Mobile-first design: what you need to know
24.02.20 | Opinion
What’s your mindset when you begin to deal with the customer service department of a company? In general, you’re already in a negative position; something’s gone wrong, either with the product, the sale, or the service, and now’s the time to get resolution and defuse the problem. But what makes the difference between a good experience and a WOW! Experience? A good experience usually goes like this:
You realise that your mobile phone provider has signed you up to the wrong package. Instead of unlimited data, you receive unlimited minutes, and that just won’t do, as that means no Netflix on the commute home, no FaceTime, and limited Insta shopping on the go. This just won’t do. A call to the customer service department will put you in a queue taking your mood from a mediocre to a touch annoyed, and the five-minute long menu option spiel takes that up another notch. Things aren’t going great. Then, finally, a kind voice answers, someone a bit more upbeat than you are. They ask the right questions, understand your issue, resolve it on the call, politely ask if there’s anything else they can do for you. Problem solved, situation defused. You got what you wanted and all it took was a call.
Well, no, that’s the bare minimum required to even call it “customer service”. The only thing that was achieved was correcting a mistake and coming through with what was originally promised, at the expense of the customer’s time.
Here’s what WOW! Looks like:
Same scenario. The company has no customer service line, just an app portal where you can request a callback. “How ridiculous, they’ll probably call me back in a couple of days,” you think to yourself. You complete the short form, and ask for an urgent call. A minute after you complete the form, your phone rings, and you’re greeted by name. The customer service agent is pleasant, articulate, and has all your customer details to hand, only verifying the necessary ones with you verbally; everything else has been verified by your callback request form. The agent listens to the problem while you explain how much you need that unlimited data to watch Stranger Things and shop for next summer’s wardrobe on Instagram on those long, rainy bus rides home, they apologise, and rectify the issue. Not only that, but as a gesture of apology, you get unlimited data and minutes, plus, since they’re a discount partner for clothing brands, you get a £20 gift voucher to your PayPal account to use on your next impulse buy.
“Hey, you said you watch a lot of Netflix on the move, and I see that you have an iPhone 8. How’d you like to trade that in to a Plus-sized phone, or add an iPad to your bundle? I can organise the first one for you at no change to your tariff, or the second option for only £5 extra a month?”
Your jaw drops. The person knew what you really needed before you did, and offered a seamless way for you to get it. You take the offer, genuinely thank the person, hang up the phone. You go on Facebook and post about the awesome customer service you just experienced. Your mobile phone provider just gained a new fan.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
Yes, it does really happen, but sadly, not often enough. Having worked for a few companies that built their entire (highly successful) business around “making the client go WOW!” (one of them even had a quarterly WOW! Awards that honoured great customer outcomes), I can testify to the effectiveness of such a mission, and can also confirm that it feels great to be on the receiving end of such stellar service. If in doubt, take a stroll into a W Hotel and see for yourself. Granted, this level of service usually comes at a price, a high one. However, there are many affordable small and medium businesses who understand the basic principles of incredible customer experience, and use these principles to make their business and services truly exceptional. Why? How?!
Well firstly, it’s simple. Let’s take the example above, and note the simple differences. What makes the second scenario different is the following:
For what is likely an affiliate gift voucher of £20, 5-10 minutes of time, and a slight free tweak to a mobile phone package, the company has just hired one evangelist, likely extended the lifetime value of that client, and been given the opportunity to upsell a product. This is INCREDIBLE VALUE to the service provider. It is an unforgettable experience for the customer. From a financial, reputational, and cultural point of view, it is a win-win on all sides, and it really doesn’t take much. This should also explain “why?”
One of the only excuses I’m ever given by businesses when I question them about their customer experience (or lack thereof), is “we don’t have the time and resources,” which is something I truly believe. Let me elaborate: if you don’t make the time to create a great customer experience, it’s because you’re either purposefully busy focusing on other things, or unintentionally busy fixing issues caused by said lack of great customer service, so you definitely won’t have the time, and you’ll be burning the few resources you need.
Working with B2C brands here really brings this whole concept to the fore. When we start working with brands, despite being a digital agency, this is a core part of our value proposition – “you take care of making a great product and a great customer experience, we’ll take care of everything else.” The result is invariably positive, as when we free up resources within brands and work concurrently with the internal team to create a WOW! Experience, all the points I touched on above begin to happen:
All it takes is a focus on your customers.
If this sounds like something your brand should be focusing on, then let’s talk.