The wonder of great customer service
According to a Service Study conducted by American Express, experiencing great customer service is even more pleasurable than seeing one of the natural wonders of the world. Delivering it feels pretty awesome as well!
The research has even found that great service has the power to trigger the same reactions in the brain as when we feel loved. (http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1202901/great-service-beats-kissing-when-it-comes-to-pleasure-according-to-american-express-service-study)
At a time when both customer centricity and differentiating from the competition through the quality of customer experience are considered to be the highest strategic priorities for businesses across the globe, this research can offer some really simple clues for success.
I remember approaching the edge of the Grand Canyon and quite literally having my breath taken away. It's a moment I'll never forget. That being said, an even more memorable experience was the perfect service I received in the Maldives on my honeymoon. Every interaction with a member of staff on our tiny paradise island left me feeling like a like a million dollars. When I think of these two experiences, I can recall very similar emotions - and I'd gladly re-live those experiences again at the drop of a hat!
So, the research proves once and for all that the art of delivering awesome service lies within the ability of providers to make customers feel great about themselves during every interaction. Most successful business-customer relationships are built on emotional connections. So, the more you can leverage emotional triggers with your customers, the more likely they are to become loyal. Being human really makes good business sense in a customer service environment!
"Great customer service starts with respect. If you respect the customer as a human being and truly honour their right to be treated fairly and honestly everything else is much easier. " - Doug Smith, Author
The research conducted by American Express found that we experience significant and positive psychological and physiological reactions when on the receiving end of great service. We also have similar reactions when we provide excellent service.
"Great service induces neurochemical reactions in the brain and can trigger the reward pathway that produce pleasure we feel, giving an exaggerated response."
Now that's a strong emotional connection to make with your customers!
Interestingly, when respondents were asked for their best and most memorable service experience almost all of the highlighted top five involved simple acts of kindness, or thoughtfulness.
Britain's top-five best service experiences:
1. Taxi driver returning lost property from the back of their cab
2. Receiving a gift as a thank you for being a customer
3. Quick and hassle-free problem solving over the telephone
4. Supermarkets opening up a new checkout till when there is a long queue
5. Being given a discount for no specific reason
All these experiences ultimately left people feeling valued, significant, cared about and respected. No doubt the likelihood of them repeating business with the providers significantly increased.
It sounds like a simple formula for success and a relatively low cost solution for delighting customers is - make people feel HAppy!
This type of service however, requires providers to be thoughtful about the needs of their customers and to genuinely care about the people they serve. For some, it's second nature.
For others however, it's a tough job balancing busy workloads with a necessity to smile and anticipate the needs of increasingly discerning customers.
Every interaction, whether in person or over the phone has the opportunity to make or break the relationship between the customer and the business. If you want customers to experience the wonder of great customer service, and to share the feeling as well, you need to put yourself firmly in their shoes so you know exactly how to trigger the right reactions, and avoid pushing the wrong buttons that quickly turn your customers away.
When you get it right, you'll know about it - remember, great service experiences trigger the same physiological and psychological reactions as feeling loved. You'll see the smile, hear the laughter, and sense the calm when your customers’ breathing rates decrease as feelings of loneliness and anxiety subside. Hopefully you will be smiling as well!
Unexpected delighters are a great way to trigger the feel good factor - going above and beyond what the customer would typically expect and adding that all-important personal touch and VIP treatment. And it's not just about bribing customers with fancy product enhancements or costly gifts - a simple but genuine 'how are you today? is there anything else I can help you with?' can make a huge difference!
I've experienced this recently as my husband and I prepared to fly home from a business trip/vacation. Despite my husband being booked economy, whilst I enjoy the perks of business travel, they still offered him the VIP treatment and allowed him to benefit from the fast track check in from the car, speedy security checks and access to the lounge (and all the free drinks) - they even let him priority board with me. They didn't need to do that, but it made us both feel really special and valued, and I feel a sense of loyalty driven out by a natural response to reciprocate the act of kindness.
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou
So, how will you take your customers breath away and deliver wonderful service?
The Happy Learning Company excels in developing high bespoke ‘customer happiness’ programmes. Check out our website www.thehappylearningco.uk and email firstname.lastname@example.org to discover more about our approach and some great case studies!