Customer service is not only about what you do. More often than not, it is about what your customers think of what you do. Many things get lost in that grey area between what you do and what your customers experience or how they experience it. Customer service is all about perception and we will delve deeper into the three E’s of perception as the 3 key ways to delight your customers in 2020.
Whatever you are doing for your customers, you must do it well. Are you offering logistics services? You have to do it well. Are you delivering food to customers, you have to do it well. Effectiveness is not only about doing what you set out to do well, it is about knowing what your customers may want in the near future and doing it.
When the pandemic hit and the world proceeded on a lockdown, we thought of what our customers would need and one thing we did was to launch the Flutterwave Store, to help customers and businesses who had been affected by the lockdown to still make sales. The feedback we received from them show that the Flutterwave Store contributed immensely to the survival and growth of their businesses at a time other businesses were witnessing a downtime.
So, today you have to ask yourself, ‘what do my customers need now and what would they need in the nearest future?” When you are able to find these out and carry them out, then you are closer to delighting your customers than you think. But, there is a caveat. You must put processes in place to ensure that your customers value what you offer, at all times. That is the only way you exceed their expectations, win their money and their heart.
And hey, it is not enough that you offer value, but do your customers access that value easily? That leads us to the next ‘E’ of perception.
It is not often enough that you create value for customers. This is because your competitors are also creating value. What would delight your customers, is your ability to create value in a way that your customers access it easily. As a small business or company, you must ensure that your customers access the value you offer, seamlessly.
You may ask, “are my competitors not doing the same?” or “What will make me stand out?” But one thing your competitors may not be doing is caring to find out the top issue of their customers. So there you go! Look out for the top blocker for your customers and remove it.
Optimization of the customer experience process is a marathon and for small businesses, it is always a challenge to find out where to allocate scarce resources. So, one thing you can do is to do a quick survey and let your customers rank their top blockers. Is the landing page too busy? Does the delivery take too long for the product you offer? Find out and fix it.
Effectiveness and ease of accessing your services make for customer satisfaction. But there is another way to create a longer standing relationship with your customers and that leads us to the next key.
A huge misconception across the small business community is that small businesses think that brand building and community building is reserved for only established businesses. That is as far from the truth as Nairobi is far from London. And the first step in building emotional connection is to make your customers feel valued. What this means is that you treat your customers like they matter. Oh wait, it is not also enough that you treat them this way. They must also perceive it this way.
To explain a bit more, what this means is you are not doing anything if your customers do not feel what you are doing the way you would want them to. If it’s time to reward loyalty, you must reward your customers with what they value. If you sell a luxury product, you can’t reward your customers with money, because they all have it or at least, the majority do.
Building emotional satisfaction goes beyond rewarding loyalty or optimizing your service delivery processes. It is also about the product and the after-sales engagement. Do you keep engaging with your customers long after sales or do you ‘lock up’ and pursue new customers?
Quick facts: “Loyal customers are 5x as likely to repurchase, 5x as likely to forgive, 4x as likely to refer, and 7x as likely to try a new offering.”
In all of this, no one’s saying that as a small business, you should be perfect. Infact, more than you think, you are going to drop the ball with a couple customers. However, a crisis is also a good opportunity to strengthen relationships. Show empathy and apologise unreservedly when issues pop up. Funny thing, some customers will stay, not because you offer the best product but because you are the most human, in the time of crisis.
Watch our Grow My Business Webinar titled, “Understanding and Delighting Your Customers,” presented by our COO, Bode Abifarin.