then and only then am I able to deliver.

kelechi-okeke

Kelechi Okeke

CX Analyst at Fidelity Bank PLC

It's not enough to delight the customers once, the question should be what do you do to continually delight your customers?

To achieve that you really need to listen, not just to the customers but your employees, especially those who interact with the customers daily. These two are in the best position to tell you what you need to do in order to continually ensure your customers are delighted and remain loyal. Engage them, ask for feedback. It not enough to ask for feedback, and after you analyze the responses, you should do the next important thing - take action.

Jared Cornell

Jared Cornell

Customer Support Specialist at ProProfs

Do you see your customer delight rate dropping once in a while? Well, that’s probably because your customers aren’t getting what they expect from your service. So what’s your priority at this stage?

Is it to keep your major focus towards building more profits for your organization? Or do you plan on creating steps that help you boost customer delight rate? Well, I’d go for the second one.

Your profits rates aren’t going to improve until you do not put together a plan that helps to delight your customers first. So where do you start? In case you have no plan of action, then the steps below can help you begin working towards one efficiently.

  • Delight Your Customers With Instant Support

Instant support means instant delight.

Providing instant answers to customer queries will make them keep coming back for your services. So, make sure you have the right live support chat software in place. With the right tool, it’ll be easy for your support agents to provide instant answers effectively.

  • Be More Understanding

One thing your customers wouldn’t like is the lack of understanding from your support agents in instances when they’re really stuck. So, keep on enforcing the idea amidst your support team to be more understanding and patient while having a conversation with your customers. Such practice leaves an impact on customers, prompting them to spread the positive word about your brand.

The Lesson Learned 

So, in the end, your customers will never forget the bad experiences they have had with you. Such experiences have colored their impression of you as a brand. Going that extra mile to delight a customer is essential to survive today. With the integration of a live support software will not only help you attend your customers, they'll be surprised and delighted too. But wowing every customer is a pricey deal. Think strategically. Act smartly. Delight invariably.

Recommended Reads:

  • Expert Roundup - Tips to Improve Customer Service
  • Expert Roundup - How to Achieve a Higher Customer Satisfaction Level
  • Expert Roundup - Top 3 Customer Service Skills required to Succeed
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