This week we feature an article by Daphne Kasriel-Alexander who tells us how to create mega-fans who can then become your biggest advocates. – Shep Hyken
Ever been put on hold for three hours? Forced to listen to fake-happy ‘customer care’ puppets reading from scripts? The dissatisfaction you’ll be left with goes both ways: the cost of disappointed customers is high for companies, too. Research reveals that 19% of consumers will never forget — or forgive. After just one bad customer support experience, trust in a brand is gone forever. 25% of us will switch to the next-best choice and 30% are quick to share experiences that left a bad taste.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Consumer empowerment (social media has consumers publicly sharing stories about buying experiences) is diluting customer loyalty to brands and raises expectations about post-purchase support. Our methods are tried-and-true: we get over 2500 queries a week.
Stay away from scripts
Aim to offer a fresh response to each email, message, or request. We’re Lightricks, by the way, a company that’s behind the Enlight suite of creative apps on iOS: Photofox, Quickshot and Videoleap. Users of our photo and video editors are looking to actualize all sorts of unique ideas visually and they come with many questions (hundreds every day). The worst thing you can do? Respond with an automated reply, directing them to an FAQ that probably needs an update, anyway.
“We’re so against canned responses. We like people to know we’re also people.” That’s Mor, who heads the Lightricks Support Team. You’ll see her in action a bit later.
Your customers are moved by honesty
If you’re upfront and admit your faults (we’re human after all), you will turn angry customers into loyal fans who respect you. Over Christmas, our Quickshot app was released with a bug that affected many users. Without skipping a beat, we posted about it on social media.
We then kept users updated via email and later sent them an Amazon gift card for their inconvenience.
Responses like this one are pure gold!
Today’s customer support landscape is more than just email
In 2018 customer support spans so much more than email@example.com. Multiple communications channels will make it easier for your customers: feedback buttons within products, tweeting, DM’s, the inevitable Facebook wall. Put together a team who can take care of issues across all channels, who knows that customer perceptions are fragile, can be screenshot-ed (!), and can change with each interaction. See social media as proactive support. When you respond to users posting informally on social media, you’re also publicly sharing tips with others who may learn from them too.
Embrace the new
Choose novel ways to clarify things for product users. Our support team, itself operating in a creative, startup environment, takes advantage of innovations to tailor replies to users. iOS 11, for instance, came out with a screen recording feature. When our users ask how to combine photos in Photofox (our artistic photo editing app) or ask something as simple as how to change settings, we started attaching a personalized screen recording to accompany our explanation. Sometimes we’ll host live sessions, offer support live in real-time.
Open up channels of communication
Make customer requests an integral part of upgrades and new products. We learn the strengths and weaknesses of our products this way. Consistent meetings between the support team and whoever’s responsible for building your product will wax beneficial to all parties involved: the support team, product team and your customers.
“We’ll pass complex questions or user confusion on to our creative team,” says Yoni, another one of our support all-stars. “ Many requests end up being ‘translated’ into new social media content to help others.”
Still not sure?
Here’s an upbeat case study. It’s the story of how our support crew listened to the users of Videoleap, our creative video editor (and Apple’s App of the Year in 2017 in 77 countries, only three months post-launch — ok, done gloating).
Speed controls — ability to slow down or speed up video — were the missing ingredient for many, and a user chorus asked for it to be added to the app’s tool arsenal. Product developers made this a priority and rolled out the feature in February 2018. But the story didn’t end there. Each of the hundreds of users who had speed controls on their wishlist was then sent a personalized update, with a tutorial on how to use the feature. User lover blossomed:
Moving from fans to brand ambassadors
There’s more to look forward to. When you have raving fans, they tend to become your best advocates. We’ve seen case after case of frustrated-user turned satisfied-and-happy-fan turned knight-publicly-defending-our-honor against online critics. When a third party (read: not you) jumps in to publicly defend your brand, your work here is done.
The best way to create mega-fans is to give them a great experience and help them become really, really good at using your products. This kind of customer support will guarantee your end goal — more sales. Need more examples? We’ve got tons…
Daphne Kasriel-Alexander is a content writer at Lightricks zooming in on what’s interesting about startup life, tech culture and design trends.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes Articles: Whole Foods Knows Its Customers. Do You Know Yours?