In business, we’re all generally pretty smart. Actually, very smart. We’ve done the market research and planning, carefully planned our store layouts and finely tuned our Websites. We all know our customers, their buying habits, their likes and dislikes, and even what they like about us and our competitors. We all know how to win customers and keep them for life.
We just have trouble convincing our customers of that.
Despite all our research and planning, sometimes there comes a day when we all realize that we’re just not as smart as we thought we were. We’ve spun an irresistible array of magical offers, but our customers still aren’t impressed or even hanging around to see what else we’ve got. At such times, it’s important for us to be humble and admit that maybe we’re the ones who need to be educated, rather than our customers. It’s not the time to tell them about all our offers or features or benefits. It’s not even the time to unveil more discounts or throw in a second item for half price. Hey, it’s not even the time to add the Ginsu steak knives.
It’s time to listen and learn and really care for those customers.
As Ross Shafer, founder of the Customer Empathy Institute, says in this excerpt from one of his presentations, “Your customers do not want customer service any more. What they want from you is customer empathy. They want to feel understood. They want you to understand how they feel in this process.” In yet another great example of how social media can help companies understand their customers, this video highlights the reality of what customers want.
It may seem a trivial point to many, but there’s a world of difference between customer service and customer empathy. People want to feel genuinely heard and cared for, and no checklist or policy will deliver that level of care. Make sure your customer service team is made up of people who truly care about others and delight in solving their problems. There’s no other way to show empathy to customers today. And if you just haven’t been able to put together a team that really delivers on that level of care, maybe it’s time to outsource your customer service to a contact center that has.
As Ross Shafer puts it, “Don’t be a commodity. Don’t be a low-price leader… Be a trusted adviser. That’s what people want today.”
Or, as we put it at Tacamor, genuine customer care is not just an important thing, or even the main thing any more. It’s everything.