A cursory glance through trip advisor and you commonly see two types of review; the bad and the brilliant. The plain old good – not so much. Why is this?
People tend to review products or services with passion, and if they don’t have strong feelings about something, they are not inclined to comment.
And the truth is that good customer service does not necessarily make something memorable. Only exceptional customer service truly stands out.
Once a business has achieved this level of service, this is where it can really start to thrive. Customers will return, word of mouth will bring in new prospects and the business will quickly grow.
So how do you achieve exceptional?
Quite simply, you have to astonish.
Take my recent example of a trip to a Michelin stared restaurant. When the waiter came to take the table’s order, he asked the right questions and provided all the answers. Only there was one significant difference; he didn’t write anything down.
‘Remarkable’ and ‘that’s service for you’ commented my fellow diners. Failing to notice the second waiter a few metres away, notepad in hand.
In this instance, the service provided something that my party had never seen before. Something that was to provide a benchmark for all future dining experiences.
My sister uses the same approach with her Airbnb guests. As well as leaving her flat immaculate, she provides all the extras – mini toiletries like the hotels do, helpful tips for local attractions and eateries and even bakes her guests fresh bread. This means she receives a stream of positive reviews and is able to charge that little bit more for rentals and still attract a steady flow of guests.
But what about sectors outside hospitality, where it can be difficult to stand out?
Companies in all industries can fall down on customer service. Make your customer’s lives easier, and this is where you can truly shine.
My old colleague Warren Butler believes CRM presents a clear opportunity to help businesses be both “amazing” and “memorable”.
Firstly, CRM can help you observe one of the golden rules of customer service – keeping your customers informed.
Keep customers updated with progress on service cases with automated email notifications when cases are opened, updated and closed.
Companies can also set up alerts that will trigger if agreed terms are at risk of being breached.
Ideally, you need to think about a customer’s need before they realise it themselves. Put simply, a customer should never have to chase you for anything. By proactively addressing your communications, you can not only manage their expectations but exceed them.
Similarly, data should be seamlessly shared across the business, allowing teams to quickly access client information from a single interface. There are few things more frustrating for customers than being passed from person having to repeat the same conversation. CRM provides a solution for this, but only if everyone has access at the right time, in the right place, and with the right level of enthusiasm for it.
Perhaps surprisingly, few companies actually stick to one system across the entire business. This is perhaps, one of the main reasons why significant issues occur.
CRM should be your single data universe. Others can feed into it, yes, but this is where everything lives.
Going back to great examples of customer service, when I came to renew my car insurance one year, I received a letter from my current provider. In the letter, they thanked me for my loyalty over the last few years and provided me with a voucher for a leading online retailer. Although, this didn’t cost them that much, it almost instantly swayed me to stay with them.
A good CRM should ‘increase your sales rate, streamline your processes and aid your business decision-making.’
If this isn’t happening, it’s a clear signal that your CRM system isn’t performing as it should.