Seeking to create standout customer service? Here are six lessons you can learn from the customer service superstars.
1. Deliver “Wow Moments.”
While many customer service departments focus on metrics like constantly shortening the time it takes to resolve a customer issue, at Zappos reps aren’t penalized for spending too much time on the phone with a customer. What matters is whether they make an emotional connection with the customer and create “wow moments.”
In one legendary instance, a rep spent eight hours on the phone with a customer helping him find a shoe that was out of stock—and ended up buying it for the customer on another retailer’s site. As a result of this above-and-beyond service, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh says nearly half of new Zappos customers hear about the company through word-of-mouth.
2. Create a Customer Service Culture.
At Zappos, 50 percent of the decision to hire someone is based on his or her cultural fit with the company. The company seeks reps who are passionate about customer service. But it doesn’t stop there: New hires get five weeks of training in the company’s approach to customer service so they are thoroughly immersed in Zappos’ core service values by the time they actually interact with customers.
3. Even If It’s Not Your Fault, It Is Your Problem.
Disney parks don’t try to brush unhappy customers off or minimize complaints. This is because the company recognizes that the way you solve a customer problem can have a better effect on the customer’s experience than if there was never a problem to begin with. Whether or not the problem the customer is having is within your control, do everything you can to rectify it.
4. Empower Your Employees.
Employees need to have authority to bend (or even break) the rules so they can provide personalized solutions for each guest. While Disney has strict standards for its “cast members,” it also gives them the freedom to improvise solutions that will leave memorable impressions on guests.
5. Make the Customer Experience Easy.
Is there a simpler shopping experience than buying from Amazon? If there is, I don’t know about it. The online retailer’s one-click option makes shopping dangerously simple. A lot of effort on Amazon’s end goes into that streamlined customer experience, but what matters is what the customer sees.
6. Pay Attention.
Though the Amazon experience is solely online, that doesn’t mean it’s impersonal. Far from it: With its customized recommendations based on what customers have bought in the past or what they are browsing, alerts when prices drop on products in customers’ carts and reminders about unpurchased merchandise, Amazon creates the impression it’s looking out for you every step of the way. The result of this attention to customers’ habits? Customers buy more, more often.
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