Customer Satisfaction Lessons to Improve your Business #BaselineMarketers

Today, great customer service is essential for the success of your business. Building a brand that serves customers wholeheartedly and that is genuine, personal and compassionate will create a memorable customer experience.

Here’s a list of customer service quotes from some of the most influential entrepreneurs and business people. A stronger focus on customer service will inspire and motivate you, your team and your business, to keep your customers a priority and inspire loyalty to your brand.

1. Engage your customers

Mark Zuckerberg is the CEO and co-founder of social networking giant, Facebook. Through social engagement and participating within the online community of users, he has built the brand into the most popular social networking site in the world with over 1.65 billion monthly active users, as of April 2016.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
“Serving more people, increasing your customer base and making them more deeply engaged is by itself good business.” Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook

Engage with your customers and build strong emotional connections with your customers. This will allow you to better understand their needs and increase consumer loyalty.

2. Exceed customer expectations

Setting realistic expectations and then going above and beyond and exceeding those expectations is unexpected and will improve your customer satisfaction and enhance the overall customer experience.

“The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them – preferably in unexpected and helpful ways.”
Richard Branson – Virgin Group
Richard Branson, Virgin Group

Richard Branson is the founder of the Virgin Group, which comprises of over 400 companies. The Virgin Group of companies are customer-centric focused and never shy away from offering ‘unexpected expectations’ to their customers. Virgin America provides clean, comfortable planes for their passengers and Richard says “we try to surpass travellers’ expectations by offering better entertainment, good food, and more comfortable seats” and the airline has consistently won customer service awards.

Exceed the expectations of your customers and you transform customers into brand advocates that rave about your product and services and share their experiences with others. Richard says: “Once you’ve established a loyal base of users, your business will soar.”

3. Understand your customers and innovate

Customers have many choices and instant access to information about products and services that are available. Your product and services need to stand out from your competitors. When you really get to know your customers, you will understand what they need, even before they do.

Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple
“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close, in fact, that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.”
Steve Jobs – Co-founder of Apple

Steve Jobs was co-founder of Apple and a great example of an entrepreneur and innovator that understood Apple’s customers so well that he introduced many new and innovative products with the iPod, iPhone and iPad, all devices that no one even knew they needed, until they tried one.

Customers don’t always know what they want and Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company and manufacturer of the first automobile, is testimony to this when he said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”. Understanding your customers is paramount to innovation and giving your customers products and services that make an impact and satisfy their needs.

4. Customer service complaints are opportunities

Turn your customer service complaints into opportunities. Customer complaints offer you the opportunity to turn a negative situation into a positive one. Handling customer service complaints correctly can provide excellent opportunities to build stronger relationships with your clients and retain loyal customers.

“Inside of every problem lies an opportunity.”
Robert Kiyosaki – Author of Rich Dad Poor Dad
Robert Kiyosaki, Author of Rich Dad Poor Dad

When you encounter customer complaints, listen carefully, acknowledge the problem and remedy the situation as best as you can. Do everything you can to delight your unhappy customer by accommodating to their needs and making them feel important. Deliver above and beyond their expectations and they’ll feel more valued.

Handling complaints quickly and professionally can have a big impact on your business’ reputation and sales. Make your wrongs, right, and customers will reward you by returning to your brand again and again and sharing their experience with their friends.

Zig Ziglar, Author and Salesman
“Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business.”
Zig Ziglar – Author and Salesman
5. Learn from your unhappy customers

For every unhappy customer, there is another that quietly takes their business elsewhere and tells their friends and family about their unpleasant experience with your company.

Bill Gates, Co-founder of Microsoft Inc.
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
Bill Gates – Co-founder of Microsoft Inc.

Unhappy customers are an invaluable resource that can provide an honest assessment of your products, service and business processes where you can learn from and implement strategies to continually improve areas of your business and outshine your competition.

It’s how we deal with the complaint that what matters to the customer the most, when a customer complains. Customers expect someone in your business to listen and resolve the issue satisfactorily. Don’t take offense to the customer’s complaints and think of the complaint as a valuable resource where you can improve your business and take it to the next level. Appreciate the fact that the customer has not quietly taken their business elsewhere and that they would like the relationship with your company to continue.

Believe in the voice of your customers and take dissatisfied customers seriously by listening to them and using each opportunity to improve your business.

6. Focus on your customers needs

Knowing and understanding your customers’ needs is vital to the success of your business.

Marissa Mayer is the CEO of Yahoo, one of the most popular news and media websites in the United States with over 7 billion views per month. Marissa is familiar with placing herself in the shoes of the customer and learning how to create a product that customers could relate to, by actively listening to customer needs, particularly on Twitter where she has engaged with customers and responded to customer service complaints.

“It’s not all about making the product pretty and functioning. It’s about finding what the customer needs and creating something where they will be successful.”
Marissa Mayer – CEO of Yahoo
Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo

Marissa isn’t the only CEO to listen to the needs of their customers on Twitter. John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, has also engaged with customers and responded to customer complaints on Twitter, as has the founder of News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch.

It is difficult to grasp the needs of a customer unless you are an active user of the product. By using and loving your product and service, you are able to better understand a customer’s needs and help the customer on a whole new level.

