Customer Experience News & Trends

How to sweeten the customer experience – even when we social distance

So, you can’t interact with customers these days. That doesn’t mean you can’t make the customer experience feel intimate. Here’s how to sweeten the experience while social distancing. 

The key is make experiences more personal now, whether you see customers often, seldom or never – or whether those experiences are through masks, over the phone or online.

Here’s expert advice and proven strategies for making the customer experience better while keeping distance:

1. Make support personal

People have less human contact. So many have used their phones to actually talk to people again, rather than just text or post on social media. That’s your opportunity to personalize experiences by encouraging customers to spend time talking to your experts.

For instance, shared this: Email provider Superhuman gives customers a 30-minute training session when they sign on. It’s not just online tutorials and YouTube videos. It’s a service pro walking customers through the system. And customers love the experience so much they pay for the service when there’s so many free email providers out there.

Similarly, Bloomscape, a plant-delivery service, offers customers Plant Mom, a team of experts who can talk customers through a plant crisis or just maintenance.

2. Go old school

The handwritten word still holds a lot of sentiment. Not many personal messages arrive in people’s mailboxes any more, so when one does, it stands out.

EFYTAL, a jewelry retailer who grew big enough to gain a presence on Amazon, sends personal thank-you messages with orders as small as a single, inexpensive bracelet. Similarly, Min & Mon, a handbag and accessories label, adds a personal note, addressing every customer. The owners say they feel privileged that customers chose them.

3. Give frontline service pros the power to impress

Many organizations tell frontline service, sales and support professionals to do right by customers. But only some put their money where their mouths are, giving employees the resources to make customers’ experiences personal and special.

For instance, Artifact Uprising didn’t give employees a handbook to resolve customers’ issues or come up with solutions. Instead, they encouraged them to be creative and sensible. In one case, that led a customer experience professional to work with production employees to create a special “engagement book” for a customer who envisioned it but didn’t know exactly how to make it.

4. Up your social media game

Some customers consider social media a personal experience, as long as they feel connected to a real person on the other side of the chat. That means fewer chat bots and more actual people.

Encourage service pros who handle your social media platforms to put real photos of themselves in their profile and add something personal (but not too personal) – such as a hobby, affinity for pets or subject interest.

5. Make time for empathy

Customers want to connect with the people they talk to more than ever. Give employees extra time to make connections, show extra interest and express concern when necessary. Focus on quality calls, not just quantity.

For instance, (and this is a personal experience), a census checker asking about primary and secondary residences of kids in my household, perked up when I told her the college my daughter attended. Turns out, the census employee told me, her boyfriend went to the same small school and named his business using the university’s name spelled backward. A quick connecting story made a mundane experience memorable and personal.

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