When was the last time you thought to yourself, “wow this is great customer service?” Or the opposite, “how does this company stay in business?”
From the cashier at the grocery store, to the phone call with your airline representative or an online chat with an automated assistant, is it the bad customer service experiences or the good customer service experience you remember first?
Sharing experiences is one of the most important customer service statistics out there. On average, happy customers tell nine friends and angry customers tell sixteen. That’s a pretty big difference and a hefty price to pay especially in the highly competitive custom pin industry.
An excellent custom pin company strives for an excellent customer experience—something worth talking about—every single time.
So, what makes a good customer service experience? We have discovered 5 things you should expect from your custom pin company.
1. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Creating a “nice” experience for everyone is, well, nice. However, from a loyalty standpoint, there’s something much more important: reducing your customers’ effort.
Making the ordering process easy and hassle free for customers in the online pin industry has been a top priority at PinProsPlus. We often hear our customers say how easy and simple the whole process was.
Many of our customers are ordering custom lapel pins, buckles, patches, coins and finisher medals for the first time, and knowing where to begin and what is needed can be overwhelming. By making the experience quick and easy customers have returned over and over again to order more of these custom items.
2. WHAT DO YOU KNOW?
When customers fill out our custom quote form, we ask them the basic questions such as size, quantity, and date needed. Aside from these basic questions, it is also important to know what the product will be used for, how will it be worn, and who is the ultimate end user. These simple questions make a huge difference to the customer knowing that we are invested in their pin and want to suggest options that will save them time and money.
Good customer service helps make the customer look good, whether it be a wholesaler, an administrative assistant or the president of a company.
Once our customers know that we understand their needs is when they begin to understand we care and a lasting connection is made. Earning their trust as their go-to company for custom lapel pins and quality products is invaluable.
Many times, our customers have been grateful for a quick email simply asking how their event went, how the pins were received or if we can help them with a design for their next event. It is amazing what can happen when you really get to know a customer.
3. DON’T FORGET TO SAY “THANK YOU” AND “SORRY”
You don’t need a reason to say, “thank you”. Simply saying “thank you” to a customer can be a powerful way to strengthen your relationship with them. Receiving gratitude doesn’t just change the way we think and feel; it changes the way we behave for the better. Did they give you feedback? Say “thank you”. Did they report a bug? Say “thank you”. Did they complain about something? Say “thank you”.
You also don’t need a reason to say “sorry”. When a customer is angry at you, you can give them a refund. You can have their order remade at no cost or discount the order if they would like to keep the custom pins. But, don’t forget the incredible value of a simple apology. Even if you didn’t do anything wrong, you can still be sorry about the way the customer feels. Let them know that. The customer needs to feel like they are being heard and issues are being addressed.
We once had a customer who was absolutely beside herself over a small production error. Nothing would have appeased or pleased her more than if I would have taken a walk into the ocean to find the bottom at the deepest depths without air. While every attempt was made to correct this issue, the customer was not happy. After countless apologies the customer did seem to relax and understand that a mistake was made and we all are subject to human error.
Neither “thank you” nor “I’m sorry” cost you anything to say. Don’t hold back.
4. DON’T LET THEM GO
This sounds kind of creepy but let me explain. It’s easy to let angry customers walk away because a mistake has been made and they are angry. If they’re gone, they’re gone, right?
Wrong. Providing true and genuine customer service when a problem arises can make a more loyal customer in the end by asking questions, clarifying and really flesh out what their needs really are. And then, once you’ve established what’s going on, you can start the recovery process.
Disney is known for providing top-notch customer service. By following a few simple steps in the Disney Institute’s H.E.A.R.D. method—you can turn upset customers into loyal, happy ones:
Hear: let the customer tell their entire story without interruption. Sometimes, we just want someone to listen.
Empathize: Convey that you deeply understand how the customer feels. Use phrases like “I’d be frustrated, too.”
Apologize: As long as it’s sincere, you can’t apologize enough. Even if you didn’t do whatever made them upset, you can still genuinely be apologetic for the way your customer feels (e.g., I’m always sorry that a customer feels upset).
Resolve: Resolve the issue quickly, or make sure that your employees are empowered to do so. Don’t be afraid to ask the customer: “what can I do to make this right?”
Diagnose: Get to the bottom of why the mistake occurred, without blaming anyone; focus on fixing the process so that it doesn’t happen again. It might be tempting to just walk away from a seemingly unsolvable problem. Don’t. Not every customer interaction starts well, but you can turn them around.
5. TRY A DIFFERENT CONNECTION
Your customers probably handle all of their interactions with businesses online, via email, social media, and maybe phone calls. But how many companies “break the digital plane,” so to speak, and extend a warm personal touch to their customers outside of the internet?
Over the years we have offered a personalized set of custom pins to police departments around the country who have lost a fallen officer while in the line of duty. With these custom pins we send a heartfelt, personally signed letter explaining our appreciation and sorrow for their loss. In response we have received countless personal letters of gratitude for the gifted pins received and how much the letter of support and pins meant to the department and families of these fallen officers. In a world of constant digital or electronic contact it is nice to receive something which seems more personal and genuine like a simple note in the mail.