Posted in customer service, Startups

Customer Support – DNA of a Company which builds a Brand

Customer Service

The team which is always there for the customers, whether its Holi or Diwali or just another day. We are the “Customer Support”. We make sure that our customers are not getting affected at any point, all days of the year.
A typical day of ours starts with team logging in all the support channels where the customer reaches out, which can be Chat, Emails, Calls etc. We spend most of the time answering to the inbound queries and issues of the customers. During the day, we also work with other departments to deal with different type of customer issues we get.
We have a range of problem thrown at us during the day. Right from an easy how to question to a difficult objection handling on a policy or product. Each day for us is a rollercoaster ride right from start to the finish. We have best of our days where we satisfy a customer with all his/ her queries and we also have worst of our days when many customers are dissatisfied with the answers we have for them.
The best part of our job is to be able to see things from a customer’s perspective and then help other departments in the improvement of products and services. The worst part of our job is delivering decisions on problems to the customers which are beyond our control, although we may sometimes know that the customer is not wrong. But these are business decisions where our control is minimum.
Multitasking is in our blood, we eat, work, have fun on the floor and all of this at one time. We have snack’s day, pot luck and make sure we have our part of the fun. Sometimes our leaders also join us and we enjoy their company a lot, though we would like to have some more of their time but we understand.
We are like an invisible backbone which is always there and supports but no one sees it from outside and realize its importance. But once people know what it takes to be here they never forget the importance of CUSTOMER SUPPORT. It is the voice of the company which show’s its DNA and is one of the most important elements of the brand building.

Lohith from the team says “Being in support is about saving emotion, no matter what kind of day we  have have been through all that  we do is greet our  customers with smile,it’s not about being phelgmatic it’s about being passionate”. 
Customer service is not only about the people in the frontline, it’s about the company as a whole all the departments of a company collectively define how your customer service is.
Please join us and experience what our customers go through day in and out and be their voice.

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Posted in customer service, Marketing, Startups

Building Brands through Emotional Bonding

Business today generally spend a lot of time and money in the brand building which in a true sense is a huge cost and according to me is not completely justified. In today’s world, it is the emotions which sell a product or service, not ads. If the business doesn’t connect with the prospective customer at an emotional level, then the probability of sales reduces drastically.

According to research published in the Harward Business Review:

“Brands put billions into boosting awareness, satisfaction, and loyalty, but they often overlook the most powerful driver of customer value: emotional connection.

Our research involving hundreds of brands across dozens of categories shows that consumers who are emotionally connected with a brand are anywhere from 25% to 100% more valuable in terms of revenue and profitability than those who are “merely” highly satisfied with it…”

We generally measure customer satisfaction or net promoter score and focus our efforts on increasing these numbers which in my opinion is a waste of time and effort. Rather, we should focus on emotional connections with customers making them feel that we are always there for them. We should learn from our past for better customer experience.

How do you emotionally connect with customers?

Only you can have the answer to this question for your business. Find that one thing which will help you make that connect and then focus on it to build an emotional bond.

A study by UK Nielson states that referrals are the most cost effective way to get business and it is quite evident what we should focus on. If you serve your existing customers better and make sure they are emotionally connected, then you are surely going to get long term benefits from it.

Some of the things which help create emotional connect are

STORIES, your brand should have a story and it surely sells

Storytelling is something which helps you connect with people much faster and has a long lasting impact. If you go back to history to a certain time all the education was passed from one generation to another in the form of stories and everyone used to remember it. There were no books and that still, holds true if you sell a story you don’t need anything else.

storytelling creates brands

What people like to hear is our stories, it doesn’t matter whether it is a success or failure, but the impact that it can have on one’s life is great.

I will share a small story, I was diagnosed with diabetes and then I started working out lost30 Kg’s in 6 months and the continued my routine and achieved a transformation in my life and got myself cured and if I say that I will start marketing a cycling brand with this story will it work? Think.

People don’t trust the branded content all they want are real stories. A branded content doesn’t offer anything valuable and exciting.

Currently, people who do content marketing write a lot about “GYAN” thinking that it is what people want to listen, but we make a mistake at a point when we just start repeating what others are saying and do not engage customers. Storytelling helps you quickly connect with prospects and hence drive your business.

king is storytelling

Be an exciting brand

People in today’s time always look for something interesting, adventure and that’s what we should offer. We should have an element of surprise and should be lively in everything we do.

If I ask you about the brand Wildcraft how will you describe them and will you buy from them?

