My brother received this email from Apple support recently.
‘Wow!’ was my initial reaction.
‘It’s a bit over the top’
As an Irish native who moved to the USA, it got me thinking about aspects of customer support executed well in the US and that still need to be transitioned over into European business.
Wow! support vs Customer Support
What if your customer support had this ‘wow!’ affect?
Likely your business has some form of customer support, whether it is logistics, hardware, software or retail.
Many tend to be slow.
Trapped in red tape.
Quick to say no.
That can push your customers away and sometimes leave them open to trying out a competitor.
Wow! support is critical to business success.
1. Wow! support both obtains new customers while retaining existing ones
Building a customer base is important.
Retaining existing customers is equally important.
Not understanding this balance is one of the biggest factors in business failure for SMEs and has been written about a lot (here for example).
Think of repeat purchase.
Word of mouth advertising.
This can all be achieved through outstanding customer support, wow! support.
2. Word of mouth builds your brand
My brother sent that email from Apple to his friends and family.
It left a lasting impression and stuck with me since.
What if your customer support organization built a reputation for being ‘wow!’?
Where your emails were sent laudably to friends and family.
Where scores of blogs were written by happy customers.
Where ‘wow!’ was seen as the defining trait of your company, brand, reputation.
3. Wow! support is mission critical
Your product doesn’t have to be ‘Mission Critical’ or central to your customer’s business for you to build a support strategy that is mission critical to your business.
In fact, I propose your bottom line depends on it.
What if your support strategy went to the next level: Proactive support.
Where customer problems were solved before they became problems.
A system that identifies consumer pain points and changed the way product was developed based on consumer feedback.
That produced literature and best practices to enable buyers to get the most out their new purchase.
Unparalleled possibility starts with Wow! support.
4. Wow! support is revenue generating
Your life will likely be as filled with anecdotal evidence as mine.
Years ago as a student with little disposable income, I bought a set of Shure headphones, I had saved for months while working in a bike shop.
Their noise isolating effect was years before it’s time. But they were broken before their time too, by my niece, accidentally .
Shure customer support (in the US) replaced the cables free of charge, well outside of warranty.
I’ve been buying Shure products ever since. bose and sennheiser don’t even get capitalized in this sentence, I know if something happens to my headphones, the response from Shure will be quick and pragmatic.
I don’t need to worry so much.
How do you Build ‘Wow’ support?
It starts with a decision to intentionally build customer support that will stand out, goes against the grain, defy ‘business logic’ and ensure customer needs are exceeded, rather than merely met.
Then a team is built around that idea.
I have some thoughts and starting points over here.
Stephen M Dick
Customer Support leader, team builder, process designer.
Other content written by the author here.