10 Tips For Creating Spreadable Service

Delivering a great customer experience is equally about sales and service. Great sales gets you market share, but great service gets you both wallet share and makes your customer a brand advocate. Pretty much every business / church / charity / individual, right now, is offering fist-clenchingly bad service – so when you serve them like they are royalty, hey presto!, you are being unique.

Another thought: when you deliver great service, it is often issolated – in other words, between the customer and you. By following the few tips (well, 10) below, you can also begin making your customer service spreadable, in other words, so that people can see how well you are serving. FYI, I define spreadbility as easy of access, ease of use, and ease of share.

  1. Provide multi-touch support. Become more accessible by also taking service issues over Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter in addition to your website and/or blog.
  2. Clearly illustrate, that if out of your operating hours, how your customer and get emergency service. Perhaps points them to the social media above. Perhaps, get an emergency phone and sleep with it. In other words, lift the restriction of time.
  3. Provide a non 0845/0870/0871 number, i.e. give them your local office phone number. This creates reassurance. When they call, give your name. Make sure the same person handles the service all the way through, or clearly give the name of the person you handing the issue to.
  4. Remove your ugly call queuing systems and other such nonsense – or if not, reduce them to the simplest thing possible. Insider hint: people get angry waiting on call queuing systems. Also, remove voice activated stuff. It doesn’t work.
  5. When you engage with your customer, tell them exactly how things are going to progress, and keep communicating this. This makes them feel safe, and everyone wants to feel safe when something is broken.
  6. Give your employees who handle customer service more room to offer compensation, and to offer it more quickly. It may cost you, but you will create an advocate. If they want to escalate, let them, and have a great attitude about it, like it is you who is inconveniencing them – because as far as they care, you are!
  7. Exceed expectation. If they are looking for one thing, give them something better – preferable something that they can share. Scale the pyramid of expectation.
  8. When you resolve an issue through a social media enquiry, if the info is not sensitive, publicly answer it so others can see. This way you are both marketing and serving at the same time.
  9. If they provided their social media details, or contacted you through social media, then do this: when you have resolved the issue, publicly Tweet / Facebook them two days later to see how it’s going. If they called or emailed, then call or email them instead. This extra touch shows that you care, and also helps with ease of share because others will see it.
  10. Go to the nth degree for every customer. Turn a bad experience into a compelling experience. Relish the opportunity to turn an average customer into an advocate, and do whatever you can to succeed in this task.

Have fun serving.

Thanks to Conductive for the photo.

Archived Comments

  • http://twitter.com/therioman therioman

    Hey Scott, some thoughts on the latest blog (numbering based on your points):

    1. Multi-Touch Support – great idea in theory, but companies should be wary of “jumping in” without properly supporting that endeavour. Too many have created (for example) twitter accounts, then abandon them. Maybe because they don’t invest time in it, or because they forget to make sure the rest of the business is on-message about the existance. @o2 are a great example of that for me – when they recently had an outage, and I called Business Customer Service, they asked how I knew it wasn’t a phone issue – when I said “your corporate twitter account said so” they simply refused to believe.

    So while getting on board with these newer (and real time) tools it’s equally important to be ready as a business to support it at all levels – then it’ll be successful. That’s a concept easier for micro/mini bus to handle than the bigger enterprises.

    3. In my experience (and this is an interesting one!) depending on who you’re targetting sometimes the non-geo ranges work to make you seem bigger – and for reasons I don’t quite understand reassures Big Corp that Not-So-Big-Corp is in fact Big Enough to handle them. Insane I know, but true, I’ve had feedback on that!

    However, flipping that the other way, if I’m looking for the smaller things, restaurants etc, I tend to look for local numbers – more because it is less likely to be a chain co (and I like the environment of micro restaurants etc). Same applies to various other industries.

    4. I’m with you on that but as a telecomms provider have to meet our customer needs (wants?) too. There is some merit to “queuing” systems, but only where they’re properly managed. I don’t mind a 2-3 minute wait for something where there is high demand, but the never ending queues are just unacceptable – it increases dissatisfaction in a moment (well actually many many moments!). For our part, for customers with premium or managed accounts, we offer a 100% guarantee of no Press 1 for… type stuff, ever – and this is a written part of ou proposals.

    5. With you on that too – and again from personal experience as a company we’re pushing this more and more – it’s not always easy – especially when you have diverse offerings and plenty of third parties to manage too, but ultimately, the more you work with people, the better things are. That’s a nugget I could have done with 10 years ago!

    7. Someone said to me years ago, always set pessimistic timescales, and deliver “early” – it sounds a bit like a con but it makes sense. Set a pessimistic timescale, and you buy room for unexpected slippages and into the bargain can (well if you’re actually any good at service!) complete early – and customers always appreciate it.

    That’ll do I think – good blog post.

  • http://twitter.com/therioman therioman

    Hey Scott, some thoughts on the latest blog (numbering based on your points):

    1. Multi-Touch Support – great idea in theory, but companies should be wary of “jumping in” without properly supporting that endeavour. Too many have created (for example) twitter accounts, then abandon them. Maybe because they don’t invest time in it, or because they forget to make sure the rest of the business is on-message about the existance. @o2 are a great example of that for me – when they recently had an outage, and I called Business Customer Service, they asked how I knew it wasn’t a phone issue – when I said “your corporate twitter account said so” they simply refused to believe.

    So while getting on board with these newer (and real time) tools it’s equally important to be ready as a business to support it at all levels – then it’ll be successful. That’s a concept easier for micro/mini bus to handle than the bigger enterprises.

    3. In my experience (and this is an interesting one!) depending on who you’re targetting sometimes the non-geo ranges work to make you seem bigger – and for reasons I don’t quite understand reassures Big Corp that Not-So-Big-Corp is in fact Big Enough to handle them. Insane I know, but true, I’ve had feedback on that!

    However, flipping that the other way, if I’m looking for the smaller things, restaurants etc, I tend to look for local numbers – more because it is less likely to be a chain co (and I like the environment of micro restaurants etc). Same applies to various other industries.

    4. I’m with you on that but as a telecomms provider have to meet our customer needs (wants?) too. There is some merit to “queuing” systems, but only where they’re properly managed. I don’t mind a 2-3 minute wait for something where there is high demand, but the never ending queues are just unacceptable – it increases dissatisfaction in a moment (well actually many many moments!). For our part, for customers with premium or managed accounts, we offer a 100% guarantee of no Press 1 for… type stuff, ever – and this is a written part of ou proposals.

    5. With you on that too – and again from personal experience as a company we’re pushing this more and more – it’s not always easy – especially when you have diverse offerings and plenty of third parties to manage too, but ultimately, the more you work with people, the better things are. That’s a nugget I could have done with 10 years ago!

    7. Someone said to me years ago, always set pessimistic timescales, and deliver “early” – it sounds a bit like a con but it makes sense. Set a pessimistic timescale, and you buy room for unexpected slippages and into the bargain can (well if you’re actually any good at service!) complete early – and customers always appreciate it.

    That’ll do I think – good blog post.

  • Scott Gould

    Thanks for the additions – of course I agree with ur points.

    I always was told “under promise, over deliver” – which as you say, makes sense and really works. As far as I’m concerned it’s not a con at all – it’s just making sure your words line up with your actions – which as you know is so important in business.

    Thanks again for the kudos

  • Scott Gould

    Thanks for the additions – of course I agree with ur points.

    I always was told “under promise, over deliver” – which as you say, makes sense and really works. As far as I’m concerned it’s not a con at all – it’s just making sure your words line up with your actions – which as you know is so important in business.

    Thanks again for the kudos

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