Do unto your customers as you would have them do unto you.
Millions of people venture into the Apple stores every year to play with some of the slickest consumer gadgets and equipment. From Apple Watch to MacBook Pros, the products speak for themselves. Any visit to the store itself holds the promise of providing a unique experience. Over time, the products keep changing and updating into their better selves. But there’s one thing that stays the same! Apple’s secret sauce – an unrivaled commitment to build and nurture strong customer relationships.
Multiple brands have tried to imitate the Apple store model. Most of them have fallen woefully short of the mark. This is because they simply fail to recognize what Apple is all about. It is not just about the products, but more importantly, its customers. Apple’s customer service is summed up in an easy way using the acronym (you guessed it): APPLE.
A: Approach customers with a personalized welcome
P: Probe politely to understand the customer’s demands
P: Present immediate solution for the customer
L: Listen empathetically and resolve issues or concerns
E: End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return
Simple and effective!
Apple is ushering into a new generation of stores that are designed to deliver something new and exciting for customers (beyond all those nifty new gadgets on the shelves). The Apple Store CX is turning into something that its competitors can only dream for. So what exactly makes Apple’s customer service philosophy so great? Personalization, understanding needs, present solutions, agile processes, and hundreds of other things. This may sound very basic, but guess what: basic things work!
For any customer service philosophy to work, the support teams need to adhere to the core values of that philosophy. If the team fumbles on “What are our core values, again?” then it’ll become impossible for you to tie any philosophy into your brand identity. So, the question goes:
Do you have an original customer service philosophy in place?
Have you ever considered what that is and what it means for your business?
A simple internet search will show you hundreds of different definitions and customer service philosophy quotes. But what do YOU think about the customer service philosophy for your brand? Your attitude towards customer service philosophy will affect your business. It will define how you approach supporting your customers. And it is what helps brands shape specific actions, like creating a knowledge base and a detailed support policy.
In this post, we’ll dig into some tips to help you develop your own customer service philosophy.
I hope you find it insightful. We’ll discuss:
The textbook definition is simple enough: it is a strategy developed by customer service teams on how they can manage support issues. These strategies are driven by the beliefs and values of a brand. Each team needs guiding principles to ensure that their goals are achieved in the best possible ways. If you integrate a strong customer service philosophy, you are motivating your team.
It will help the team to understand and create a standardized approach to customers in a better way. They will focus on their goals even more. So, when the team members are in an unexpected situation, it will be simpler to fix it based on the philosophy of customer service.
Your customer service philosophy should be unique to your brand. It must reflect your core values and resonate with your service reps. Here are four tips for developing a unique customer service philosophy.
It is tempting to take the easy route and just throw up statements about “your delighting customer service” and call it a day. That sounds good. I mean, everyone wants to delight their customers. But you need to come up with unique strategies that work. You also have to make sure that you’re staying honest with the customers.
Every possible issue should not be solely about delighting the customers. You need to offer an empathetic experience so that your customers feel valued and at home with your services. Keep this in mind as you craft your customer service philosophy and, most importantly, be honest.
Do unto your customers as you would have them do unto you.
Think about what your customers would think if they were creating a customer service philosophy. Do you like waiting 100 hours for a simple acknowledgment response? Probably not! Do you want to jump through multiple channels just to talk to a human being? I doubt it. Something as basic as having a little empathy can help you develop a customer service philosophy that balances your customer’s needs.
Some people think that customer service philosophy is only applicable when you actually interact with a customer. That’s a bad idea….
This is because if your customers are talking to your support team, your customer service philosophy has already failed. Sometimes if your team does not interact with the customer in a correct manner, it may lead to disloyalty than loyalty. Plus, customers are actually happier and more likely to purchase again if you give them low-effort ways to help themselves.
Adopt low-effort customer support methods like a well-articulated knowledge base with quality articles. You must consider making self-service a part of your customer service philosophy.
