Posted by Patricia Jones
How to exceed customer expectations, have you ever planned or thought about it, if not let’s do it. It’s tough to meet customer expectations, let alone exceed them. However, with little tricks even the smallest company who is in its infancy stage can set a new record of outstanding customer service.
Needless to say, the ripple effects of outstanding customer service automatically pave the way to outshine customer expectations.
So here we are dishing out 4 exclusive ways to provide outstanding customer service and outclass customers’ expectations. Take a look and also get real case studies from some top notch leaders.
1. If you make a mistake, admit it, apologize, and fix it
In short, be accountable to the customer. Remember, apologies through a product/service return or money refund will always cost you less than bad press from an unhappy customer.
We suggest: Recall a similar experience where a company had failed to meet your expectations (as a customer) and later fixed the issue brilliantly. Make a list of things the vendor did to make that experience a good one for you. Implement any of these right now.
Well-known Wallet Manufacturer, Rogue Industries sent an apology letter to all the clients who received defective products from their online store. And what made this whole gesture more appealing was the free replacement that came along with the letter.
Unsurprisingly, this initiative won great positive reviews on the social platform. Customers acknowledged the fact how the company proactively recognized its slip-up and then immediately fixed it up for free.
Without a doubt, this step not only exceeded the expectations of the customers (who may have been upset with the quality of the original product) but also laid a strong foundation of customer loyalty.
What you learn?
Not every customer experience is going to turn out a winner. Even the best of companies can do the blunder. It’s important to realize when you’ve stuffed up and make it right, quickly.
2. Go the extra mile and surprise your customers
For delivering a truly exceptional service, go the extra mile and do something your customers won’t usually expect.
In this festive season, sending shopping coupons, a Christmas gift, or a box of chocolates can be a great idea. However, somewhere or the other, these things are becoming run-of-the-mill with time. Moreover, you do not need any special occasion to surprise your customers. As a company, you should look for opportunities regularly to surprise your customers and surpass their expectations.
Callaway, an up market manufacturer of golf equipment set an outstanding example of exceeding customer expectations. It directly parceled a product to a customer’s house that was looking for a replacement grip for his putter.
The story goes like this – George, an avid Callaway user, emailed the Callaway Customer Service Team, inquiring about replacement grips for the putter. He clearly mentioned that he had been looking for the putter online, but has been unable to find it till now.
Callaway customer service representative simply asked for George’s home address and shipped one over for free.
This act was followed by multiple testimonials from George. Not only did he shared this amazing experience online but also ensured to advocate the company on all possible platforms.
What you learn?
It’s not always necessary to do something grand to make a difference. Small yet substantial acts can enable a company exceed customer expectations. What is required is that companies keep looking for these small opportunities to offer excellent customer service and outshine customer expectations.
3. Take your customers’ interaction beyond sale
Do not pander to industry myths that ask you to concentrate only on sale. Instead try and build an intimate conversation with your customers. Focus your time and resources on understanding your customers’ actual priorities. This is one of the best ways to exceed your customers’ expectations.
Zappos – a leading shoe manufacturer is considered by many as the one of the companies that delivers the worlds best customer service. Here’s a look at one of the instances where it went out of its way to exceed customer expectations –
A customer ordered six pairs of shoes from Zappos. While she took the two, she decided to return the other four. She called up the customer service representative to find out what she needed to do to return the other four. In the middle of the conversation, the customer explained how she had just come out of harsh diabetes medical treatment which made her feet sensitive to pressure. Resultant of which, she ordered for the specific pair of shoes from Zappos.
With Zappos100% returns policy, the company immediately took the four shoes back. However, two days later, an enormous bouquet of lilies and roses went to the customer’s place, from the Zappos customer service representative!
This gesture showed exactly how considerate Zappos is towards its customers. It really care about its customers and went an extra mile in its effort to leave a lasting impression.
What you learn?
Personalize your customer interactions. It always works. While interacting with the customers, – anticipate possible issues, demonstrate knowledge and recommend solutions.
4. Speed up your problem-solving service
Speed is the essence of any good customer service. Hence ensuring that a customer’s problem is understood quickly and that they do not have to re-explain themselves should be the fundamental of every company’s customer service policy. Implementing this practice not just guarantees complete customer satisfaction, but ensures that customers’ expectations are exceeded on every occasion.
Amazon has been known worldwide for delivering exceptional customer service.
One particular example of this is cited below.
One of the Amazon’s customers called up at their customer service department explaining how the play-station that he ordered got picked up by someone else from his doorstep before he came home. Completely aware that Amazon was not responsible for this plight, the customer just requested for a discount in the new play-station that he was about to order.
To his surprise, the Amazon customer service representative had another PlayStation shipped out to his home, just in time! And that’s not it – Amazon didn’t even charge him for shipping!
What you learn?
Just like Amazon, companies need to go above and beyond, to outdo customers’ expectations, especially when it comes to solving the predicaments of customers. Only then will they have a strong base of happy and loyal customers who will forever be spreading their love and talking about their amazing experience with the company.
Patricia is a full time CRM consultant at ConvergeHub and part-time blogger. She has earned herself quite a fame as a specialist and market expert in CRM software. In the last five year she has worked with various companies as CRM consultant to help them move their businesses to cloud. Her expertise lies in offering cloud CRM consultation, CRM customization and integration solutions to small enterprises. For last one she is engaged in building ConvergeHub, cloud-based CRM solution for SMBs, as a consultant.Follow her at Twitter: @convergehub