In a galaxy of seemingly endless phone trees and robo-calls, it feels good to talk to a human every once in a while.
Most of the time, customers are not happy when they contact support, whether it’s through email, chat, or phone call. They are frustrated with your company in some way, and the last thing you need is for them to be frustrated with your customer service.
A customer service call doesn’t have to be as negative as getting stuck in a phone tree black hole. In fact, great brands take their customer service support to the next level, allowing room for support agents to be human.
Powerful Benefits of Human Customer Support
The best customer support experiences can bolster your brand and turn a negative customer experience into a huge positive that the customer will talk about for weeks, if not beyond. And, it might just end up talked about on the internet.
Simple spices up support chats with gifs and genuine human interaction instead of the usual stuffy, scripted banking language.
Netflix employees helpfully offer dating encouragement for those looking to improve their next romantic Netflix and Chill session.
There are plenty of ways for customer support agents to inject a little personality into their interactions with customers.
But sometimes, customers take matters into their own hands.
Star Wars, SurveyGizmo, and Stellar Support
In one recent case, a SurveyGizmo customer with an encyclopedic knowledge of the Star Wars franchise initiated an unforgettable customer service ticket.
SurveyGizmo’s customer support team each has their own unique “job title” that reflects their personality and interests.
Every once in a while, customers make a powerful connection to these titles.
When a recent chatter noticed that they were speaking to the Survey Jedi, they immediately transported themselves to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
Check out this exchange between the Survey Jedi (Orange) and an awesome customer (Blue):
The full transcript reads like a “Best of Star Wars Quotes,” with each reference expertly adapted to suit the customer’s problem and the Survey Jedi’s solution.
It’s safe to say this exchange probably made the customer’s day. It definitely made the Survey Jedi’s.
This Is a Customer Service Rebellion, Isn’t It?
This was a fun customer service ticket to fulfill, but what does rebelling against the Evil Empire of awful customer service have to do with marketing?
Turns out, quite a lot.
With a strong product and good customer service, you have 60-70% chance of getting more business from your existing customers. Compare that with your chances of bringing in a new customer (just 5-10%), and you’ll see that reducing churn rate and keeping customers happy is an integral part of growing your bottom line.
Your marketing efforts bring customers to your company. Customer service is what keeps them coming back again and again.
Many people have come to expect terrible customer service. They dread opening a chat request or picking up the phone because it’s often inefficient, impersonal, and frankly dehumanizing for everyone involved.
As the above chat shows, there is a much, much better way.
The Force of Great Customer Support
Great customer service stands out. It becomes a talking point for people when they recommend your service or product to their friends and family.
Of course, as product and service providers, we want to minimize the number of instances that cause a customer to contact support. But, there’s no reason to not take the opportunity to really connect with your customers when they do reach out.
A little bit of humanity can go a long way in turning a negative experience into a positive one, and taking the time to resolve a customer complaint pays off.
The Power of the Dark Side (of Customer Experience)
Taking the time to resolve a customer complaint pays off; 70% of customers with a resolved support issue will do business with your company again.
On the flip side, 91% of unhappy customers would rather take their business, and their money, elsewhere.
Think back to your experiences dealing with customer service. Which experiences stand out as particularly awful? And, in contrast, which left a positive impression?
I’m willing to bet a pack of tauntauns that your most positive customer service experiences found an answer to your problem, sure, but it probably also made you feel like you and the representative were both human beings.
We Have a Mission for You
And that mission is to improve your customer service experience.
Maybe your business is not quite ready to authorize full blown Sith versus Jedi roleplay in your support channels, and that’s okay. A good place to start is by looking at how your customers and their support people are communicating.
Read through transcripts and listen to recorded phone calls. Call in to your customer service hotline yourself and see what it’s like to go through the process. Think about how you would feel during and after the call.
In fact, you can even flip the script. Instead of calling in to customer support, try sitting with your support team for a day, a week, or more and answering customer tickets. Experience firsthand how your Does the interaction feel genuine and fundamentally positive?
If not, it’s time to rewrite your customer service script or throw it out altogether.
Work with your customer service leads to develop a voice for your company that gives your support staff the wiggle room to be themselves while they help customers.
Customer Feedback Binds the Universe Together
As you dive head first into revamping your company’s voice, you can make one small change to your support script right now. Have your support staff thank customers for getting in touch. Thank them for their feedback, especially if that feedback is negative.
You read that right.
Negative feedback is the fuel that will help you grow and improve your business, one interaction, feature, product, or service at a time.
Many companies receive negative feedback from just 4% of their dissatisfied customers. Chances are, if someone is coming to you with a problem, other people are experiencing that same issue.
You may think you’re just addressing the complaints of a small percentage, but in reality you’re helping the majority.
Collecting and acting on feedback from the 4% will help you improve the experiences of the 96% who didn’t bother to contact you.
You should definitely be thanking those customers who go out of their way to bring a problem to your attention.
Harness the Power of Your Customer Base
Think of it this way: there is no telling how long it would have gone taken for your internal team to notice a problem with your site, service, or product. It’s much faster and more efficient if your customers feel like they can come to you to give feedback and receive a solution.
Nurturing the feedback loop is an important part of the customer service process. If a customer thinks your company is going to address their concerns, they’re more likely to let you know when something goes wrong.
This is why I love using Twitter to communicate with brands as a consumer, but I also love it was a marketer listening in to the conversation surrounding the brands I work for.
If there is a problem with the MarketerGizmo site going down, for example, I usually hear about it first from someone on Twitter.
What Will You Become?
Do you have a customer service experiences, good or bad, that changed the way you felt about a company? Do you like it when brands communicate in a more casual way? Have you had a memorable customer service experience when you connected with a support representative?
Share your thoughts in the comments for all of us to learn from.
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