Hello SOTGC community,
Did you ever receive poor service when eating out at a restaurant? How was the situation handled? Did management apologize? How did management apologize? Were you satisfied? The greater question is would you go back to this restaurant? The new rules of customer satisfaction is more than customer service, it’s customer engagement.
We can agree customer service is listening to your customer and knowing exactly what he or she needs and how you can help them. Customer service is also positive attitude, assertiveness, empathy, depersonalization, conflict resolution or humor. A major part of customer service is admitting when you made an error such as poor service or quality and resolving the matter with your customer immediately.
With the rise of digital networking there is a fundamental shift in the way we do business with our customers. Customer engagement is forming a meaningful, ongoing relationship that involves frequent interactions through your social networks.
Hilton Hotels is a perfect example of a company engaging with their customers and future customers via social media. Hilton reports an increase of guest satisfaction in 2014 by 20%. Besides the boutique hotels, Hilton is ranked one of the top places to stay for comfort and customer engagement (Travelers Choice Hotels, 2014).
Emerging business has the same opportunity to see this sort of boost. You need to change your thinking of traditional “customer service to customer engagement.” Your business model should include a customer engagement strategy. Your bottom line depends on your ability to deliver excellent and meaningful engaging customers. Build relationships that last by putting these definitions of customer engagement into action. Ask your team, What if…
1. Customer Engagement is an ongoing dialogue with your customer. You need to be a good listener to customers who are already having conversations about multiple brands, others and yours. Form relationships and interactions that create a positive experience and outcome for your customer. Positive results begin with answering questions, becoming a problem solver, listening to new ideas, and expanding praise. Customers are not only communicating with you, they are interacting and sharing their positive and negative experience about you with others.
2. Customer Engagement needs to be results driven. How you engage impacts how customers view your brand. “70% of Americans are willing to spend an average of 13% more with companies who they feel provide above-par customer service” (Inc.com, 2014). This means you must focus on results and providing your customers the tools for them to get their needs fulfilled.
3. Customer Engagement is anytime ~ anywhere. We are living in the NOW generation. Your customers ‘want it now.’ You are connected with your customer’s 24/7, 365 days. In 2011, customers were using mobile apps 10 times a day. That number has increased to 78% using their mobile app each day for business purposes. If you’re not engaging on the go, neglect sets in and your customer forgets about you. Nurture your customer and create a relationship with ongoing and honest interactions. When your customer is ready to make a purchase, they will chose from someone they trust through positive experiences.
4. Customer Engagement is mutually beneficial. Think marketing and sales as the tool for customer engagement. The same philosophies apply as developing relationships through marketing and sales. This becomes an interdependent relationship built on mutual respect. Your customer feels heard and you receive feedback with the opportunity to improve your business, and attract new customers.
5. Customer Engagement is customer driven. Forget cold calling. Yuck! Customer engagement is the opposite of cold calling. Your customer will decide when they want to communicate with you. Provide your customer with the tools that will allow them to communicate with you, and they will initiate.
6. Customer Engagement is putting the tools in your customer’s hands to win their trust. Win their trust and you will build a loyal customer base. Build a loyal customer base and you will increase your bottom line.
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Connie Pheiff, Queen of the Ask
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