In order for a customer to be loyal to your business, you have to show them devotion, respect their circumstances, and honor their time. Our next guest, Jeanne Bliss, is a pioneer in this field. For 20 years, she held the first-ever Chief Customer Officer role for companies like Microsoft, Mazda, and Allstate. Today, she is a best-selling author and the Founder/CEO of Customer Bliss.
Jeanne has been working in the customer experience industry since the late 80s and she says there have been several big, notable changes in the marketplace from then to now. One of the biggest, being social media. Previously, businesses could say and define who they were, now, customers have a metaphorical megaphone in their hands, and they are dictating a brand’s identity in new ways. And with that comes new definitions of ‘good’ or ‘fast’.
The second change was due to the vast economic downturn in the late 2000s. Executives finally began to realize that growing your existing customer base is just as important as bringing in new people. The focus has shifted to the importance of the customer experience which is proactive, versus service, which is a reaction to a problem. The third change is technology, and the options it presents. Customers now make more choices than ever, and your business has to be agile.
In Jeanne’s latest book, “Would You Do That to Your Mother? The ‘Make Mom Proud’ Standard for How to Treat Your Customers” she outlines these five steps:
- “Be the Person I Raised You to Be”: Enable your employees to thrive, and trust them to do the job you hired them to do.
- “Don’t Make Me Feed You Soap”: Building respect, and make it easy for your customers to do business with you.
- “Put Others Before Yourself”: Design the operation of your business, so that customers, in their own words, can say what you did for them.
- “Take the High Road”: Don’t leave money on the table through inadvertent, bad behaviors. Choose to walk away from petty discrepancies.
- “Stop the Shenanigans!”: Take stock of your own business practices and adjust accordingly.
The future of customer service is interesting because it’s all about blending high-tech with high-touch. The companies that are winning, continue to win because they have successfully integrated the multiple facets of their customer experience strategy.
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