We talk a lot about customer service. In fact, if you look at customer service closely, you’ll find that customer service is inevitably tied to every action we perform in the professional world. The old definition of “customer” doesn’t cut it anymore. No longer are customers merely clients that purchase from us: instead, everybody we meet in this networked world—co-workers, mentors, acquaintances—offers up a chance at a relationship and an exchange of positive energy and ideas.
Relationships are the bedrock upon which buying decisions are made, which is why empathy is more crucial than ever. Yet, too few companies really seize on opportunities to delight, please, and amaze their consumer base, even though every single person in an organization has the ability to forge rich connections with customers.
Any employee in any company can change a customer’s life. Even though this sounds like a grand, sweeping event, all it really takes is a single positive exchange. When a person goes out of their way to answer your questions or provide expert insights into a new product or service, it makes you feel like you count as a customer, and that your business is truly appreciated. As a result, a bond between the consumer and the employee is formed. By building bonds, we set up the necessary network for a positive transfer of energy. This transfer, in turn, can breathe life into great new things.
Relationships are fragile, and more often than not, they begin on a neutral ground. Every time you interact with an individual, you’re given a chance to form the aforementioned bond. The most loyal customers, for instance, are the ones that understand the value that you create. They’re the ones that buy into your vision and realize that only you can provide what they’re seeking—even if it’s simply trust, value, and empathy. That creates scarcity and makes you unique, necessary. Suddenly, you become much harder to leave for a competitor’s services, even if said competitor offers better prices.
Blowing customers’ minds is crucial because today’s customers wield the power to affect brand impression. Word-of-mouth is by far the most effective driver of positive and negative brand impression. Twitter, Facebook, and social media grant more power than ever to influence decisions and what people take away from every exchange. That’s why you need to create positive value. Don’t forget that relationships are a two way street, and customers need a voice in the conversation.
And needless to say, customers are going to make sure that their voices are heard. Think about the opinions and reviews that show up when you want to purchase a product from a company’s website: if you see words like, “Bad company,” “Bad customer service,” or worse, “This company sucks,” what are you going to take away from all that? How would it all impact your buying decision, not to mention your overall perception of the brand?
Communications, thoughts, and opinions carry more weight than ever before. Information travels faster and further than it ever has at any time in history. It’s absolutely vital that we look to everyone that we deal with as a customer , and that we make sure every exchange creates value, benefit, and finally, positive growth.