Bad customer serviceI like to go through life seeing the positive side of things.

That doesn’t mean I walk around in a perpetual mood of optimism. I have my grumpy and cantankerous moments. Just try talking to me before 8am (actually don’t, you might end up headless).

Finding the positive in a frustrating situation is not always easy, and can take some work. But it makes life a whole lot better than walking around in a grey cloud of bad mood. Because that makes life harder – especially for you, and those closest to you.

 

So what do I do about it?

When I feel myself getting the hump about something I try to change my perspective. I ask myself: What’s the positive in this?

And, you know what? When I find it, it stops the experience from ruining my whole day (or week!)

Take a recent example:

I had a shit customer service experience recently. It was frustrating and I felt let down. So, I searched for the positive, and even though I was royally p’d off – I asked myself “What can I get out of this, how can I turn this around to my advantage?”

There IS no advantage to that kind of experience, surely?

Wrong, wrong and wrong! I found one – a gleaming nugget of wisdom nestled in the dirt! It made me realise that I never wanted my clients to feel that way after working with me.
TWEET AND SHARE THE WISDOM

And, more importantly, it made me see how much impact just a little bit of extra thought or effort gets you.

One nil to me.

It also reminded me of something very important

The bad experience also reminded me how low the bar is when it comes to customer experience. We’ve become so used to accepting shoddy service. How many of these do you recognise:

  • Waiting patiently on hold, using an automated number system for 15 minutes just to get to speak to a real person (who is then based in another country and the bad reception reflects that)
  • Dealing with a totally inflexible computer instead of a real person who can understand your unique situation
  • Waiting for half an hour for your bill (do they want your money?) at a restaurant.

I realised that it doesn’t take much to make your clients’ experience amazing and, as a result, you exceptional in their eyes.

And, exceptional in real life terms means: lifetime loyalty, returning custom, and your personal street team of advocates, recommenders and cheerleaders.

Something we can never get enough of.

But what does this mean for you and your biz?

And why am I sharing this with you? Because we can all use it to better our businesses.

Those businesses who do the bare minimum, that just get by, that don’t give it their all – you carry on as you are. Because you’re leaving plenty of room to let the rest of us shine, separating the amateurs from the professionals.

So how can you apply being exceptional in your own business?

Of course, the service itself has to deliver. You have to be amazing at what you do, and exceed your clients’ or customers expectations.

And, how about going above and beyond? Throwing a surprise into the mix (because we all love a nice surprise).

What’s more, it doesn’t have to be a huge gesture, or expensive. It doesn’t even have to be something out of the ordinary, but if it is, extra points for you!

Here are some ideas:

  • Spend an extra 10 minutes on a client session, at no charge
  • If you have a shop: Smile! Be happy your customers are there
  • Send an email to clients if you haven’t heard from them in a while, just because
  • Comment on a blog, everyone loves blog comments – I know I do (hint!)
  • Retweet a client
  • Like or comment on a post on social media
  • Send them a little gift – even a free e-card. I like these ones (you can even send them from your phone – easy peasy)
  • Write an ACTUAL card, like that you post, with a stamp and everything
  • Send them an audio or video note – just for them
  • Make your entire customer journey experience amazing, from start to finish and with them the central focus so that is leaves them feeling good and supported

[ctt title=”So next time you have a bad experience remember: Cream rises to the top. And you? Be the cream!” tweet=”via @absolutealicia Cream rises to the top. And you? Be the cream!” coverup=”82A40″]

How about you?

So what do you do for your clients? What little something have you got planned to put a smile on the faces of your customers? Let me know in the comments below.

Still figuring out your customer service journey? Maybe you want to spruce up the your booking process, or add a little sparkle to the services you offer. Book a Clear Strategy session with me and we’ll figure out who they are, how to find them and how to make them fall (and stay) in love with you.

Extra Reading

Check out this post on being a giver in biz: Is your clients’ satisfaction guaranteed?

This one on creating that special Honeymoon period between your and your clients: No one night stands here

And this baby about a tool I use to make life easier for my clients (and me): Appointment scheduling: A time-wasting headache you need to stop right now