Customer service is kind of like dating in the business world. And as you know, some dates can go well, while others can go down the tubes.
You do all you can to impress, woo and build a relationship that turns into loyalty. So how can customer service pros nurture those dating-like relationships?
Business expert and author of Kiss Your Customer, Andy Masters, says you can do a lot of the same things young couples do (without missing curfew or parking in the woods).
Build the relationship
1. Be creative. Sending roses on every occasion to a girlfriend may seem romantic, but it soon becomes predictable. What’s expected is often under appreciated.
Lesson for your service pros: Switch it up. Reward customers when they don’t expect it with different things – discounts, written (We love you!) notes, sample products, inclusion in a focus group, etc.
2. Recognize big events. Couples celebrate the anniversary of their first date, wedding, the first time they had a drink together, adopted a puppy … anything for a reason to celebrate.
Lesson for your service pros: Keep track of and recognize important dates – customers’ first purchase dates, birthdays, professional and personal accomplishments. Send handwritten notes, chocolates, balloons, soft pretzels, sparkling cider, etc., to celebrate them.
3. Laugh. Couples laugh all the time – at funny movies they see together, at shared experiences, at themselves and the silly things they have done or will do.
Lesson for your service pros: Use humor with customers when appropriate. One of the best ways: Make light of yourself, but avoid jokes that may unknowingly offend others.