What big businesses can teach us about customer service

This is a guest post by Rob Young at MOO.

Whether you’re a big business, a start-up or a family-run company, providing excellent customer service is something we all aspire to. Good customer service needn’t cost the earth, so while you mightn’t have the budget of a big name company, it is possible to take key learning from some of the biggest businesses around, such as Amazon and Apple and apply them to your own business.

Call in the Experts

In 2005, British retailer Marks and Spencer announced their collaboration with Mary Gober in a bid to better their customer service in the wake of a dip in sales. Gober, dubbed the ‘Martha Stewart of customer relations’, promotes a can-do attitude and teachers service providers to banish words such as ‘unfortunately’ and teaches people to follow a template when talking to customers. Over the course of her time with Marks and Spencer, Gober trained 65,000 workers in her four-step method which included practices on not passing the buck, staying in the black positive ‘can do’ circle and avoiding the red circle of negativity, and generally giving the customer the best service possible. Whilst not every business is able to pay the $1million Gober is rumoured to have received from Marks and Spencer, it is possible to take key learnings from her in terms of the language used when speaking to customers and the attitude we have in our approach to dealing with customer complaints.

Give the Customer What They Want

Regularly topping lists of the best customer service providers, Amazon is a prime example of a business that keeps its customer in mind, a literal demonstration of this is the empty seat that features in board meetings as a reminder of the customer. The One Click shopping function allows customers to make purchases quickly and simply; while the option to leave reviews helps the customer become fully informed by their peers. Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos places so much importance on the customer that he expects all his employees to be able to interact with them, a reminder that good customer service is important at every level. Making small changes to your site to improve functionality can go a long way. The fewer steps there are to making a purchase the better, plus offering reviews can make the customer more likely to put their trust in you.

Take a Bite of the Apple

The Apple Store’s ‘5 steps of Service’ is a successful model that any business can learn from. From the minute a customer walks into the store the staff aim to provide the very best customer experience possible. As Forbes points out, Apple practices a 5 pronged program for customer service excellence which sees the employee take steps firstly by welcoming the customer into the store, before politely asking what the customer needs. The employee then aims to find a solution for the customer, listens to any issues or concerns they may have and tries to solve them before wishing them a fond farewell. These five steps are not restricted to just stores, but can be implemented through any medium, such as over the phone or via email. Providing solutions to customers’ problems in a helpful and attentive manner will make them feel valued.

So, no matter what the size of your business, taking an approach similar to these big names could give you a different perspective on customer service and help you deliver to higher standards.

 

 

This post was written by Rob Young at MOO, the digital printer and business card specialists. To start creating truly remarkable products visit MOO online today.

Quantifying the business value of a great customer experience – Interview with Peter Kriss of Medallia

#96631972 / gettyimages.com Today’s interview is with Peter Kriss, Senior Research Scientist at Medallia, whose software helps corporations track and manage the experiences of their customers. Medallia’s software, delivered as an Internet service, integrates and delivers data from everywhere that a company that touches a customer, analyses it and presents it visually so that employees […]

Continue reading...

Proactive customer service will also make your employees happier

#119013893 / gettyimages.com I was reading an interesting article by psychologist Dr. Jeremy Dean on PsyBlog (The Simple Mindset That Makes Everyone Happier, All Around The World) recently. The article, drawing on academic research done by Fleeson et al., 2002 and Ching et al., 2014, suggests that: “Acting like an extrovert — even if you […]

Continue reading...

Big and little data, building trust and B2B marketing – Interview with Charlie Peters of Emerson

#108370865 / gettyimages.com Today’s interview is with Charlie Peters, who is Senior Executive Vice President of Emerson, a diversified global manufacturing and technology company that is working to solve the world’s most complex engineering challenges. Emerson has a market capitalisation of $45 billion, approximately 135,000 employees and 235 manufacturing locations worldwide. Charlie is a 40+ […]

Continue reading...

Help your employees experience the sort of service you want them to deliver

#147217236 / gettyimages.com Recently I read an article by Xenia Carr-Griffiths in a newsletter from Hudson Walker International, a global luxury executive search and recruitment firm, called: The Luxury Of Service And The Service Of Luxury. In the article, Xenia says that: “If all our customer facing staff have not had the benefit of experiencing […]

Continue reading...

Business needs to be agile and customer centric if it is to avoid the coming customerpocalypse – Interview with Alan Trefler, CEO of Pegasystems

#200188893-002 / gettyimages.com Today’s interview is with Alan Trefler, who is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pegasystems, the publicly traded American software company which has several products that focus on customer service and predictive analytics. Alan joins me today to talk about his new book: Build For Change, which argues for a complete […]

Continue reading...

Would NPS be better if its scale only had three numbers?

#175277918 / gettyimages.com A question I have been asking myself recently is: Would Net Promoter Score (NPS) be better if it’s scale only had three numbers? Now, before I get accused of heresy, let me say up front that I am a fan of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) system’s central question: “How likely are […]

Continue reading...

Successful innovation doesn’t have to involve a massive breakthrough in technology – Interview with Adrian Collins of bac< and Ziggurat Brands

#171312360 / gettyimages.com Today’s interview is with Adrian Collins, the MD of Ziggurat Brands. Adrian joins me today to talk about innovation and a business and set of products (bac<) that they have developed that aims to transform back-care in the UK. This interview follows on from my recent interview: Customer engagement and lessons from […]

Continue reading...

How Brainshark got its customers talking about them

We all know how important positive word of mouth and advocacy is to the growth and success of a business. However, many businesses find it difficult to get their customers to talk about them. This situation can be made more frustrating when customers tell businesses that they think they are great and are happy to […]

Continue reading...