February 24th, 2021 by Kevin Box
Have you ever been in a large retail store looking for a particular product and asked an associate to help you with your search? Does it bother you if the associate just points you in the product's direction instead of walking you to its location? This simple gesture by retail outlets can yield huge dividends in delivering Customer Service Excellence and creating customer loyalty. However, many retail outlets fail to train their employees in providing this kind of customer experience, and the brand is worse off for it.
The technology world is no different than retail outlets. When it comes to helping end-users with technical issues, we must walk them through how to navigate the technological world much the same. We should approach each issue as if the client knows nothing and provide them a resolution with a servant's heart, walking them through the process and not just pointing them in the fix's direction.
I recently had a professional in a service industry with whom I am a client point me towards a specific location on its company website instead of providing a direct link to the exact place I needed to go. This can seem a bit trivial. However, it would have saved me time to simply click on the organization's link, which led me to where I needed to go instead of traversing through the website searching for specific information without any guidance. This would have changed my customer experience with the organization. However, what ended up happening was time-consuming and frustrating navigation through a website with many nooks and crannies of data and information.
We often assume the client or prospect knows more than they do and take for granted the quality of the customer experience at stake. However, we should do what the savvy store clerk does when approached for help with finding a product; greet them with a smile, walk them to the product location, ask to show them or demonstrate the product, and thank them for allowing you to help with their needs. These are simple yet effective ways to deliver an excellent customer experience.
If you want to break through the noise and deliver a great customer experience, the following points can help you deliver.
Help with a Servants Heart
Helping with the idea of serving your customer is the foundation for excellence in the customer experience. Consumers and Businesses often run into a “Paradox of Choice," so to speak, when searching for a provider, and we must cut through the noise to get their attention. Delivering an exceptional customer experience can often be the catalyst for brand loyalty and referrals. I recently had a brief stay in the hospital last year and experienced this firsthand at Houston Methodist. Every clerk, aid, and nurse I interacted with cared for me with a servant's heart, and they always said "my pleasure" anytime I thanked them. Guess where I am going the next time I need to go to the emergency room or hospital if I have any say in the matter?
Show, Don’t Point
This was explained in the above example. Be mindful and empathetic of the end-users situation. End-users often are not technically experienced and may even be frustrated at the time of the response. Taking time to listen, showing empathy and patience will serve you well in this regard. The end-user will be appreciative, and your organization will be further along to cementing another loyal customer.
Minimize Industry Jargons
Minimizing industry jargon can be challenging because those in technology are familiar with specific terminologies and technical concepts and use these terms internally. However, the end-user is not.
“I need to check your form factor for damage to the Optical Drive and to see if the CPU is functioning properly,” said no tech ever, right! However, as technology experts, we say things like this all the time and must prevent using extraneous industry jargon that can confuse our customers or exacerbate the situation. Please, keep it simple and the technical jargon to a minimum.
Say Thank You or My Pleasure
Saying "thank you for choosing ABC company," or "my pleasure to serve you and your needs," seems obvious, but it’s often not used. When you say thank you at Chick-Fil-A, for example, and the server responds with an enthusiastic, “My Pleasure!” which makes you feel good about your experience even if they just got your order wrong. That’s because everyone has a need to feel welcomed and appreciated. The technologist should use these terms when interacting with customers and help the end-user have a similar experience. End-users typically call technology for help in situations where something is not working, so showing appreciation can help ease their mind and soften the problem's impact. This will also help to build customer loyalty and stickiness, so to speak, within the customer relationship.
Overall, we shouldn’t discount being excellent in our interactions with our customers or end-users. After all, they pay our salaries, give us purpose, and are the foundation for our organizational mission. Deliver "WOW" service, and you will have a customer for life.
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