customer satisfaction

It’s Always Personal, It’s Business

“It’s nothing personal, it’s just business” is a phrase that, unbelievably, still lingers in some modern business owners’ lexicon. The reach of social media, the rapid rate at which consumers can communicate and the speed with which they can congratulate or condemn means that whether you’re in customer service or marketing: business is always personal.

When customers use social media to query or complain, the business is presented with a unique opportunity: to personally engage with this one customer. Studies into complaints made over social media indicate that 50% of customers give a brand only one week to respond to a complaint before they stop doing business with them. The same study indicated that 89% of customers began business with another company after a poor experience. Can you afford to stay silent?

The most common words on a major airline’s Facebook newsfeed.

The most common words on a major airline’s Facebook newsfeed.

It would be unreasonable for a business to completely change their terms of service on the whim of one customer… but prompt acknowledgement and resolution of a complaint online can help a customer to not only forgive the grievance, but flip their view of the company from negative to positive, thereby strengthening brand loyalty.

Another study indicated that after having two-way interaction with a brand over social media, 90% of customers would recommend the brand to others. In developing an emotional connection, a sense of loyalty, between customer and brand, social media is an invaluable and incredibly effective approach.

Still not sure just how “personal” it can be? In 2008, United Airlines were shown just how effective social media can be as a weapon when it was used against them with humiliating and ruthless efficiency. After irreparably damaging musician Dave Carrol’s guitar during a flight, and refusing to reimburse him despite 9 months of negotiations, Dave released a song on YouTube which blasted their business and customer service. The song went viral, and four days after its release, United’s stock had dropped by 10% – an estimated $180 million.

As more consumers choose social media as the means to communicate with the brands they use, the age old adage “it’s nothing personal, just business” should recede from all minds serious about strengthening brand loyalty, and increasing their customer base.

– Kyle

Service Beyond The Counter

I recently got into men’s skincare. Some of my friends might laugh, but I’ll be the one laughing when I’m well into my 40s and my skin is lovely and supple.

Anyway, that’s beside the point.

When it comes to this oft-overlooked area of cosmetics, I’m about as knowledgeable as a shopping trolley, so I was a little bit nervous stepping into the boutique of one of Australia’s most highly regarded cosmetics brands. Is my skin

I now feel confident doing things like this!

I now feel confident doing things like this!

oily or dry? What sort of stresses do I put it through daily? Do I really need a $325 badger hair brush to shave? It’s amazing how uneasy I was before stepping into the shop, and it’s hard to put a finger on what exactly I feared. However, it was soon put to bed by truly next-level customer service.

The shop attendant greeted me politely and asked how my day was going. Pretty standard. The difference was she approached me for the conversation, removing the counter from the equation. In effect, she became a friend of mine, rather than a member of staff. We ended up having a nice chat about the weekend’s activities and of course what I thought about my skin; in layman’s terms, putting me at ease in an unfamiliar area. The cumulative effect of this approach meant that it wasn’t weird when she proceeded to treat me to a hand massage with an array of expensive skincare products!

That’s right – for a good 15 minutes, I was given complimentary professional-grade hand therapy, just so I could, quite literally, get a feel for the products and which would be best suited to me. I was impressed by the cleansers and hydration creams on offer, but what really extracted the $104 from my wallet was the service, which is some of the best I’ve seen in the retail environment. The lesson? Treat customers as people, and they’ll treat you to their custom!

-Magnus

Everyone Likes Surprises!

“Customer satisfaction is important in business”… that’s something we hear all the time. But why not go further than just satisfying clients and exceed their expectations? By turning customer satisfaction into customer loyalty, you can expect a regular return, and it doesn’t take much to make the transformation happen.

At Messages On Hold the average client life is approximately eight years. Of course, we do all the things you’d expect: personable customer service, a top-notch premium product offering and rapid turnaround times. However, we suspect one of the main reasons our clients stay with us is the little surprises we give them. A lot of these surprises relate to our products and services, such as reminding clients when the best time to update their production is, or suggesting topics for their latest batch of messages. But it’s the completely unexpected things that I’d like to mention in this blog post.

Every once in a while we’ll send out a complimentary gift to our clients. You probably do too. They include teabags, coffee sachets, chewing gum packs, wine bottles… we like to mix things up so a client never receives the same WOW twice. But the real reason they’re so successful is that we personalise each WOW with the client’s name.

kym

These aren’t the tacky things you’d find in a cereal box or Happy Meal. By personalising each WOW with a name and message, we’re telling our clients that we remember them as individuals, not just numbers on an invoice; and showing our appreciation with a little freebie. Out-of-the-blue surprises like these are rare in business. Although they’re completely unrelated to what we do, that’s exactly what makes them special. This sets us apart from competitors and adds that little bit extra to an experience our clients already love.

Why not take a few minutes out of your day to devise your own way of WOWing clients? After all, customer satisfaction is great, but it’s the little details that turn a happy customer into a loyal one.

– Magnus Newman