Netflix delivers up and beyond expectations

Over the weekend when I opened my mailbox I found a plastic bag with part of a Netflix envelope and no DVD. A note from the Postmaster read ” We sincerely regret damage to your mail during handling by the Post Service. We hope this incident did not inconvenience you. We realize that your mail is important to you and you have every right to expect it to be delivered in good condition. We are constantly striving to improve our processing methods in order that even a rare occurrence may be eliminated. Please accept our apologies.”

I decided to access the Netflix website to have a new movie delivered, but did not find a way to report a problem specifically about damaged packages. The Netflix website has a call monitoring tool that tells customers the current hold time for a representative to answer a call. In my case, it was 3 minutes. When I called Netflix I was on hold less than 3 minutes when my call was answered. I explained my dilemma to the customer service representative and I asked if I could get the next movie in my queue sent out rather than the original movie that was sent. I’m currently on a plan that only allows one DVD to be rented at a time. To my surprise, the customer service representative said, “I would be glad to send you both.”

Talk about getting a little something extra. Not only was my call answered in less the time specified, but I was sent two DVDs: the original and the next one in my queue despite being on a plan that allows one rental at a time.

Netflix did a great job by empowering their employee to go up and beyond my expectations and all this because the post office mishandled the package. The entire customer experience was pure excellence!

Comments? Anyone have a similar experience? Please share.

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Deliver good customer service even if you think it’s not your job

Sure companies have departments specifically called customer service, but does that mean if a customer speaks to someone outside the customer service department that they should not receive good customer service?

How many times have you heard things from employees like “Customer service is not in my job description!”  This statement projects a negative image and attitude. Customer service is the responsibility of all employee’s regardless of ones job description.

Customer service starts when a customer contacts a company and corresponds with anyone whether it be an Administrative Assistant,  Sales Person, Technical Support Technician or Accounting Representative.  All of these functions are a part of customer service and frequently employee’s are too busy wrapped up in individual tasks to consider customer service as part of their job.

It is important to cross-train and encourage employees to work together as a team in order to successfully deliver good customer service consistently with the result being a positive customer experience. Today the importance of customer service is even more relevant as reported in Convergy’s recently completed 2010 Consumer Scorecard Research Study.

“Consumers continue to expect superior customer service experiences, with 65% of survey respondents choosing “addresses my needs on first contact” as the attribute most often selected in their top five customer service attributes, up from 61% in the 2008 pre-recession research. Since they are key to first-contact resolution, “knowledgeable employees” also ranked high, chosen by 62% of consumers as the third most important customer service attribute.” 

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Listen to customers vocabulary for clues on best communication


Listening to the words customers use can help you better communicate with the customer on their level.

One example,  are customers that use phrases like “I wish someone would just stop and listen to me”.  Try using a response like ” I can hear what your saying.” This is an example of a customer that best communicates and responds utilizing audible expressions.

Another example are customers that use phrases like “No one can see what I am going through.” Try using a response like ” I can in-vision what is happening to you.” This is an example of a customer that best communicates and responds using visual expressions.

Matching the context in which a customer is speaking to you helps a customer feel at ease and builds a connection with the customer.

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Online grocer offers unique service like no other

Online grocer Freshdirect has instituted a “Guaranteed Fresh” mark that appears on every item it’s kitchen produces.  According to their website the “Guaranteed Freshness Dates take the guesswork out of shopping so customers can make informed decisions that help plan meals, avoid waste and save money.”

Only FreshDirect offers this unique service, unlike supermarkets and other online grocers FreshDirect sources its fresh products directly from local dairies, fisheries and farms and then ships them directly to the customer.

If you are dissatisfied with any item you order contact them right away, FreshDirect will make it right with their 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

Companies like Freshdirect that differentiates itself by providing a unique customer experience will continue to thrive against competition.

To read more about FreshDirect’s unique service click here

http://bit.ly/9QGwq2

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When your on the phone, turn the world on with a smile

Your tone of voice is closely linked to your facial expression.  A frown on your face makes your voice sound harsh and cold. But a smile will make your voice sound inviting and enthusiastic.

Did you know that it takes more facial muscles to frown than it does to smile?

Research indicates that over the air, your tone of voice is 84% of the message.

