SAAHSP and Exceeding Customer Expectations
5 March 2017
’s New Business Developer, Nadia Barnard, presented “Exceeding Customer Expectations” featuring tips and tricks to establishing positive experiences for clients and customers.
For the presentation done at the Saahsp Workshop
, take a look at the below notes and points.
Exceeding Customer Expectations – Customer Service by Nadia Barnard.
Customer Service Psychology 101 – 6 Powerful Principles
In a perfect world, everyone in a customer-facing position would take Psychology 101 – because, as every customer service professional knows, people are complicated.
Some are moody, some are grumpy, some are mad, some are absolutely lovely and brighten your day. And whatever emotional cornucopia these patrons come in with, you can bet that something completely outside of your control is the cause. Once they’re on the phone (or in the chat box) though, your goal is to turn every frown upside-down to create delightful experiences, no matter how the conversation began.
Did I say take a class in Psychology? You might need a doctorate! Kidding.
There’s a secret to making this happen.
If you can understand the underlying essential needs of your customers, you can deliver outstanding experiences almost every time. But first, you have to understand where your customers are coming from.
It’s always emotional
We tend to take people at their word – their logic-based word. They tell us the problem, we logically try to fix it. But, whatever the problem may be, and however logical
the solution, there is always an emotional component. We’re human; emotions are part of everything we do.
What is the motivation for your clients?
When neuroscientist Antonio Damasio studied people who had sustained brain damage to areas of the brain that generate emotions, he found that the subjects were unable to make even the smallest of decisions. Their logic and reasoning abilities were fully functional, but if they were asked to choose between pasta and risotto for dinner, they couldn’t do it. They couldn’t feel one way or another.
The conclusion: Practically every decision is an emotional one.
What this means for customer service is nothing short of exciting: Since decisions are emotional, if your customer service interaction produces positive emotions, you have the power to generate positive decisions.
Think: making sales, upsells, generating referrals– exceeding customer service basically become a secondary marketing and sales engine.
Positive experience is the start of a positive association, which builds upon itself over time. One transaction or interchange turns into a relationship.
How do you produce positive experiences?
1. Reduce pain
Reducing the pain your customers feel is one of the most powerful ways to create a positive experience. It sounds like a no-brainer, but very few companies have mastered this.
One of the ones that has is Amazon. Amazon offers one of the most loved customer experiences, some argue, because it provides “an unparalleled sense of emotional satisfaction” by reducing pain points with features like multiple wish lists, a save-for-later area, an easily accessible cart, and even more easily accessible price comparisons. If and when a customer does have a problem, returns are easy and customer service gets top marks for speed of response and ability to solve the issue.
A lot of bad customer experiences are death by a thousand cuts. If you can avoid aggravating pain in an already painful situation, the better the customer’s perception of their experience will be, and the more likely it is that they will become repeat purchasers.
2. Increase pleasure (it’s all about instant gratification)
Most psychological models agree with Freud: Humans act on the “pleasure principle” the instinct to gratify desires and avoid pain. When we don’t get what we want, we feel bad – a negative outcome we’ll go to great lengths to avoid.
On Twitter, over 80% of customer service related tweets are negative or critical of the brand in question.
We’re hardwired to want things as fast as possible and it is up to you, as a business to investigate the ability to feed that need.
How can you increase pleasure in your business?
Think about your last positive customer experience.
3. Leverage the Halo Effect
The Halo Effect is a mental shortcut – that makes people transfer their feelings about one thing to something unrelated.
In practice, it works like this:
If you like one aspect of something, you’ll have a positive predisposition toward everything about it. If you dislike one aspect of something, you’ll have a negative predisposition toward everything about it.
That Halo Effect will cast a warming glow over your entire business. But, if your interaction leaves a negative impression, the opposite is also true.
Now that you have the foundation of positive experience-production laid down, you might wonder: How can you put it over the top? How can you turn service into so much more – like a sales engine?
Customer service is no longer where customers are lost – it’s where they’re won.
