When you sell a product you’re also selling a customer experience. Some people believe the experience is so important that it’s been given a name — The Experience Economy.
In a social media crazed world where people tweet and blog about anything, how do you create remarkable customer experiences? Micah Solomon gives you the keys to delight customers in his book, High-tech, High-touch Customer Service.
The author identifies six crucial trends related to the individual consumer. While there may be overarching business trends, learning to treat customers as individuals is key to business success. Let’s look at two trends.
Customers expect anticipatory technology behavior — Instantly
The art of anticipation helps create customer loyalty. Micah applauds Netflix and Apple for their ability to anticipate customer needs. Netflix, for example, provides viewers with a list of movies they may want to watch next. And Apple stores are set up to anticipate customer needs.
The Apple Store app allows customers to schedule an appointment so staff receive you properly upon arrival. Instead of upselling, Apple employees are trained to listen and suggest products that satisfy your needs.
The Desire for Self Service
Customers have become accustomed to a self-service option from other retailers. Updating account info, checking status of a purchase...
If your company has no self-service option, customers are going to wonder, “What gives?” Micah teaches the principles of winning self service. Customers need a choice of channels. Kiosk, website, phone...
Customers should have freedom to choose. If they call, your response shouldn’t be, "Hey, that is handled on our website, brilliantcompany.com. Dude, please surf to it."
Self service needs an escape hatch. Have you ever received an email that came with the warning, “Do not reply.” There should be a way for the customer to contact you. There should be a way for the customer to reciprocate. Correspondence sent via US Postal service provide a way to reply, even if it is as simple as "Return to Sender."
Also, avoid making customers a slave to your organization structure. Hold the business buzz words. Speak in plain English — the native language of customers.
Micah Solomon’s book holds a wealth of wisdom that will help you win loyal customers. He organizes the info so it’s easy for you to touch. The salient points of each chapter are highlighted in a section called, “and your point is?” Cliff notes for the modern marketing man.
Micah also provides his take on social media. So if your company has a Facebook page and it’s not all fun and games, you may want to pick up a copy of his book and learn how to respond to people who are bashing your products in 140 character rhymes.
Like a movie where the hero encounters a set back, you too can turn it around.