To help keep a smile on your face:

  • Keep a picture of your family or funny picture on your desk.
  • Keep a small mirror on your desk so you can see your smile.
  • Put a small sticky note on your desk with the word Smile on it.

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Building customer loyalty through the strength of social media and customer service

I recently attended an excellent seminar presented by Mohamed Nasir, a business coach and consultant  entitled “Social Media Network Marketing– what is it?”

In this seminar key benefits and examples were presented on how companies have embraced social media to deliver the best customer experience.  Companies like Comcast, Marriott and Zappos have grasped social media by engaging the customer.  Twitter and the use Blogs were used to collaborate and build  customer loyalty that has proven to be a very powerful marketing tool. Below are examples from the presentation:

Comcast
In 2008, Comcast (www.comcast.com) was struggling to shake the reputation of being a company that had poor customer service. Looking for an alternative that would not only reduce waiting times of customers looking for support on the phone lines, but also bring a community culture to the company, Comcast turned to Twitter (@ComcastCares). The company invited frustrated customers to send their questions to the Twitter handle and engage a staff of 10 service representatives to try and solve their problems. The conversations would give Comcast visibility as a company who was there to support their customers and allow customers the opportunity to get help in a convenient way. The shift in support vehicles seems to have worked. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Comcast’s score rose 9.3% in satisfaction since 2008—an increase directly credited to Comcast’s Twitter support team.
Comcast’s strategy of inviting customer complaints gave it a direct line to hear what their customers wanted. As the leader of your business, you can also use social media to learn what your customer wants.

Marriott
Marriott CEO Bill Marriott gets the importance of social media. Often, customers may interact with a brand on a daily basis and never feel a connection with that brand because there’s no personality behind it. Marriott on the Move (www.blogs.marriott.com) is a blog by Bill Marriott
geared towards anyone who’s interested in not only the brand, but the person running the brand. His blog began in January 2007 and has covered topics ranging from the birth of his granddaughter to the re‐opening of a newly renovated Marriott hotel in Miami, Florida. Each post incorporates a story or fact the average customer would never know. Bill bridges the gap between a corporate figurehead and the customers who stay at his hotels all around the world every day by sharing his take on real‐life situations. The blog adds a face and transparency aspect to a brand that otherwise is just a place to rest your head while traveling.
If you don’t have time to start a blog personally, other ways you can add a face to your business include responding to industry‐related articles as the CEO of your company, starting a personal Twitter account or writing a monthly newsletter to send to your customers and post online publicly.

Zappos
Zappos may be the most successful case study for CEO success in social media. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, grew the company from $1.6 million in 2000 to $840 million in 2007. When asked what his strategy was for such staggering growth, Hsieh consistently touts customer support as his top priority. Zappos, and Hsieh himself, have done a superb job translating an online company into a customer‐service oriented community. Having adopted social media into their strategy early, Hsieh took it upon himself to lead the way, being an active voice on Twitter. Through engaging customers, perspective customers and the online community in general, Hsieh was able to cultivate a culture of personable service despite being a solely online company. Adding the additional platform of online customer service to an already established traditional model helped Hsieh establish Zappos as a leading distributor in the online shoes category.

So how does this affect business? Previously, a disgruntled customer had two options: call and complain to your customer service representative or not buy your product again and tell friends how disappointed they were in it. Times have changed. Now, one under‐satisfied customer can create havoc for your brand in a matter of minutes by blogging, tweeting and rating your product online. Negative comments about your product don’t even need to be substantiated in order to have a damaging effect on your business. But how does a company address this negativity and make sure that correct information is out there? By having an active presence in and monitoring effectively the social media world.

Mohamed Nasir is a Social Media Marketing Coach and Consultant. He is the owner and founder of Chicago Business and Practice Development. www.gochicagocoach.com and www.chicagobdc.com

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Using empathy can help diffuse angry customers

Showing empathy can often help diffuse angry customers. When engaging in conversations with a customer try using comments such as:

“I would be disappointed, too, if that happened to me.”

“Oh, no that’s not suppose to happen”

“I can understand why this is a concern”

Relating to a customer emotionally can often turn a difficult situation into one were the customer feels at ease and connected.

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