Here is a great customer service strategy: Instant Gratification.
This doesn’t happen at the end of the transaction. This must happen at every step of the way. During the customer journey there are multiple touch points, times when the customer either interacts with a company’s employees, website or product. The idea is to make every customer interaction an experience that delivers instant gratification.
This concept of instant gratification tied to customer service came from a recent conversation I had with Frank Jacobs, the founder and CEO of Falcon Products. The company makes table bases. At one point, if you walked into a restaurant almost anywhere in the world, there was a pretty good chance that the table base was made by Falcon. Frank has since retired, but his enthusiasm for how he treated the customer still burns a strong flame.
Frank felt that there needed to be instant gratification at every touch point. The goal is to avoid the opposite of instant gratification, which I, for lack of a better term, am going to call Instant Misery. Imagine if the customer opened their box and found fingerprints all over the stainless steel table base. Or, perhaps the customer called with a problem and had to be put on hold. Or there was a part missing from the box. You get the idea.
Not only do those negative touch points provide misery. They also cause a customer to question if they are doing business with the right company. It erodes confidence.
Where can you find instant gratification in the customer experience? There are many places:
- Calling technical support and having a customer service representative answer within ten seconds.
- Asking for help on Twitter and getting a response from the company in less than five minutes.
- The positive greeting you get when you walk into or return to a place where you’ve done business.
- Getting a problem resolved on the first call, without being transferred.
- Getting notification confirming that your online order was accepted and is in the process of being shipped.
- Occasional messages updating you on your order or project.
- When you receive an expected package in the mail – on time or even sooner than expected.
I haven’t even scratched the surface on all of the different places in the customer journey that you can create instant gratification. So, here is your assignment. Sit down with your team and create a customer journey map. Look for the touch points along the way that are opportunities to create these moments. At the same time, look for places where your customer might find instant misery. Once you identify these places, go to work at eliminating misery and creating instant gratification.
Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact (314)692-2200 or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to http://www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken