Whether you’re planning a romantic weekend getaway, celebrating Galentine’s with the ladies, or protesting the holiday altogether, February 14th is here and love is in the air. One thing’s for sure, it’s the time to show the people in your life how much you care about them! If you’re in a support role — you know that goes for your customers as well. No one knows the importance of a strong customer relationship better than support agents at direct-to-consumer brands. So how do you show customers the love by creating a best in class experience on par with successful direct-to-consumer brands such as Minted or Glossier? We’re gonna breakdown exactly how to show your customers and prospects some extra love.
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Understanding what sets direct-to-consumer support apart:
Customer expectations are rapidly evolving. Brands have personalities attached to them, there is a colloquial tone to their instagram captions and a familiarity in their website copy. When done right, the buyer stops seeing the company and instead views the brand as a personal connection. Consumers expect these brands to live up to their digital personas and provide a seamless buying experience. Understanding this shift is crucial to getting ahead of it and equipping your support teams to handle these new heightened expectations.
This shift is especially true when it comes to the direct-to-consumer buyer economy. At its core what differentiates these companies is their ability to own the relationship with their customers. The control over what the rapport with buyers looks like is in their hands, and more often than not that’s exactly what keeps these diehard customers wanting more. Younger consumers are thirsty for immediate, transparent, and personalized support. They want to interact on the channels where they already are, be that by email, text, or in their Instagram DMs. Agents need to be consistently armed with the knowledge they need to follow up with customers quickly and with a personal touch that will set your brand apart.
Statistics on new consumer expectations:
73% of customers fall in love with a brand and remain loyal because of friendly customer service reps. (RightNow)
33% of customers are most frustrated by having to wait on hold. 33% are most frustrated by having to repeat themselves to multiple support reps. (HubSpot Research)
Millennials prefer speed and convenience. 65% of consumers (age 25 - 34) think customer experience could be drastically improved by quicker response time. (Comm100)
77% of customers would recommend a brand to a friend after having a single positive experience. (Temkin Group)
How to create amazing customer experiences:
What the statistics above tell us is that customers not only want the answers to their questions and requests to be quick and consistent, they are looking for reps to understand and anticipate their needs ahead of time. Even just one positive experience can convert someone into a loyal customer and long-term advocate for your brand. In our social-media sharing world that means one person can share their positive experience to their own networks creating a chain of free endorsements of your brand. If you can find a way to incentivize and let customers become a part of their brand like Glossier’s gTEAM, a group of brand experts who are driven by serving up exceptional customer experiences, even better.
Follow these 5 key customer service principles to win over the hearts (and pockets) of your customers:
Anticipate the customers needs
Provide personal support
Meet customers where they are
Build a customer-first culture
Create brand advocates
Showing your customers extra love:
The foundation to an amazing customer experience is mutual respect and understanding. To make that work there needs to be the same empathy internally for support agents themselves. Many of the most successful companies have every employee, from engineer to marketer to CEO, take a turn in the support seat to understand and empathize with the customer at all times.
What will make your customers feel loved and appreciated at the end of the day is those human-to-human interactions. No one wants to feel like they’re talking to a bot, it's frustrating and, frankly, makes us feel like we’re in an episode of Black Mirror. But let's be honest here, genuinely personal support at scale can be an incredibly hard thing to achieve.
Watch this webinar on how to provide personal customer support at scale:
So go above and beyond for a customer by making them feel like there is a human on the other side of their screen. Even something as small as repeating their name, giving cues of empathy and understanding, or sending them a little something extra can go a long way. It's important not to overlook the importance of service post-purchase as well; investing in post-purchase support drives the experience home and encourages continued customer loyalty. So go ahead — get out there and give your customers the extra love that they deserve this Valentine's day!