Not all customers are created equal.
What if we stopped pretending that everyone is the same? Should you treat someone who's been a loyal customer of yours for years the same as a person who just signed up and then bad-mouthed your company on Twitter? We all want to be known for amazing customer support, but the fact is that sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day to help everyone with impeccable service.
In many cases, we treat the squeaky wheel better than our loyal high-valued customers.
We live in an age where mass personalization and customization is just within our reach. Implementing better customer service for loyal customers is an easy-to-implement process:
1. Know thy Customer
It's easy enough to identify your best customers. A simple excel sheet with a customer to revenue ratio will do the trick without any fancy analytics. That technology is so last century but still so effective. Score customers based on their sales divided by the number of non-issue issues they've raised (i.e. don't know how to use the product/system, get magical errors that are not reproducible, or try to use your product/system in ways it's not designed) and then multiply that by 1+number of positive sentiments on social media. Tag these customers in your CRM or support system for Gold Level service. The airlines already do this for their best customers – the rest of us should get onboard.
2. Upgrade Service for your Best Customers
Even if you are using an email-only support system, with a gold-level tag in place, it's easy to autorespond that their ticket priority has been upgraded – “Sorry you had a problem but our best team will be helping you shortly. We appreciate your business.” Then route it to your best team and let them provide the service these customers deserve. If they've provided positive feedback on social media for you before, give them another opportunity to do that again. The highest complement for a company is having people who love you even when there are issues.
3. Ask for Quick Feedback
One of the most customer-oriented companies that I know of sends out 3-question survey after every support incident and once per month. If I rated them poorly in the survey, I received a personal call within 5 minutes asking why I rated them badly. I am still a super-fan of that company to this day and have referred tens of thousands of dollars of business to them.
4. Dealing with New Customers
Again – why are we treating new customers the same as old customers? There is a journey for customers and the types of questions they ask based on where they are with your product. New customers have the easiest chance of having automated replies solve their problem. With Bots and RPA – you can make it appear that a person is answering the question or getting more information to troubleshoot the issue without a single person involved.
5. Better Yet - be Proactive
After years of dealing with developers – it astounds me how buggy their software can be and how bad they are at capturing issues. Even when the issues are captured – no one looks at the logs to identify what the error was and no one quantifies how many errors are actually happening in the software.
It's SO easy to figure out someone had a problem. Every weblog in the world logs errors. What if you had an integrated chat in your app that proactively messaged your customer to figure out what they were doing when they got the error?
This is an easy win, an easy way to solicit feedback from someone who might otherwise abandon, and quite honestly, might blow their mind.