Brands with issue-centric philosophies are only focused on solving specific problems and that too on a case-by-case basis. Each issue is in itself separate from the customer with the problem. Customer-centric philosophies are the opposite. In a customer-centric philosophy, the issue and customer are unified. Brands need to implement the following things in order to accomplish customer-centric philosophies:
There is no one-way or correct answer here. Your customer-centric philosophies will completely depend on the kind of resources you have. You only need to define what strategy you are going to use right from the start.
Start with asking yourself questions like:
Once you have these answers, you can start your guide based on answers. Here are some customer support philosophies that you need to adhere to.
Customers always want high-quality support. Quick support is the least that you can offer them. Research says that 86% of the customers are ready to pay more to a brand that provides great customer support. Therefore, you must put your resources into training your agents. A well-informed agent with a great skill set can mean the difference between losing or retaining a customer.
As I mentioned in the above point, customers need fast answers to their issues and queries. So, make sure that you and your team are providing them with exactly that! Modern trends lead to the fact that 9 out of 10 customers want omnichannel services. Therefore, you need to make sure that your team is available to respond to customers on any channel, at any time.
If you can deliver both great support experience and speed, you have a winning combination.
A self-service knowledge base can ensure that customers find answers to their queries when your agents are not online. You can also implement automatic chatbots that’ll help your customers find relevant solutions to their problems. An AI chatbot can hold conversations with your customers until your agents take over.
While some customer service philosophies are best performed through one-to-one interactions, some customers enjoy effortless experiences or low-effort ways to help themselves. These needs are easy to meet. You just need to incorporate simple troubleshooting knowledge base articles into your support.
Go for live chats and online content that covers products or industry-specific issues. You can create automated marketing campaigns to provide personalized welcomes, notifications, and so on. The automation part can cover the topics that you know they would be interested in without involving customer service agents.
Employees across organizations will likely look up to company leaders. This includes managers and senior support agents to model the customer service philosophy. You cannot expect them to buy into it if you’re not.
In order to embody your philosophy directly with your customers and team, you need to set an example by keeping customer support on top of your mind. For example, if your key customer service philosophy involves listening, you need to be an active listener in meetings and interactions. Beyond this, leaders can support company-wide customer support initiatives and also teach your employees as they work through difficult customer situations.
Encourage collaborative team input on your customer service philosophy. This can be during 1:1 meetings, suggestions, surveys, reviews, and more. If your whole team is collaborating together, it can spark new ideas and strategies. Besides, support members will be more likely to accept and embrace the company’s philosophy if they participate in its making process. Your support team will live up to your customer service philosophy every day.
Customers appreciate the truth. If you are not sure about fixing an issue at the present moment, it is okay to let customers know you will get in touch with them after collecting all the information needed to fix the problem.
If you’ve made a mistake, just take accountability for it and apologize. Sometimes a simple apology may not be enough. You may need to offer discounts or special offers to make up for your mistakes in certain scenarios. So, make sure you do everything in your power to retain your customers. Keep your retention game strong. Because it takes a lot more effort and money to attract new customers than to retain the current ones.
There’s no “right” philosophy on customer support. When it comes to framing a customer service philosophy, there is no one-philosophy-fit-for-all plan. You must focus on understanding your customers and your business to create something truly unique.
While developing your customer service philosophy, always go in with an open mind and recognize what your company wants to achieve. Recognize who your customers are and what your ethos as an employer is. Create a tailored experience that blows your customers’ minds. Keep customer satisfaction as one of your most important business goals.
Sure, it isn’t easy to maintain customers and keep them happy and satisfied with your services all the time. But with the right tools and great customer service philosophies, you can make anything possible! At the end of the day, how you treat your customers will reflect and represent the values and beliefs of your company.
Carve out a new standard of support in an industry that often prioritizes profit margins over people. Empower your team with the latest tools and features. DeskXpand enables you to stand out in a busy crowd and catch (and resolve) the exact pain points of customers. Here’s your secret ammunition to making your customers feel valued. With DeskXpand, you can: