Some companies are really killing it in the world of customer support and satisfaction. Publicly striving to be the online service leader, retailer Zappos.com is well on their way. Their endeavors in the world of customer service are inspiring and we could all take a lesson from what they've achieved.
Get'er Done ASAP
One of Zappos' philosophies is to deliver orders as quickly as possible so their customers' wait time is minimal. Because let's face it, no one likes waiting in line for groceries; traffic jams are the pits, and even Sonic the Hedgehog in old-school Sega games would tap his foot if left idle for too long.
Whether or not you're in the business of retail, if you apply this speedy philosophy to your online help desk, you'll really reap the rewards. Wait too long to respond to an email and you risk the possibility that a customer will find a solution to their inquiry on their own. This eliminates their dependency on you, diminishes your value, and could even lose you some business.
Okay, so most customers don’t expect to receive a response within 24 hours, much less within a few minutes of their email. But if you make it a priority to reply right away, you’ll not only surprise your customers, you’ll instantly earn their loyalty.
The Wow Factor
No, hardcore gamers, I’m not talking about World of Warcraft – we’re talking about Zappos, remember? The very first core value listed on the Zappos.com website is to Deliver “Wow” Through Service. In fact, it’s one of their top priorities to make an emotional impact on each and every one of their customers – now that’s a tall order.
In scanning their customer testimonial page, I found one of the best examples of “wow” I’ve ever seen. Just two days after her patient passed away, a caretaker was making an order over the phone when she broke down into tears. The customer support representative not only completed her order, but had sympathy flowers sent to her home – how’s that for an emotional impact? Going above and beyond is second nature to Zappos and this act of kindness has provided enough word of mouth for their company that the $30 it took to send the floral arrangement won’t put a damper on their profits.
Sure, you can do the bare minimum by attending to your customers’ needs, but if you make the extra effort to wow them by listening and connecting with them on a personal level, you’ll see it pay off in leaps and bounds. Remember, you’re not only there to answer customers’ questions, but also to…
It’s no big secret that customer support representatives have some of the lowest rates of job satisfaction and some of the highest rates of turn-over across the board. But that’s easily remedied by companies like Zappos that create a fun, easy-going work atmosphere. Zappos delivers happiness to their employees, who in turn, deliver happiness to their clients. See how easy that is? Their CEO even wrote a book called Delivering Happiness, A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose and started an inspiring movement. I highly recommend you check it out.
There’s something to be said for a positive work environment. Make sure your customer support representatives are also getting heard and getting their needs met, whether it’s through incentives or simply a pat on the back once in awhile. Because a disgruntled employee is not the person you want talking to your customers, believe me!
Use Zappos as a model for your company and strive to be a leader in spreading joy through exceptional customer support!