In my final post for this year, I wanted to concentrate on the very subject of Customer Happiness. What does Customer Happiness really mean? How does it differ from Customer Service? How does a company go from being Product driven or Sales driven to being Customer driven? Why should any company try to become customer-centric in its power core? In this post, I’ll try to answer these questions.
Customer Happiness Community in Serbia
This year in July, with the help of Devana, I organized the first Customer Happiness meetup in Serbia. The whole point of this meetup was to create the Customer Happiness community in Serbia and to gather people who share the same opinion about how Customer Happiness can change your thinking, your business, your company, and your life. And to have fun of course!
What is Customer Happiness Really About?
It’s about going above and beyond each time. It’s when you provide empathy-driven Customer Service. It’s when you show to your customer that there is a real person on the other side of the email, chat, phone, or desk. It’s when a customer needs help with your product/store/website/service, gets that help in the shortest amount of time, in the best possible way, and gets blown away by how your company treats its customers. It’s when you proactively assist your customer so that you can prevent problems from occurring. Customer Happiness is about listening to your customers and actually taking their feedback into consideration. It’s about improving your service in order to delight your customers. It’s about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and treating people the way you’d like to get treated. It’s about spreading happiness.
I’ve written a short guide (the second part of it will get published shortly!) with a couple of tips about writing support emails. These tips can also be taken outside of the digital world into the everyday, mundane world outside your door. Have you ever wondered why you prefer that particular coffee shop and not any other? Is it about the coffee? They make one hell of a coffee, don’t they? Yes, they do. However, it’s not just about the coffee. It’s about the service and how they treat you when you go there. It’s because you got an extra cookie or two when you ordered an espresso. It’s about how you feel there. You are happy when you drink coffee there.
Where does Customer Service stop and where does Customer Happiness begin? Or even better, when? It starts with the company and its employees. It starts with the CEO and the first hire he makes. It then expands on other employees and flows through the entire company. Customer Happiness is a delicate thing and if it’s not nurtured on a daily basis, it can revert to regular Customer Service quite easily.
I’ve written this sentence a dozen times so far and I said it to many people but I cannot stress enough the importance of it:
Customer Support (Customer Service) is not the necessary evil – it is the backbone of your business.
The moment a company accepts the aforementioned fact, Customer Service gets transformed into Customer Happiness. However, just stating that a company is going to be customer-centric is not enough. Everybody inside the company has to back that up with their own actions. Customer Support team needs to have enough resources, freedom and trust inside the company in order to become the Customer Happiness team. If it doesn’t, Customer Happiness as an idea will remain in the company but as an illusion.
Why Would You Encourage Customer Happiness?
These are a couple of slides from my presentation at WordCamp Cracow which can answer this question:
Having all of the above in mind, let’s take a look at some facts about Customer Service:
- It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience
- News of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a good service experience
- For every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers remain silent
- 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated
- 91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with you again
Transforming Customer Service into Customer Happiness is not easy. It takes a lot of time and patience. It takes empathy and a lot of support. However, the fruits of having Customer Happiness in your company are immense. Your brand gets another connotation in public, your company gets known by its amazing service and people want to become your clients.
One time, while I was still working at Devana as a Head of Customer Happiness team for ManageWP, we received a new client who actually stated in his email that he came from our competitor because he heard stories about the awesome support that our company provides. That’s how big impact Customer Happiness can have on a business. True story, bro! 🙂
Just take a look at Zappos – the best example in the entire world of how a company should treat its customers. And I strongly recommend reading Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos. Trust me, this book can change your life 🙂