Have we empowered those who represent the cause to have authentic interactions with other members of the tribe? The following online exchange between a Netflix representative and a customer is indicative of an environment that allows for a creative and memorable exchange.
Do your patrons rave about the service they receive when they contact your cause? Do they talk about how easy it is to get the information they are seeking? Or are they asked to key in their membership account and then asked for it repeatedly throughout the process?
Are you a call center or a cause? Do you share a belief with your members or only a desire to be bigger, faster, and more powerful?
Yesterday I turned off our cable TV service (keeping our broadband internet) and returned the equipment to the cable provider. As I placed the digital cable box on the office counter the cable company representative said, ‘I am sorry.’ Sorry about what I thought? Sorry that I am customizing the service to meet my needs? Sorry that I will paying less money? The sorry was intended for the cable company, not me as a customer. When a client interacts with our enterprise and we may have expectations about their needs that are not in alignment with the customer’s intentions. We apologize or become frustrated when we believe they are not getting maximum value from our cause. Yet in may be that they are receiving everything they desire and our sorry is misplaced and possibly awkward.
How do you measure and gauge your client’s needs?
Compelling that some grocery stores are removing their self-checkout lanes and returning to the previous human manned versions. How should one assess the savings that technology might offer versus the return on investment from human touch? Seth Godin posted an interesting perspective on measuring the implementation of technology?
My father-in-law will not shop at a local market because they would not honor a coupon that he brought in a couple years ago. He tells everyone about his experience and recommends they shop elsewhere. I am certain the market has not idea of my father-in-law’s name and has experienced no real discernible loss of revenue but how much marketing must the market create to overcome one former customer who had a bad experience? If you shop online and read customer reviews, how many low scores do you need to see before you move on to another product or website? I find that it is the really dissatified customer reviews that I read to see if it the problem is the product or the experience.
How do you handle those who will not recommend your cause? Do you know their names? Have you ever called them up and asked them to tell their stories? What do you have to lose if you invest some time in people who were once fans?
If you are providing a service to others and ask them to meet you halfway then you are essentially suggesting that the ball be placed back in the middle of the field. Why not allow a client to put the ball inside the penalty box?
I want to do business with you when you talk about an arrangement that provides me with some recognition of what talents I bring and what services you offer. If you are just about creating balance there are plenty of businesses in the world who can resemble that model. If you are willing to standout for what you believe, then you are remarkable.
The moment I expressed my concerns with an online subscription service, the customer representative quickly apologized that I was not going to complete the transaction, rattled-off the toll-free number, and then hung-up. Sounds familliar.
The funny thing is that had he just listened for a moment, my issue could have been solved and he would have closed the deal. But his senses were so tuned to identifying a non-performer and getting to the next call that the opportunity was lost.
How do you make sure you really hear what your customers are saying? How do you listen for their real needs? If you believe what your fans believe then taking a moment to at least acknowledge your common belief. It may be the starting point for a completely different type of conversation.