By focusing on what customers need, you will be able to successfully build a better business and enhance your products and services.

7. Change your customer’s feelings

Seth Godin is a well respected entrepreneur, marketer and best selling author. Seth theorizes that customer service is not about the facts of the transaction, but about the way your customer feels.

Regardless of the price, the return and refund, or the wait for service, it’s always the customer’s feelings that are most important. When a customer seeks assistance, they are “usually seeking validation, support and a path to feeling the way he felt before you let him down”.

Seth Godin, Author
“The only purpose of ‘customer service’… is to change feelings.”
Seth Godin – Author

Seth believes that the best measurement of customer service is if the customer would recommend your business to a friend, after the interaction with your business. Changing the feelings of your customers requires humanity and a connection with them. Cherish your customers and nurture them and their feelings.

8. Build a memorable customer experience

Businesses that maintain an entire customer experience reap tremendous rewards, with increased customer satisfaction, reduced churn, higher employee satisfaction and increased revenue, according to Harvard Business Review.

A great customer experience is a valuable asset to your business. Happy customers remain loyal and will recommend your business to friends and family.

“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”
Jeff Bezos – CEO of Amazon
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon

Word of mouth advertising is one of the most valuable and most trusted form of marketing for your business. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising.

Delivering your customers with superior customer service and a memorable experience will give you a competitive advantage too.

9. Be legendary

Be the best you can be and offer your customers a legendary customer experience and they’ll reward you for it. Sam Walton was the founder of the world’s largest company, according to Fortune Global 500 list in 2016 and he strongly believed in the business philosophy that customer service shouldn’t just be the best, but should be legendary.

Sam Walton, Founder for Walmart
“The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best but legendary.”
Sam Walton – Founder for Walmart

Build your brand and the culture of your organization on serving your customers. Listen to your customers and understand their needs. Pay attention to the details, exceed their expectations and over deliver to make a lasting impression.

Listen to your customers and if there’s a problem, then quickly make it right and let your customers know that you truly appreciate their business.

A legendary customer experience will delight your customers and ensure that they keep coming back.

10. Focus on winning one customer at a time

Delight your customers and win them over one customer at a time and you’ll be rewarded with customers for life.

Robert Spector is an author and speaker on world-class customer service, with a best selling book, The Nordstrom Way. Nordstrom is an American chain of department stores with over 330 stores in United States and Canada and has been serving up superior customer service since John Nordstrom founded the retailer in 1901.

“Don’t reinvent the wheel. Focus on winning one customer at a time. Be honest and sincere. Do what’s right. There’s nothing magical about this. That’s been my guiding principle. To make it work, you have to live it every day. Make it your mindset.”
Robert Spector – Author
Robert Spector, Author

Robert ascertains that Nordstrom’s great service starts by showing courtesy to everyone – that is, your customers, employees, and vendors. Nordstrom’s core values of customer service comprise of creating a customer first attitude, committing to an honest and ethical business, delivering value to their customers and rewarding hard work and results.

Respond genuinely to your customers and make the customer experience personal. Empower your employees and give them the freedom to make decisions to deliver a first class customer experience. Be honest and sincere to your customers and do what is right by your customers. By following this simple principle you are able to win one customer over at a time.

11. Empower your employees

Quality customer service can only be achieved with motivated, empowered and loyal employees with a passion for your business and the authority to resolve any customer issues that arise.

Empower your customer service representatives to completely take care of your customers. If your employees don’t have the authority, knowledge, and training to ensure a positive customer experience, your business will suffer and won’t be able to deliver superior service to your customers.

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks
“Our mission statement about treating people with respect and dignity is not just words but a creed we live by every day. You can’t expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don’t exceed the employees’ expectations of management.”
Howard Schultz – CEO of Starbucks

Create an employee culture with a passion for customer service. Invest in your staff with training so that they feel comfortable to assist and confidently interact with customers and empowered to resolve issues and provide a positive experience.

Customer service is not just a department, it’s everyone’s job.

12. Make customers feel special

Zappos is an online shoe and clothing store and in July 2009 the company was acquired by Amazon in an all-stock deal for around $1.2 billion. As CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh and the Zappos team focus on changing how their customers feel, rather than just what they do or say.

“Open, honest communication is the best foundation for any relationship, but remember that at the end of the day it’s not what you say or what you do, but how you make people feel that matters the most.”
Tony Hsieh – CEO of Zappos
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos

The company is known to do anything to please its customers with legendary stories from sending flowers to customers recently undergoing medical treatments on their feet, overnighting wedding shoes for free for a customer, to visiting a rival shoe store to buy shoes to a customer when a particular pair of shoes was out of stock.

With Zappos employees going to extraordinary lengths to make customers feel happy, they are building a customer loyalty foundation and retaining customers for life.

Addressing your customers by name makes them feel valued and appreciated at a personal level. Sending handwritten thank you notes can make your business stand out from your competition and build lasting relationships with clients. These are just a few examples of small, yet thoughtful and seemingly insignificant gestures that can make your customers feel special and make them loyal fans of your brand for life.

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