Abandon the human connection at your own risk
I want to cry every time that I use a self-checkout lane at the grocery store. Even if it’s only for one small item – the business person inside of me just shudders. Why? Because it’s so wrong at so many levels. I get that it’s supposed to be for convenience. I get that it’s supposed to be faster. And I get that the retailer is trying to cut costs. But I still shudder.
I shudder because you have to have a human connection. The self-checkout doesn’t smile at me, acknowledge me, or ask me if I found everything. The self-checkout just screams in a mechanical voice – “Place item in bagging area.” And to be honest, there are times I’d just like to punch that computerized robotic contraption.
Beware – The digital age has caused a problem.
There are increasingly more human-less transactions. A company can market, sell and fulfill… automatically. The sales roll in without any interaction.
Wait isn’t that a good thing? What’s the problem?
Advancement in automation and technology has caused a disconnection between business and consumer… and the problem is the lack of human connection.
Here’s the truth – sooner or later your customers are going to ask for help… and in that moment you must be ready.
It’s much easier to be friendly in person than it is when someone is at the other end of the internet. When your customers email and ask for help, if you can assist them and provide a personal touch, they will become loyal customers and will come back again and again (and buy more).
So what does good customer service look like?
- Use Your Manners – If a customer is reaching out, chances are they’re already frustrated. Remind yourself to remain calm, don’t take anything personally, sympathize and always be nice. Good manners will leave a positive and lasting impression on your customers.
- Add a Personalized Touch – Not all tickets require the phone… but that doesn’t mean you can’t add a human touch to your communications. The key is to make it known that there is a human behind each email iteration.
- Pick Up The Phone – Customers still crave human interaction when it comes to customer service. Know when to simply pick up the phone. Their problems will be solved more quickly and your customers will happier.
So… how are YOU caring for your customers? How is your TEAM caring for your customers?
Do you have any idea? Or do you need to get a clue?
Here’s a quick test that you can do right now.
It’s a called the “Seven Question Rundown”
Customers are contacting you and someone is responding to them.
Find the last seven interactions. Emails, texts, Facebook, or voicemails. However, wherever your customers contact you – find seven recent interactions.
Now ask yourself these seven questions:
- Was this handled promptly?
- Was the customer treated professionally?
- Was the customer treated kindly?
- Was there a personalized touch?
- Was the concern addressed?
- Was the customer satisfied?
- What could be changed to make this even better?
On one hand, this seems pretty basic. On the other hand, it’s super powerful. But it only works if you actually go through the exercise. If you sit at your desk and do nothing, then nothing will change.
The companies that are delivering excellent customer service are outperforming their competition.
If you want to improve your customer retention and drive growth in your business, invest in your customer service and take advantage of the human connection.
Your customers will be loyal. Your business will be more profitable. It’s a win-win situation.
Start the Seven Question Rundown, and let me know what you find. Get our Seven Question Rundown worksheet here.