We all know what they mean when they say “changing times” — it’s just a nice way of saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has ripped through our everyday life and disrupted our daily patterns of living. Across the world, people are facing unemployment, stay-at-home orders, and concern for their health and that of their families. Changing times are stressful times.
Everyone is feeling the heat right now. As a business, maybe you want to help alleviate some of the stress for your clients — or at least add some positivity into their days. If so, we commend you. We know that things probably aren’t so easy for you either. But, we can promise that your dedication to customer satisfaction will only help your company to make it through this pandemic as unscathed as possible.
In this article, we identify five fresh ways to delight customers in these uncertain times. If you want to learn how to deliver a exceptional customer delight in a new way that’s appropriate within the current context, this is the article for you.
5 Fresh Ways to Delight Customers in Changing Times
1. Stay in Touch
Once you get a sale, the customer experience is just beginning! It’s important to carve out the resources to further that budding relationship instead of just waiting for the next transaction. When you can build on the first sale to develop a long-term, loyal relationship, you convert a one-time customer into a repeat customer. Trust me, this is well worth the effort.
Our favorite example of customer re-engagement is social media replies. Let’s say we just purchased a new candle and showed it off on Twitter, tagging the company. To go the extra mile, the company can reply or retweet my tweet. This shows their appreciation and that they care about customer delight.
This type of positive re-engagement not only encourages positive testimonials from other customers, but it also builds a stronger bond between consumer and business. Not to mention, this acts as free, authentic promotional material!
Another fresh way to stay in touch with customers is to offer special incentives to customers. We love it when we purchase something from a company and then find coupon codes in the package as a thank you. Or if you offer an online service, you can send the incentive to their inbox instead of delivering it physically.
2. Surprise Them
Have you heard the phrase “under promise and over deliver” before? This is a customer service strategy used by many companies that strive for over-the-top customer experiences. By avoiding making promises that a company knows it can’t always meet, and always keeping the promises they do make, customers are either plain old satisfied or completely ecstatic. It’s a win-win. If you haven’t adopted this attitude yet, now is the perfect time!
For example, a local business has transitioned to home delivery for their wines, jars of honey, and soaps. However, with every order, you get surprised with an extra tiny jar of honey and a thank you note “just because”. It’s a welcome (and delicious) surprise. Customers adore this “over delivery”, and their positive perception of the brand soars as a result. If your company can offer little extras along the customer journey, it’s a great idea to start introducing these perks. Your brand loyalty and customer satisfaction will soar.
Another fun way to surprise people is to pair up with other companies and slip your promotion into their materials. One of our designers recently received a new pair of jeans in the mail, but to their surprise, inside the box, there was also a gift card for a meal delivery company. Guess who gets to avoid doing groceries this week thanks to that giftcard? If you can identify other businesses that your target audience frequents and slip a little surprise into their orders/services, you can generate tons of new clients.
3. Show Your Appreciation
Saying thank you goes a long way. Making a customer feel appreciated is a guaranteed way to boost their customer satisfaction, make them feel cared for, and increase the odds that they return to you in the future. Going the extra mile will go a long way with your customers.
You can show you appreciation in many more ways than just a standard “thank you” email — in fact, those are getting kind of generic and expected. To keep it fresh, try giving your customers special, high-value rewards if they refer you to someone. Alternatively, deliver a hand-written, personalized thank you note to their door. Perhaps if someone leaves you a positive public review, you can send them some free samples or a gift card as a surprise in the mail. There are lots of ways to show your appreciation to your customers, and most are amenable to the current context of COVID-19.
4. Empower Your Employees
Time and time again, research has demonstrated that happy employees make for a happy business. In these uncertain times, ensure that you’re taking care of your employees. Are they overworked and need a day off? Do they need a support system at work? Are they being compensated fairly for the risk they’re exposed to? Consider these questions and take action to ensure you are doing enough to reduce their stress and support them.
When highly stressed, employees are hindered from delivering top-notch customer service. Burnout is a very real risk in this climate. It’s important to go above and beyond when taking care of your employees if you expect them to go above and beyond for your clients.
There are many avenues you can take. First, allow your employees the freedom of decision making. Grant them total ownership of handling a customer’s questions and concerns so that they can take full responsibility for the customer experience. Second, foster a team environment. When people work together, they can achieve more — including delivering more value to your customers. Finally, employee feedback is paramount, especially in high-stress situations. Be sure to take the time to listen to what they’re saying and implement changes as necessary.
Once your employees feel cared for and empowered, they are ready and willing to do the same for your clients.
5. Give Back
There’s never a shortage of worthy causes to give back to, but COVID-19 has unleashed a new wave of people and organizations in need of support. Food banks, women’s shelters, PPE distributors, and medical organizations are just a few of those that could use some extra support in these uncertain times.
Customers want to know that the company they’re engaging with is ethical and caring. To prove that you care about others in the community, you can pledge a specific portion of every sale to a worthy cause, launch a new product whose proceeds all go towards a cause, or even donate a lump sum all at once. Not only do they feel good about your business, but your customers can feel better about themselves too.
To go the extra mile in delighting your customers, try making a donation in their name and surprising them with it. Just drop an email in their inbox thanking them for their recent purchase and informing them that x amount was donated in their name to an organization in their community. Now that’s impressive!
There you have it. Five fresh ways to delight your customers for an exceptional customer service experience in spite of the impacts of COVID-19. By staying in touch with your customers, making an effort to surprise them, showing your appreciation for them, empowering your employees, and giving back to the community, you can seriously impress your customers.
If you enjoyed these tips, you can find more in this article: The Definition of Brand Equity. Or if you’re looking for more detailed assistance, Cubicle Ninjas is here to help! Just fill out this contact form, or give us a call at 1-888-77-NINJA. Let’s make something beautiful!