Creating an amazing customer experience starts with your communication

A few years ago, Lemonade Stand's Founder, Greg Trimble, walked into my office and asked me, "Why did you start your message 'Good question' in your reply to the client's last email?"

I pause and think... "Wait... did I miss something? Was it not a good question? Did I not follow up with a bunch of good answers to the question? Did I fat-finger my spelling?"

After replaying the email over and over in my head, I'm confident it was none of those so I replied, "Well, she asked a good question so I wanted to let her know I appreciated it."

Greg replied, "What's better than good?"

Me: "Great?"

Greg: "What's better than 'Great'?

Me: "Amazing?"

Greg started to see me getting the point and said something I'll never forget, "Each email and every word is an opportunity to WOW someone."

You see, my email to that client wasn't bad. In fact, it was "good" -- just good, not great, definitely not amazing. I missed an opportunity to WOW my customer.

I see this in businesses and organizations all the time now. They spend hundreds thousands of dollars on the customer "experience" including R&D, brand identity, packaging, operations, tools, and even employees.

Then they go out and miss the most basic and most frequent interaction you'll have with your customer... a conversation.

You see, if you want to wow your customers, don't just be good at replying back to emails, talking on phone calls, answering tickets, etc... MAKE IT AN EXPERIENCE!!!

Here's 3 quick tips on how to do just that within your team:

Be Fast to Respond, Methodical in Your Answer

It drives me absolutely nuts when I have to wait on hold just to speak with a customer support representatives. Organizations that do this aren't EVER good at customer service. In fact, if you're waiting on hold for longer than a couple minutes, it really just means that the company isn't willing to pay enough employees to support their customers.

What's even worse though are the organizations that reply back (either quickly or slowly) but with just no real resolution and an impersonal response.

Imagine seeing a "Please wait 3-4 business days for a response" from your favorite SAAS platform after you submit a support ticket only to receive a canned reply back that doesn't actually help you.

How infurating is that?

If you're wanting to build a great customer support experience, pick up the phone immediately when you're called. If you're unable to help them at that time, take their number and get back to them so you don't waste their time.

If you are replying to emails and your response is longer than a day, I hate to break it to you, but your customers are having a poor experience. And when you do respond, TAKE YOUR TIME to respond personably and with specific resolution. If you need more info, consider calling them.

Get a reply out quickly even if it's just to let the customer know you're working on it and then get really methodical about the way you address it. Your customers will appreciate it greatly.

Pay Attention to Detail

There's two facets to this point.

  1. Pay attention to the customer's details. I recently missed a couple words in a long email that a client sent us and if I would have seen them, it would have COMPLETELY changed the course of my response. I made a mistake and the customer rightfully perceived that as me being indifferent about his urgency. Now, we did undertake a MASSIVE effort to make up for it and show our genuine care for them afterward, but because I rushed my response, the client didn't have an amazing experience.
  2. Pay attention to your details. This includes your grammar, spelling, punctuation, the tone of your voice, and even the spacing of your emails (nobody wants to read a wall of text).

    Also, EVERY email is an opportunity to wow your customer -- that means when you're going back and forth across an email thread with a client, that each email should be addressed in detail. "We're on it" should turn into...

"Hey Jen,

You're so cool... That sounds awesome! We'd love to knock this out for you.

We should have this completed by Friday at 5 PM, but we'll let you know as soon as it's completed.

If you have any other questions or need anything in the meantime, please let me know... we're so happy to serve you.

Have a great day. Thank you!"

I just spent an extra 30 seconds to send an email, but Jen is probably gonna feel pretty good about the support experience she just had... even just over email.

Listen, Really Listen

This one is another Lemonade Stand core value. It means, "Don’t think about what you’re going to say next. Just listen."

How many times are we on the phone talking to someone or even reading an email and all we're thinking about what we're gonna say next and how we're going to answer the question?

Instead, don't think about your answer, think about what the customer is saying. And not only what's coming out of their mouth... listen to what they're REALLY saying... in other words, be hyper-empathetic.

Are they projecting unconfidence in what you're doing for them? Did they mention something that doesn't seem like a big deal (tip: if they mentioned it, it's a big deal)? Is there a sense of sadness in their voice because of something they're experiencing outside of your call?

Listen... really listen. You'll be surprised what you might hear.

And you just might be able to create an amazing customer experience just by being better than good at communicating.