Lately, we’ve been focusing on the secret weapons at every company’s disposal: Brand Ambassadors (Extraordinary employees who provide stellar service) and Passionate Promoters (Customers who enthusiastically recommend your service to others). Our customer experience management solutions help companies identify the extraordinary talent within their ranks, so as to encourage that kind of performance among all employees and earn more customer recommendations. Yet, from both an employee’s and a manager's perspective, it can be difficult not to see customer service as little more than a job that just has to get done. Why should it matter when your employees stretch to above-average heights of service? As long as the customer gets what he or she expects, isn’t that enough?
Well, no it isn’t enough to merely meet customer expectations, at least not if you’re hoping to increase profits and attract more and more Passionate Promoters over time. Here are two major ways exceptional customer service delivers different results than average service:
Customers Don’t Talk About Average.
Average customer service means that only 16% of customers will recommend your company to others, according to our Most Engaged Customers study. On the other hand, 84% of customers who receive great customer service will recommend that brand. Word-of-mouth is the most trusted, most effective form of advertising. When your employees provide average, run-of-the-mill service, they fail to inspire customers to rave about your service or product to others.
Personal Recommendations Bring In More Engaged, More Forgiving Customers.
Aside from the fact that they bring in new business, personal recommendations are important because of the kind of customer they attract. Not all customers are created equal—some are naturally more engaged, loyal, and likely to spend than others. Another interesting tidbit that our feedback management research has revealed is that customers who find a company through a recommendation are more likely to be engaged than customers who came through other channels. Furthermore, customers who followed personal recommendations to your company are more forgiving of service failures. In other words, these are the kinds of customers that every business leader hopes to attract.
When companies move beyond average service, customer engagement increases. And companies that increase customer engagement see higher stock prices, profits, ROI, and more. Bottom line? Your bottom line depends on getting employees to deliver extraordinary customer service.
The first step in making that happen is ensuring that you actually know what your customers think. 80% of companies describe the service they provide as “superior.” Yet only 8% of customers agree with that rating. Establish a baseline engagement level among your customers first, using a proven customer engagement model. Next, find the Brand Ambassadors within your staff, and study what they do differently to engage customers. Finally, grow customer love by training the rest of your employees according to what the Brand Ambassadors do. Our Voice of the Customer software can facilitate all of these endeavors, and help you see more customer recommendations and more engaged customers over time.