I was sitting in an airplane waiting for the rest of the passengers to board when the plane was struck by lightning. An announcement was made over the intercom that some of the plane’s instruments were damaged by the lightning strike. The flight had already been delayed several hours due to the thunderstorms in the area.
I don’t recall exactly what initiated the conversation but a lady for the airline, in this case, Delta, heard me saying something about missing my next connecting flight. She quickly got more details made a phone call and got me on another flight in an attempt to help me make my connection.
Suddenly in the midst of the chaos of delayed and missed flights, I felt like I mattered and that somebody from the airline cared. I really appreciated that interaction and years later I still remember it.
People want to feel significant. They want to feel like they matter.
Your brand is built on the experiences and feelings you deliver to your customers in every interaction.
Often there’s a conflict in business between two words. People and policy.
Sure, policies may keep things clean and simple but at what cost? Customers don’t want to feel like policy comes first. Unless that policy puts customers first.
Take Zappos the online shoe company, for example, they have policies for interacting with customers, but customers come first, that’s the policy.
You might find it interesting that Zappos customer loyalty team (as they’re called) has no policy regarding how long they can spend talking to a customer. Their job is to help the customer and they’ll take as long as needed. In fact, the record for the longest customer service call they’ve logged was 10 hours 51 minutes. That’s how they wow customers.
When you call the Zappos customer loyalty team, they don’t have a script because you matter to them. You’re unique and that matters to them. So each call is as unique as the two people holding the conversation.
And when you call Zappos, almost every call is answered by a real human being within one minute. There’s no crazy automated system to try to work through. They make it simple because you matter.
They also train and empower their customer loyalty team to help you. What does that mean? It means their job is to wow customers. And they do some pretty incredible things without having to ask their supervisor.
I’m sure you’ve had one of those calls where you ask for some help resolving a problem and the person says “I’ll have to ask my supervisor hold, please.” How does that make you feel inside? I cringe and wonder why they just can’t help me.
Zappos treats you like a human. They treat you like you matter because you are significant to them.
How are your customers or clients feeling about doing business with you? What are you doing to wow your customers?
Take a few minutes and think about how you can improve one area of customer interaction in your business and implement it today!