“If you can create surprise and delight along the customer journey, you can actually increase customer loyalty and retention. There's some evidence that supports that position”.
“When it comes to creative ways to create moments of wow, I break it down into two categories”, says Ed. “One is in the normal course of business, which is doing something that's unexpected, above and beyond. Customer asks for X and you actually blew them out of the water with what you gave them, right? That's a surprise. They hang up the phone, they're saying, "Holy cow. That was awesome." That moment of wow is really important. The other one, is doing something, a random act of kindness or a surprise, completely out of the blue, in a relationship that you want to nurture. It's not necessarily tied to a workflow”.
Ed shares specific examples of how this could be done. “This one time, I had a problem with my HP printer. I was frustrated and annoyed because I tried all the self-help stuff and finally gave up and said, ‘I'm just going to call them’. I called and talked to a guy overseas and he said, ‘Oh, yeah. We've got a lot of calls on this today. What happened was Microsoft pushed an update and then shut off this one service. Let me take control of your screen’, he continued. He went in there and boop boop. He found that one thing and he was looking at it and said, ‘Okay, this is what was turned off. Let me turn this back on for you’. All of a sudden it starts working”.
Then he says, "While I'm here, I noticed you got all this other stuff that's on. Let me click over and show you what's going on." He says, "There's junk in here... With your permission, I'd like to go through and just shut those off." Then he clicked back and lo and behold, the performance got better.
I said, "Wow, that was really cool. It's not why I called you." But he did something that was surprising and delighted me. This is a story about creativity. The guy was responding to something on the fly and looking at this, "Well, okay, I met the customer's expectation. Is there something more creative I can do when they hang up the phone that they have a smile on their face?”
I asked Ed for his advice on how to encourage CSMs to think this way:
“I think what makes that happen is reinforcing attitude and culture of ‘this is what good service looks like’. Of course, we're going to solve the customer's problem, but we don't just hang up and move onto the next thing, especially if you don't have people waiting in queue in a service environment, right?”
Even if you’re extremely busy and are managing way too many accounts in your portfolio, Ed gives an example of what you can do: “One practice I heard from a company that was doing things at very large scale, which I thought was cool, is they had in their lunch room, a stack of cards, notes on the tables. They would have a list of customer names on that. They had pens and pencils and stamped envelopes. Then they would say write a Thank You note to this customer and just say, "Hey, thinking of you. Really appreciate your business and then sign your name." It's that random thing. Can you do that while you're having your lunch? Of course”.