Delight the customer when you pick up the phone

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Your customers will call you when they want to talk, so you should publish your phone number. It may sound counter-intuitive, but customers actually want to talk to you. Catching the customer at the moment when they really want to talk to you gives you the opportunity to delight them.

Delighting the customer doesn’t always mean giving the customer everything they want. Delighting the customer means listening to their needs, acknowledging a problem if there is a problem, suggesting a solution (or solutions) and gaining agreement, and doing all of that ideally without being asked to do so.

In the best-case scenario, you’ll delight the customer because you deliver more than they expected. You exceed customer expectations when you put yourself in their shoes and imagine what it would be like to have their problem, and then think about how you yourself would like to have that problem solved for you. And then actually take action to make it better for them.

The first step to delight customers is to be available when they call. The literal “call” may not actually happen through the phone – it may instead happen when they email you, or Tweet at you, or post a message on your Facebook page. If you’re not available on those channels, make sure the customer knows how to contact you.

When the customer does contact you, listen and act in a way that feels like how you want to be treated. And if you don’t know what will make it right for the customer and fail to delight them, ask them. (I know, it sounds simple, but just the act of asking, “what could we have done differently to make this better” is a step toward fixing the problem).

Finally, keep all of those customer contacts in one place. If the customer calls you back, there’s nothing more annoying for them than to have to repeat their story to someone new in the hopes of getting a different response. If you have lots of ways to be contacted (the ones the customer prefers) and track all of those contacts in one place, your team will be happier and your customers will be happier. Start by delighting the customer when they call.

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