People generally don’t connect with a brand that is dull. Let’s take an example If you go to a website of a brand and find it dull how do you feel? In general, people will not explore much and switch to any other website which is more interactive and hence will end up making a purchase.

There is always a face behind a brand and that face should be interesting. Let’s take the example of the apple. Now Steve Jobs was an interesting personality and hence he created an interesting brand that now is one of the best in the world. They are not boring and they always do a lot of interesting stuff.

 Just be curious.

Do something interesting that your competitors are not doing, some ideas will sound silly but its ok to go out there and try it.

We used to drop visiting cards at places, stick cartoon stickers about my brand at places where we used to visit in order to create that curiosity among people. We also started video blogging instead of content as in today’s time everyone is doing that.

The videos were interesting solutions to a lot of the problem people phase in a day to day life and hence it garnered a lot of views and even became viral.

We ran a testimonial video as ads on the Facebook brand page and immediately got 3 customer leads within 20 min of posting it.

We also started using Quora which was not used by my competitors and hence garner awareness for the business.

There are other platforms like snap chat, Instagram, Buzzfeed, medium, etc., which have an audience of their own and can be leveraged to create an emotional connect with the brand.

Use a lot of Images

“A picture speaks a thousand words”

images speak 1000 words

Those images make their content super-cool. And their articles are far from boring because of this.

Ask yourself what do you majorly see and understand when you read a long post on a topic. The answer has to be imaged, infographics etc.

Human touch to a brand and hence every brand needs a Face people can associate with

Imagine your request to see a house do multiple hops and then you are conveyed that people will get back to you versus A person taking your call and immediately accompanying you to the house. Which one is better.

I think it’s the latter. Isn’t it?

It becomes annoying if we don’t get a person to talk to before trying the product or service. It can differ from companies to companies, but it holds true for the majority.

Today, it’s all about Engagement with customers and does a consultative selling which solves all the problems of the customers.

To go shopping with people you need to become their friends and once you are, your opinion matters and influences the purchase.

People should have a sense that they have a person sitting somewhere who can help him out if he is stuck anywhere while using the product and that helps a lot. Here people need immediate gratification and this what helps them to make a decision.

I am not saying that founders should be the face of the company, it can even be a level 1 employee.

We started putting photos on live chat on our website to make sure that people on the other side know who they are talking to and this greatly increased out engagement and the satisfaction scores spiked up immediately.

As long as people can trust you, you’ll have a better chance of connecting with them.

Deepak Kanakraju is a well-known digital marketer and has developed a brand for himself on digitaldeepak.com.

Now there is a face behind the brand and people trust and follow him and his opinion. People know that whatever he says will hold value and hence this trust can help a great way in building your business. That’s the power of putting a face behind your brand. It makes it easier to connect with prospects emotionally. By emotional connecting with prospects and customers, sales will increase.

Hence we should always try and create that bond with our customers to reap great benefits and create a great business and brand.

 

Posted in customer service, Startups

Learnings for better customer experience

“Your customer doesn’t know how much you know until you know how much they care”

Customers are affected by very small things much more than anything else. Customers are also human being and understand if something major is not working but when small things doesn’t work out the whole customer experience goes for a toss. Small things/ problems are perception driven and how we handle it defines our success in providing world class experience.

Customer experience or service is not only about solving the issues that occur to the customer, it is about listening to them, finding root cause, making sure that it doesn’t happen again and giving feedback to other functions to improve.

For this you need to spend time with customers rather than being engrossed in the product. We need to talk to them understand them, feel their pain points and then incorporate it in our offering, thus build great product and companies.

“Great Customer Service is not possible without a great product”

We should always get to the inherent need of customer through series of iterations and get to the final tipping point of the need and incorporate that in the product. For example, A person needs shoe polish to polish his shoe, but by polishing shoe he wants to take care of high value shoe, but he also wants to look good and feel good by doing so. This end point becomes the tipping need and hence if I make a shoe polish with inherent characteristic of a feel good factor it will instantly hit with the customer and hence a great customer experience.

Some of my learnings from working in this field are –

  • Customer experience Vision
  • Listen to what customers are speaking
  • Culture of Awesomeness
  • Continuous feedback to other functions
  • Pay attention to little things
  • Data driven proactive support
  • Leveraging Technology
  • Gamify the idea of customer service
  • Weed out wrong hires

This is based on the inherent assumption that things explained in the first part of the article are taken care of and we have an awesome product and all my executive knows it will. Then we can use the above learning to take the customer support to the next level.