This exceptional customer service technique has made one small business stand out as exceptional in the eyes of its customers. Could you adapt it for and do the same for your business.
The business owner gives her customers something very simple that lets them know everything is going fine with the service they have ordered. Read this example and think how you can make this technique work for you. This one action satisfies customers, assures them that their needs are being fulfilled even though they are at work, and it connects with new customers because it promotes word-of-mouth advertising.
Imagine you’re sat at your desk at work and you get pictures shared with you online, like the one above, of your dog having a great time while out on a walk with a Professional Dog-Walker that you’ve hired. While you’re at work, miles away from home, wondering if everything at home is okay and how your pets are doing, your dog is out on their daily walk with their dog walker and lots of doggie friends having fun fresh air and exercise. You knew the dog was going to be taken for a walk because you booked the service, but the pictures make it real, you know it has actually happened and that no problem has arisen that has prevented it from going ahead today.
You can get on with your day knowing the dog has been taken care of, and as a secondary benefit you know that if there was a problem at the house the dog walker would have contacted you. Wouldn’t it be great if we got the same service from other suppliers and service providers, maybe even your business?
A Business that Gives Exceptional Customer Service
Cara Taylor runs Walk the Dog in a village called Mossley in Tameside North West UK. She shares pictures of happy and contented dogs that are uploaded during the walk and that the dog owners can see while they’re at work. How would you feel in the middle of a hard day, working miles from home, and you could see these pictures of the walk your dog was having.
At first you might think that this is a great idea for small businesses, like Walk the Dog, but how will it benefit my business…
Meet Your Customer’s Expectations and Then Exceed Them
Some companies don’t even communicate with their customers when problems arise and a service or delivery can’t be completed. This is poor service.
Some companies communicate when there is a problem, but even with details of the problem and when they will fix it this is only expected levels of customer service.
What about communicating with your customers when things are running to schedule as well as when they’re not. And what about using real pictures that show things are going well? Using pictures could small businesses and large organisations create the same feelings in their customers as Cara the dog walker does when she sends pictures of people’s pets bounding across muddy fields with a large stick in their mouth? Yes, I think many of them could.
We all attach a great deal of emotion to our pets and that is a part of the big effect of the small action when Cara sends pictures. But lots of other industries can hit people’s emotions with their products and services, not always because of what the products and services are, but also because of what it means to their customers to know something they are responsible for ordering has been fulfilled. Here are some examples:
A B2B Customer
A B2B customer can get very positive feelings from being able to go into a meeting and say, ‘Yes that service I arranged was definitely done by our supplier on this day and at that time and they sent me a photograph to prove it.’
Car Repair and Service
How about when you have your car serviced. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a picture sent to you as your car goes into the workshop or on to the ramp as they start the service. How many times have you asked yourself, ‘I wonder if they have actually started on it yet?’ If you receive a picture of your car having work done on it you know that they’ve started and that they’re on schedule for it to be ready on time.
Direct Sales Customer
A direct sales customer having a service carried out in their home, but being at work as the service is done, will feel very satisfied and relieved to have images of the progress throughout the day and know that there are no nasty surprises waiting for them when they get home.
Does your window cleaner or gardener let you know when they have been to your house? If you’re not there the first you might know about it is when they come to collect the money. You might wonder when the service was done if you hadn’t noticed on the day which raises doubts in your mind. A picture sent to you after completion would be exceptional customer service and stop any doubts. People show pictures to friends and colleagues. People are proud of their houses and how they maintain them, and a picture gives them the excuse to show it off, and every time they do you will get free word of mouth advertising. Imagine it, your customers selling your service on your behalf, all you have to do is send them a picture to use.
Use Exceptional Customer Service to Increase Sales
Assess your customer service levels from a customer’s viewpoint. Look for how you can improve and maintain exceptional customer satisfaction by using and adapting ideas, like the ones here. Grow word of mouth advertising because customers see you as exceptional and talk about you. Increase sales by using your service actions as a vehicle for offering more products or services.
When a customer feels good because of something you have just done that’s the best time to make additional sales or Ask for referrals. Incorporate marketing actions into your exceptional service actions.
When you send a picture of something good happening include a sales pitch on another service.
When a customer likes your picture ask them for recommendation to friends and colleagues.
When problems arise use pictures to communicate the problem and to show what you are doing to resolve it.
Here’s another customer service action, based on the same idea, free information. Just like the free pictures from Walk the Dog, free information in the form of eBooks works for businesses that don’t have anything visual to photograph. It’s a service