How can we move from just satisfying our customers, to making them truly happy, which results in loyalty?
Shep Hyken interviews Chase Clemons, a highly-experienced customer service professional at Basecamp, who tells us how to go above and beyond for your customers.
Shep Hyken’s opening comments focus on how, when your customer calls you, they need to know three things:
- That you know them.
- That they like the information that you give them and trust that it is accurate.
- That when they get off the phone they’ll be able to do what you tell them to do.
If you can do that quickly, or if it takes longer, they don’t care. They need someone they can rely on. As the old saying goes, “People like to do business with companies and people they know, like, and trust.”
Shep begins his interview by asking Chase Clemons how he goes above and beyond answering his customers’ questions. Chase explains that when people use Basecamp, it’s not really about Basecamp. It’s about what Basecamp does to make their lives easier. They want to take whatever they are working on, get in, get out, and get back to running their business. So, the more he can help with that the process the better.
“Go the extra little bit,” Chase advises. Be a partner rather than just a business. Find the information that truly solves the customer’s needs, rather than just answering the question that they raise. This includes thinking proactively and resolving issues that may arise later on, before they happen, while assisting them with their initial issue. Solve the short-term problems, but address long-term issues.
Chase also explains that you can be clear and concise, whether on email, a phone call, or live chat, and still be human. The biggest key is to not have a standardized reply for every part of the interaction. Yes, have templates (Chase calls them “snippets”) that you can work with. But those should just be building blocks for creating a personal experience with the customer. The dialog should be unique for each customer.
- The best thing you can do for your customers is to surprise them. If they have an issue, after you fix it, and you notice they have been a customer for a long time, give them something. Give them a free month, send them some flowers, chocolates, or a book. Don’t tell them you are going to do it. Let it be a surprise. That’s the next step in getting the loyalty you are after, and establishing and deepening the relationship.
- Don’t just resolve the customer’s initial question at face value. Ask questions and dig further to find out the details of their request. This will not only allow you to answer their initial request, but will open the door to resolve other potential issues, and will allow you to make the best suggestions for them as well.
- Make sure you take time for yourself. You’ve got to put your oxygen mask on first – meaning you have take care of yourself first or you’ll burn out and you won’t be good to anyone. Chase believes, “Work a good 40 hours a week.” It’s important to make sure you and your employees have a good work-life balance.
Chase Clemons is a hands-on “in the trenches” with his customers in his role as a customer support pro at Basecamp. Basecamp is project management software that helps their clients stay organized as they work through projects. Chase is also the host of the Support Ops podcast, a popular show for people in the customer support industry.
“Take the experience and make it something that the customer can truly be happy with, rather than a checking-the-box, yes, I-got-that-done kind of experience.” – Chase Clemons
This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:
- What is the best thing you can do for a customer?
- How do you create a human experience for your customers?
- How can you create a personalized experience for your customers?
- What are some customer service best practices?
- How should you answer customer complaints?
- Why is a satisfactory, or an average, experience not good enough?