In an effort to make this blog more fun and easy to manage, I recently signed up for Email Marketing through AWeber (you can subscribe to my email list in the left sidebar). There are tons of email marketing tools out there, but after hearing recommendations from several other bloggers I decided to check them out.
I wanted a way to easily integrate an AWeber email signup form into this WordPress site, and while AWeber has several helpful pages in their FAQ, I still thought it would be nice to get confirmation on live chat.
What came next surprised me… in a good way.
- Their rep was prompt, professional, and anticipated all my questions. Key Insight: Many of your customers probably come to you with similar questions. That’s why you have an FAQ section and a Help page in the first place, right? Yet if your customer needs hand-holding it pays to have someone on your side who can be proactive in getting your customer exactly what they asked for and what they’ll need next. This is one of the hallmarks of excellent customer service.
- Their rep was so helpful, I was able to setup my account in minutes. Grateful for their help and easy-to-follow guidelines, I shared my thoughts on Twitter. You can see our conversation below, I think they responded to me in less than a minute. Key Insight: Do more than just serve your customers. Amaze, delight, and excite them. If you really want to succeed, Excellent Customer Service is not just part of your business, it is your business.
- How often do you talk about a positive experience with a brand online? How about a negative experience? I consider myself about average in this, but I’m definitely not alone. Social Media is now a
key factornecessity for all businesses. Need more proof? With access to a wealth of data through Social Media and our other online behaviors, improving your customers’ experience has become both extremely easy and frighteningly challenging. Easy, because brands now have the opportunity to respond to customers’ challenges in real time. The frightening part? Parsing the fire-hose of information. Key Insight: I didn’t expect AWeber to respond to my tweet immediately, I just wanted everyone else to know what great service I had received. Yet if a customer lobs you a softball like this, knock it out of the park like AWeber. And even if they publicly vent their frustrations, that’s still a chance for you to shine… if you are prompt, courteous, and empathetic.
So again I ask you, Why should improving customer experience be so hard? Often it’s a lack of will, but you have to more than simply like the ‘idea’ of improving customer experience. You need to have a real commitment to it at every level of your organization: it needs to be part of your culture, part of your company’s DNA. And it is far easier to instill this at the very beginning, before you have any customers or even any employees. In fact, the questions to ask yourself when meeting with your employees are some of the same questions to consider with communicating with your customer.
AWeber has been around for more than 15 years, and I’d suspect that one of the reasons they communicated with me the way they did was because they’ve focused on improving their customers’ experience since the beginning. But what if you’re not a startup? What if you’re not just a large, well-known company but a large, well-known, universally hated company? Readers can take heart from David Thodey’s work to reinvigorate Telstra. If a company like AWeber can do it for 15 years running, and a company like Telstra can reverse course after so many years of mediocrity, what about you?
It will take sacrifice, for sure. It will take deep commitment over a long period of time. But once you decide in your heart of hearts that Customer Experience is important, AWeber and Telstra will be standing by to welcome you with open arms. I guarantee it.
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