As kids, we were always told to use magic words: “please,” “thank you,” and “I’m sorry.”
And while we obliged and learned that those are polite things to say, we, perhaps, never looked into why those words were so magical.
But if we think about it, those words really reflect certain common needs, everyone, as human, has.
The three words communicate recognition, acknowledgment, and appreciation. They serve as basic communicators of one universal need all humans have – respect.
Using these words facilitates positive interaction. And affecting someone in a positive way creates magic.
Kate Nasser, a leadership, teamwork, and customer experience expert and the author of “Leading Morale,” believes that a positive attitude is what truly makes human interactions, especially in the business world, magical.
That’s what makes it magic – it affects someone else in an extremely positive way (Kate Nasses, SmallBizCX19)
We spoke to Kate during our customer service conference last month #SmallBizCX19 to discuss all things magical – customer experience, employee empowerment, and her signature People Skills.
During our session, Kate outlined three components of truly exceptional customer service. Magical customer service that would create true magic for the customers and keep them coming back to a business that practices these strategies.
Care + Great Attitude = Magical Customer Service.
First of all, it’s important to know how essential it is to provide exceptional customer service. Helping existing customers and ensuring their satisfaction with the service is proven to be music more valuable and profitable than attracting new customers to a business.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”f0tc8″ via=”yes” ]It is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one. (Harvard Business Review)[/ctt]
The key to keeping current customers and keeping them happy is all in the attitude of the service team, Kate said.
Magical customer service is the all-encompassing attitude and actions that we do that show we care about the customer. It’s all about caring. (Kate Nasser, SmallBizCX19)
The winning, magical customer service attitude is the one expressed by the ancient wisdom of Aristotle: “life is about serving others and doing good.”
With that attitude in mind, Kate lists three essential key aspects of magical customer service.
1. Kindness is the key – it’s nearly impossible to un-insult someone.
Ever been to a store where the staff walks around, ignoring the customers? Or not even there on the sales floor at all? That’s definitely not magical customer service.
Kate urges team members to be kind, courteous, and caring; and to show it, too.
Once the magic of customer service is lost it’s hard to get it back. Customers come in expecting a great service and if the service team doesn’t deliver they are ready to move on to a different company. A lot of time the team that didn’t deliver does not get another chance.
Customers continue to get smarter, at least as it applies to customer service. They expect better service than ever before. Your company is no longer being compared to just your competition. Your customers compare you to the great service they had at any other company.
— Shep Hyken (@Hyken) October 28, 2019
Companies can show care and courtesy towards their customers using various techniques. From following the golden rules of customer service to employing unexpected value-unique service and using artificial intelligence to personalize customer experiences, the possibilities are endless.
The bottom line is showing you care. Like in the case of my friend’s Ashini, who received an unexpected comment from her credit card customer service representative.
2. Be clear – no one likes to feel stupid.
Kate stresses the importance of clarity in business and in overall customer experience.
Figuring out a shipping charge on a website should not look like this:
If things are not clear, if anything is left ambiguous on a website or the store layout is confusing, a business faces the risk of losing the customer.
Online shopping cart abandonment is one example of how confusing or unclear aspects of customer experience can lead to lost business.
Source: Source: Baymard Institute
Complicated check out process, multi-step sign-up, unclear shipping costs- all these rank high on the reasons for cart abandonment. And all of them are examples of unclear processes that deter customers.
One way to ensure that the entire customer experience is simple and clear is to understand who a customer goes through as he or she is conducting business with you. To do that it can be helpful to conduct a process of customer journey mapping.
Another helpful strategy to employ to ensure clarity of customer experience is to offer readily available customer service help. For an online business that can be achieved through employing live chat and help desk software.
Studies show that 77% of customers won’t make a purchase on a website if there’s no live chat option available. And 63% of customers were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat. (Superoffice)
Related Post: 20 Ways to Make Live Chat Experience Personal
3. Commitment – continuous movement forward.
To a customer, commitment is a visible sense of forwarding motion. (Kate Nasser, SmallBizCX19)
According to Kate the definition of commitment is often what gets companies in trouble. Understanding that every action by every member of a team has to facilitate a forward movement for the customer is the key in defining commitment to magical customer service, she says.
Having a common purpose to serve the customers is important, but it’s not enough, Kate said.
Related Post: Disney customer experience: the magic of no worries
The key to the company-wide commitment and magic customer service is teamwork, Kate said.
Pride defining team, [is a team of] people who adapt, grow, and change, to meet common goals and shared success. It’s the commitment to adapting to each other, helping each other out. Don’t just back each other up, bring each other up, share your knowledge. (Kate Nasser, SmallBizCX19)
Kate urged business to end with the “not my job attitude” and create a culture where teamwork strives.
For leaders that means facilitating the environment of acceptance, accountability, and learning, and a culture must allow for mistakes, as long as people learn a lesson learned from each one.
Happy employees lead to happy customers and creating a culture where team members support each other and leaders empower employees and not abandon them will lead to a healthy commitment to serving the customer.
People skills magic that leads to magical customer service relates to employees as well. Caring for the employees, meeting their needs, and making them feel valued, recognized, and appreciated, allows and inspires them to meet their goals of being the best at what they do without any hassle.
Morale is not doughnuts on Friday, not an event. It’s the feeling that your leaders treat you with dignity, that you have a purpose at that organization, that you know your impact, the impact on business and the customer; it’s ok to speak up. (Kate Nasser, SmallBizCX19)
The secret to magical customer service lies in meeting people’s needs. The most basic need is that of respect. We have to feel respected as customers and we have to feel respected as employees. And if we do, we feel the magic.
We all want to be uplifted in some way. You can inspire people to contribute the maximum of their natural talents and to help everybody else grow from their talents. (Kate Nasser, SmallBizCX19)