13 Days and 5 Extra Special Customer Care Tips!
Customer Happiness Week, aka Customer Service Week 2011, is less than two weeks away! In my last tip I gave you 11 easy yet powerful ways you can celebrate your precious employees from October 3-7. In today’s tip we focus on your precious customers, the people who reward your organization for providing consistently positive experiences with their loyalty, sales and referrals.
Why is it that so many organizations so easily lose sight of the importance of making customers happy? The reasons managers give me are plentiful; two of my favorites are “the economy” and the “unique nature” of their business, the latter of which they tell me I don’t understand. But here’s what I know, for sure, about every business:
Business is about people. When the people who provide your service are happy and feel great about coming to work, they do a better job. When the people who purchase your products and services are happy, they make all kinds of wonderful things happen at your organization:
- They spend more, increasing your bottom line even in tough times.
- They are quicker to forgive your company’s mistakes.
- They refer colleagues and friends to you – there’s nothing like a personal endorsement for generating new customers!
- They allow you to get to know them better as customers, which is a very inexpensive way to help you customize goods and services.
- They give you their loyalty, an valuable gift. See more of my thoughts on this here: Create Customer Loyalty and Positive Word of Mouth.
For all these reasons, I believe Customer Happiness Week should be a time to reward and recognize both your customer care providers and your customers. And like the tips I gave you last week for giving extra TLC to your employees, most of these ideas will go easy on the company wallet:
- Get personal with your appreciation. Who are your best customers – the ones who buy the most, refer the most, offer the most feedback (even if that valuable feedback comes in the form of a complaint)? A quick note, whether hand-written or emailed, letting them know they are valued and appreciated goes a long, long way. Put your message on a pretty card that they may be likely to hold on to, or create a link to a dynamic “thank you” web page that they can revisit throughout the month for an instant smile.
- Holiday Cheer! Have a budget for sending gift (flowers, candy, sandwich platters, industry-related subscriptions) during the holidays? How about sending that good cheer during Customer Happiness Week? Include a note saying that at your organization, the holiday season begins during Customer Happiness Week.
- Offer a virtual “Suggestion Box.” Let your customers know how much you value them by asking them how you can make their customer experiences better. To make it easier for them, come up with a short questionnaire: “Are you dissatisfied/satisfied/very happy with our customer service? If you are less than happy, what could we do better to make you happy?” Be sure to thank your customers for their feedback and, when the time is right, to let them know when you’ve acted on their suggestions.
- Share “A Resource a Day.” Have business resources (websites, vendors, Special Reports) you think would benefit your customers as well? Share “A Resource a Day” during Customer Happiness Week. It may be a link to a short motivational or inspiring film, the phone number and/or email address of a marvelous website designer, a blog (have them check out my Positivity Practices blog at http://positivitypractices.com), a facebook page, or perhaps a White Paper on a topic relevant to the customer’s needs. Sharing resources is a fantastic way to build and strengthen rapport with customers!
- Include your team in the planning. Your customer-facing employees know your customers better than anyone. Make sure they’re in on planning your Customer Happiness Week customer appreciation events. And pay careful attention to what makes them happy; very often what makes employees happy are the same things that make customers happy. Win-win!
Remember that I’m taking $50.00 off my management self-study program, the Customer Care Coach® to celebrate Customer Happiness Month! To take advantage of this opportunity, enter Coupon code Mastery.
Also, keep in mind that one of our affiliates has everything you could possibly need for Customer Service Week giveaways and promotions. Check out Customer Service Group at Alexander Communications,
Until next time, come visit me on facebook: I’d love to continue the conversation.