3 Ways to Tailor Your Customer Service to Modern-Day Customers: #Throwback and #KISS (Keep it simple, stupid) Style
Customer service shouldn’t be a punch word or tactic you check off, it should be an ingrained belief. If you’re in the business of business, you’re serving someone.
Whether you’re a lifestyle brand, a professional service, or you are B2c, B2b, and so on, doing a constant self-check on service is paramount, but while you’re at it, continue to make your model achievable and tailored to the times.
Traditional customer service is coming back in style, and forewarning, this blog does not contain mind-blowing ideas, however, we live in a fast-paced, overwhelming society (we didn’t need to reiterate that to you, I’m sure) so the time is now to tailor our service to today. Make customer service simple again and get back to basics. We’re in a period where “keep it simple” and “throwback” are the new “complicated” and the new “modern”, so we thought we’d help you hone in on the top strategies you need to be considering.
1. Be a real-life human, consistently. It’s an age-old idea, but it’s more important than ever. No one has time for the run-around. And people are smarter than ever. Let’s just be real with you, our fave reader, B.S. meters are installed in us all, and on their strongest program update yet. People are also more educated than ever.
So call yourself out when you fall short or mess up, connect human-to-human, and embrace authenticity. If someone is reading through your B.S. with their supersonic meter, you’re better off regaining rapport by being real. Also, in the day of Siris and Alexas, no one wants one more AI robot to talk to so don’t be afraid to ask questions about your customers’ lives and inject personality into your conversations! Businesses still, and will always be in our opinion, as strong as its stakeholder relationships.
- Give it a shot! Next time you slip up, encourage yourself to call your customer up and be succinct, authentic and straight up about the problem. *We’ll even extend you a lifetime guarantee that this strategy will get you far.
2. Make Good. Brand loyalty is HUGE (yes, I heard Trump’s voice here, too) in a world where new businesses and solutions pop-up daily. This weekend, I went to Kendra Scott. It’s a B2C storefront for women’s jewelry. The company was started by stay-at-home mom, Kendra, turned power-house entrepreneur, and she now has 55 stores across the U.S. Quite the success story considering she started by bootstrapping in 2002.
Anyways, I was shopping, and I had one of her pieces on. It’s about two-years-old and was starting to tarnish. I asked about getting it cleaned, and instead, the incredibly personable store manager said, “I know Kendra, and she wouldn’t be happy with the tarnish. Here’s a brand new one.” (See how human they make Kendra feel, good example of step 1). I said, “Okay, how much?” thinking this was a discounted item offer/sales tactic. She said, “No, it’s yours. We have a 1-year guarantee, but even still, this turned too fast, and too much for our quality standards. Take this one on me.” I fell over… in my head, not for real. This necklace sells for $90… not cheap.
I will forever be brand loyal to a company who makes good like that, and who gives their employees autonomy to make good. And guys, this isn’t one instance. I was telling this story to my girlfriend who happened to lose a Kendra Scott earring while on a trip as a flight attendant, came home to our Kendra store, and they gave her a brand new set for 50% off even though she was willing to pay full price as she was accountable for her loss. All I said was, “Wow!”
- Give it a shot! Now that business model is specific, and maybe those kind of discounts aren’t financially feasible for all, but when you can, surprise your customers with making good on your standards. A one-time bite to the wallet can yield to more loyal, lifetime business.
3. Be a partner. We warned you traditional customer service is coming back in style for modern day service, and that this blog wasn’t going to blow your mind :-). Yes, we said it, be a solutions-oriented partner. There’s too much to do, and too little time to be creative across the board for every business bump.
Your customers–no matter your industry or who you serve day-to-day–are looking to you for those creative solutions. If you make a product, you do that to solve a problem… If your competitor makes the same product to solve the same problem, how are you different? I’ll tell you how: you’re the partner with solutions. You’re the thought leader. You’re the one they call when they’re in a pickle. Doesn’t that scenario feel better than only selling a plug for a problem-spouting hole?
- Give it a try! Read some case studies, white papers, infographics, graphic novels, books, and blogs. Set 30 minutes of your time just once a week to be curious, and read. Read about other industries, new technology, skies the limit. The more you educate yourself, and take the time to be curious, the more you can add to the conversation. Maybe your solutions don’t always lead to sales, but maybe one day they do because your customer says, “Joel/Juliet always has a clever idea… I’m going to give them a call.”
That’s my spiel on customer service, guys! Now, if we become real-life human friends in the future, hold me accountable. If I’m not following my own advice listed up there^^, call me out. Now go tackle your busy day with your back to basics, customer-tuned mind! Go get ‘em.