4. Give it away
Robert Cialdini’s 1984 book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion was a game-changer for marketers looking to use psychology to increase sales. Three decades later, we’re still using his 6 principles of influence to increase conversions and sales. The first of these principles is “reciprocity.”
Reciprocity: Humans are hardwired to pay their debts, so if they get something of value for free, they feel obligated to reciprocate – often by buying something.
Reciprocity comes in two main types: Trumpeted reciprocity and surprise reciprocity.
Trumpeted reciprocity is when you tell someone you’re doing something for them. Surprise reciprocity is when you surprise the person with something free and delightful.
But reciprocity can be more subtle than a “trumpeted” or “surprise” upgrade or giveaway, because that “something of value” can be anything.
- Value-adds during visit
- Special offers
- VIP mailing lists
- Loyalty programmes
- Follow-up offers
- Birthday club
- Use social media
5. Give yourself some Authority
Another one of Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Influence, is the idea that people follow the lead of credible, knowledgeable experts. Your customers may not believe your marketing or ads, but if you, the individual, tell them something, they’ll likely believe it.
One fun way to use your authority is to tell the customer “that’s an excellent choice,” or “that’s a good question.” It’s silly, but customers really do get a little thrill of approval when you say that. Everyone wants to think they’re a good decision maker!
Of course, your authority won’t last long unless you have the chops to back it up.
So authority comes in two flavors – that which you actually have, and that which people assume you have. Either way, the more authority you have, the more satisfied your customers will be that they’re getting the best possible service.
• Build expertise and the ability to make most decisions into your services – for example becoming part of a professional body regulating and governing your industry.
• Use your authority to reinforce the customers’ decisions with positive affirmations – they’ll love it.
6. Be Likeable
People buy from people they like. And, people like people who are like them.
My most memorable customer service experiences were when the conversation was off-book and contained genuine humor and personal interest; creating rapport based on common interests or experiences.
Likability not only smooths communication and creates more positive experiences, it can make negative experiences fade into the background. Most importantly, that feeling of liking kicks off the Halo Effect customers will feel for your whole company, encouraging them to stay with you longer, buy more, and bring their friends.
• Smile, even if you’re typing rather than talking.
• Don’t be afraid to go off-script and be genuinely interested in the other person (but use discretion with what you say – you don’t want to sound negative or creepy).
• Create a sense of commonality by finding out what you and the customer share – a love of dogs or the outdoors or Friday morning bagels in the office.
• Use your sense of humor and your sense of fun – it’s all about showing genuine enjoyment for others, and being willing to laugh at yourself.
Feelings are the most important outcome of every interaction.
As Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
That’s what we’re doing here: Creating unforgettable emotional experiences.
We remember the people who make us feel good, smart, happy – and make us laugh.
We remember people who take an interest in us, a genuine interest.
We remember people who are clearly out to make sure we get what we need, who protect us from common pitfalls, and who suggest ways to have an even better outcome that we could have thought of ourselves.
We remember people who make us feel good or part of something important.
What you can do TODAY in your business….
- Collect client feedback.
- Give your staff authority and confidence.
- Focus on the small things.
- Add a personal touch.
- Follow up with your clients.
- Surprise your clients often.
- Don’t hesitate to apologize.
- Don’t make a sale. Build a relationship.
- Find out what’s unique about you and do that over and over again.
- Create a loyalty programme.
- Host an event. Impart knowledge.
- Partner with non-competitive businesses in your community.
- Build your social media presence. Create a spa marketing planner.
- Ensure you are Exceeding Customer Expectations every day.
Are you looking for a meaningful Customer Service workshop for your team, give us a call or drop us a mail on the below contact information to customise e-learning solutions or conduct a face-to-face workshop.
Guvon Academy is also perfect for your private events, functions or product launches. Contact us today!
Tel: 011 568 4967
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Address: Guvon Academy – 19 Braam Street, Honeydew Ridge, Roodepoort.