It was a classic case of wanting to do everything for everyone, but pleasing no one – including myself.
Sitting down with your team (even if that’s “me, myself and I”) to drill out where you want to go with your company, will give you a very simple and clear “Yes we can,” or “That doesn’t feel like a great fit at this time,” answer in these situations.
In case it helps, here’s the snippet Gregory uses:
“Hey ______, I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with us. As of this time however, [Feature X] isn’t the perfect fit, and we have no immediate plans to implement it. We do have some other exciting features on our plate, and should anything change about your request, we’ll make sure you are the first to know.”
Keep ‘Em, or Show ‘Em the Way
It’s all about finding the best fit for the customer. If it’s with us, that’s great. If it’s with another product, that’s great too. –Chase Clemons
What a noble philosophy!
The relationship between you and your customers won’t last if it’s simply not the right fit. Of course, you can con your customers into choosing you by either bending your service or product to sound like something they will need. In the end, though, both you and the customer will feel like there is a piece of the puzzle that is missing and you’ll break up.
Assessing customer needs for a smooth fit on the front-end will save both of you in the long run. Before you decide whether or not this customer is for you, one idea is to think to yourself, “Can I not only adequately serve them based on their needs, but also blow them out of the water with what I have in-store?”
(Quote published by Freshdesk)
If it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix it. But, if it is…
Try your own website without your auto-log in. Is it easy? Or a pain? Come in the front door and see if the door swings open easily, or whacks you on the shoulder. And so forth. –Micah Solomon
We all tend to test our processes before we open our “doors”, but what about months and years down the line? Do things still work well?
Whether you have a website, a brick-and-mortar store, a physical product, a traveling service or other, there are likely hundreds of aspects to your business within which you can check for flaws.
Removing any and all barriers to entry will bring in customers a bit more smoothly and keep them.
Don’t forget: Not all customers will shout when something goes wrong. Some will just quietly leave.
Shoulder the Issue for the Customer
Own the issue. If you didn’t ship something on time, admit it. If the wrong size was sent, apologize. Don’t make it the customer’s problem. –Nick Zinser
Such a bad feeling. Dread. Ick!
When you do something wrong and it hurts one of your customers, it’s one of the worst feelings. Not only are you nervous that the customer leave or spread this embarrassing information, but you’re also worried about what your leadership will think of you.
All companies have their own level of comfort with admitting fault. One really prevalent piece of our Happiness (customer service) culture at Buffer focuses not only on admitting fault, but on assuming fault.
From Buffer’s Tone Guide
Sound a bit extreme? Maybe we can think of it this way: removing all language that might sound as if it places fault on the customer can bring down customer defenses/emotions and open up their ability to work with you to find a viable and peaceful solution for both parties.
Don’t Just Listen
Beware of making assumptions – thinking you intuitively know what the customer wants. –Susan A. Friedmann
Oh goodness – this is a big one!
Let’s walk through a non-social media scenario.
You’re a salesperson at a kids shoe store, and a customer walks toward you with a pair of girls sandals. Twice this week, you had a customer walk up to you with the same sandals, pointing out a tear in the strap. Must be a manufacturing flub.
Now– the third time you’ve seen these sandals come your way– you know exactly what the issue is! The customer starts talking as she arrives near you.
She says, “Wow! These sandals are really great, but I found one issue. They…”
You interject, “Yes! The strap! That manufacturer really messed that lot up. We’re giving a 50% discount on sandals with that issue.”
The customer replies, “Oh… um… No, the strap is fine. I was going to say that I needed a size 6. All I’m seeing are size 5s, but now I’m a bit worried about the quality!”
There are two issues here:
1) The customer might feel a bit disrespected. Afterall, you interrupted her, and
2) You infiltrated her with information she wasn’t looking for, which took her off-track from her mission to find sandals in size 6.
Listen and reflect. Referencing your prior experiences is always a great way to go IF you have the full context. Sometimes it takes a bit of pause and reflection to pull in that full context, especially within the nature of social media customer service where we have no tone or body language to go off of.
Competent Service Beats Out Rapid Service
…customers who receive competent, knowledgeable, and all encompassing services are more likely to remember their experience and tell their friends. –Marsha Collier
This one might feel a bit counter-intuitive, as social media is all about a rapid, “on-the-go” experience. As Marsha proclaims in her infographic, it can’t only be about speed.
Companies must ensure the customer’s experience is a straight path from problem-to-resolution. This will provide the best chances of causing a sense of gratitude from customers after that frustrating issue has been resolved.
Have a Soul for Social Media Customer Service
If you show indifference to your customers, your employees will mimic it. If you are enthusiastic and courteous, your troops are more likely to be so as well. –Inc. Team
The biggest inference of this quote might be that if you aren’t enthusiastic and courteous to customers by nature, social media customer service (or any customer service, for that matter) might not be the best fit for you.
If it doesn’t come naturally to feel the frustration that your customers are experiencing, you will spend each day acting, and one day you’ll slip.
It’s always best to stay true to your nature and find the best role to fit your and your team members’ talents!
What are your tips to hit it out of the park with social media customer service? Is there something – big or small – that you learned throughout your time serving customers?
Alright – let’s get out there and thoughtfully serve.