I think you will agree with me when I say:
It is REALLY hard to get good customer experiences heard. The bad stories, more often than not, get all the publicity.
Or do they?
Well it turns out you can dramatically increase the number of good stories that are heard by following two simple steps...
...steps that could influence 88% of people who purchase your product or service.
In todays post I'm going to tell you what these steps are and how you can use them to increase customer loyalty and gain new customers through customer service marketing.
You might be wondering:
What role does marketing play in customer service?
A big one, which is why you should be marketing your exceptional customer service experiences. Your customers are sharing both their good and bad stories about your business and often your customer service online. In doing so they are promoting your business or doing the opposite in the case of bad stories. This is the cross over between customer service and marketing.
And your customers are powerful. Other customers and potential customers listen to what they say. In fact Zendesk points out that 88% of people have been influenced by an online customer service review when making a buying decision. Promoting the good stories is the essence of customer service marketing.
So here is how to get your customer experiences heard through the CSM Gold approach:
First, you need to not just meet your customers expectations but exceed them!
I have good and bad news...
First the bad news:
Exceeding your customers expectations will make them happy, really happy but it doesn't mean they will share their story.
The good news is:
Customers will be more likely to share their stories online and offline if you have exceeded their expectations rather than meeting them since there is the element of surprise. The customer took away something they weren't expecting.
This can be something small like the woman behind the counter of Melt Shop who dropped my food to my seat so I didn't have to collect it. Or the guy at Bare Burger who gave me a free gift voucher just because they ran out of the milkshakes after I ordered mine. They didn't have to do any of these things, I didn't expect them to but they did.
They exceeded my exceptions!
Will I go back? Melt Shop serves glorified toasted sandwiches that are just marketed really well. That's nothing new (sorry Melt Shop), but I would go back. Not for the toasted sandwiches, well partly for the toasted sandwiches but also because they went out of their way to help me and as a result I am sharing their story online!
It doesn't stop at your current customers, you can also exceed potential customers expectations like one hairdresser did from Cork, Ireland. After reading a story on social media about a young woman who was bullied for being over weight the hairdresser responded by offering the young woman a makeover at her salon. The response to the hairdressers comment was phenomenal receiving over 850 likes and about 50 comments.
So you get the picture. Exceeding expectations builds customers and loyalty not just for one customer but for many after the experience is shared.
Second, you need to effectively market these stories in order to gain new customers.
When a customer shares their great experience it is normally seen by a relatively small number of people. In order to get the maximum impact from their praise you need to make sure it is seen by far more people.
Uber does this really well. Late last year they introduced a 'sixth star', that customers could give to taxi drivers who went above and beyond what is expected from a regular fare. Customers told Uber about their good experiences and as a reward were entered into a competition. Uber then promotes these stories on it's website, in the media and so on. Uber are the gold standard of customer service marketing. Here is one story they promoted in video form:
Similarly Olloclip attempt to drive photo shares and story shares by including the card below with their products. They then share the photos customers take with their products on their social media like their Instagram. They are letting the customers do their marketing for them!
Customer service marketing is really easy to engage in. Your customers are probably doing it for you already online. Now all you have to do is promote it effectively. The two step CSM Gold formula for gaining customer success stories and having them widely heard about is simple to follow. It all comes down to really great customer service by which you exceed customers expectations and marketing the stories gained from this properly.
Let me know how you are getting your customers stories heard. Feel free to comment below or via Twitter and if there is any particular area of marketing you would like me to discuss in my blog let me know.