The Cheer Up, It’s Easy to Be Amazon – Part 1
This is the first of a 2-part article on how you too can offer the secret customer service ingredient that Amazon customers love.
Hint: It’s not next day delivery
Cielo’s clients often tell us they are under increasing pressure to “be like Amazon”. I would say this is a common theme across many companies. Most would agree that their customers’ expectations are based on the level of service they receive from Amazon.
Customers today don’t compare your customer service to your competitors. They’re comparing you to the best customer experience they’ve had across ANY industry. In fact, they’re comparing you to Amazon.
Fair or not, it makes sense. KPMG’s Customer Experience Excellence Report lists Expectation as one of the six pillars by which CX Excellence is measured against. Nevertheless, the frustration I hear among Cielo’s client’s is palatable. The common response to this expectation is “…. but we’re not Amazon.”
While you may not be Amazon, I believe you can achieve the #1 factor which defines the Amazon Experience. And that factor lies within a surprising bit of statistical research.
The research suggests customers will wait longer periods of time for a resolution if the speed of service is fast. That is, if the response time is quick.
It’s important to distinguish the difference between Response Time and Resolution Time. Your customers not only view them differently but their reaction to each is critical to how they feel about your company.
This is not a new concept. For example, while speed of claim settlement (Resolution) is important, McKinsey’s analysis of US auto insurance carriers found that customers rank claim status and notification (Response) higher than speed of settlement.
What does that really mean? It means that customers will be patient if they feel connected. It matters less how long the time to resolution is, as long as you respond quickly to their first contact and provide consistent status notifications along their journey.
The Power of Notification
The best practitioners of customer service send customers an immediate response at the exact point when their emotional need is at its highest.
We’re not talking about automated email receipts. Rather, simple notifications with even the most basic status will leave customers with a feeling that you are listening. They feel connected; that their questions matter and that you value their business.
When customers receive a prompt response and regular updates, they place less value on the time it takes to resolve their original issue.
A simple notification, even to indicate their order is delayed, or a claim is still in progress, significantly improves the customer experience. When surveyed, customers indicate status updates makes them feel valued rather than ignored.
Time and time again, it has been proven that customers’ emotions drive repeat business and loyalty!
SMS notifications are both simple to implement and universally accepted by customers. With the rise of the mobile customer, the use of SMS in resolving customer support issues represents the greatest opportunity to meet a customer’s expectation for fast responses. Notifications sent with SMS rise above the “noise” and clutter of email.
It’s important to note, that while you may not offer next day delivery like Amazon, keeping the customer informed while they wait, increases CSAT scores and profits! CX Leaders often point out that each customer interaction is an opportunity to build life-time customer value and grow revenue.