4 Ways to Improve Your Customer's Experience

SME member Abe Lee is a great at improving his customer experience.  Here is a recent email I received from him.  He's offering his clients the opportunity to give a gift.  

Ah!  The frustrations of technology when it doesn’t work.  As we become more accustomed to using tech for instant service we are increasingly become less tolerant when it doesn’t work.  A few years ago, Delta Airlines announced to boarding passengers that for the first time ever, wi-fi would be available in-flight.  Everyone cheered!   Then 15 minutes later, when they announced that they had hit a snag and they weren’t able to provide it after all, the anger was volatile - over a service that had never been offered ever before.  

 I’m not sure how the Delta staff handled that situation but if they’d been Southwest, they’d have covered with a joke.  SWA has built a reputation around telling jokes to relieve stress.  Once, when a plane was extensively delayed at departure, the passengers were still grumbling as the aircraft’s nose pointed up into the sky to take off.  A quick witted steward threw 100 peanut bags down the aisle.  “We’re going to save time on getting out the snacks!” she chirped.  Passengers were still gaping at the tumbling bags, as she continued, “Here come the drinks!”

Showing a little personality and humor can often diffuse a situation or prevent an irate attack.  If you would like to add personality to your brand try out one of these quick fixes. 

1.     Update your 404 page.  You’ve spent endless hours crafting your brand, your logo and the looks of your website.  But when your customer types in a bad address or is routed to a deleted page, they reach the dreaded 404 or Not Found error message.  This page is typically sterile and abrasive.  Follow the lead of personality-rich companies like Airbnb and Lego to inject humor and personality on this page.  

2.     Re-write your out-of-office message.  When you are on a deadline it’s frustrating to get one of these but other times it’s no big deal. I got this message this week and I thought it was genius. 

I'll be away from my desktop until October 16, 2016.
I know I'm supposed to say that I'll have limited access to email and won't be able to respond until I return -- but that's not true. My iPhone 12s Plus and MacBook Pro 8K Retina will be with me. I will do my best to respond daily and recognize that I'll probably need to interrupt my vacation from time to time. Don't worry, I'm ok with that. We're still working as normal. I just won't be able to physically meet with you.
That said, I promised my wife and kids that I am going to try to disconnect, get away and enjoy our family vacation as much as possible. So, I'm going to experiment with something new. I'm going to leave the decision in your hands:
If your email truly is urgent and you need an immediate response while I'm on vacation, please text me "CHECK YOUR EMAIL" and I'll do my best to respond to it promptly. If not, I will try to get to it the first thing and end of each day. You may also try to tag me in a Facebook post or hashtag #interruptmyvacation. Just kidding!
Otherwise, I'll respond when I return, unless I win the PowerBall or MegaBucks.


3.     Craft a witty email for Abandoned carts.  According to Mail Chimp, 67% of online shopping carts are abandoned before a sale is completed.   Most online providers have auto reply messages that you can personalize to recapture sales for your business, depending on how far the customer got in the sale.


4.     Update your voice mail message.  It’s official.  The new generation hates voicemail and even baby boomers are hanging up before the beep and sending a text.  Any yet, many of us cling to those 1980’s stock voicemail messages. (I’m guilty of this. My message is terrible and I only update it when I get a new phone. #stale)  Stand out by sharing a motivational quote, telling a personal detail or even asking a trivia question. 

Hi, It’s Karen.  Either my battery is dead or I’m hot on the trail of an elusive Pokeman and I haven’t figured out how to switch over on iOS10.  Leave a message or text me and I’ll get right back.  For emergencies? Call 911.

Turn those frustrating interactions into personal experiences and get back in your customer’s good graces.  Let me know if you make any changes in the comments section.  I love to hear from you!


Reinvention: Time to update?

Are you bored with your product or services?  Your customers probably are too.  

In the 1970's you could sell the same product indefinitely by adding a new ingredient or minor feature every other year and slapping a NEW or IMPROVED on the label.  In the last ten years the standard product cycle was about 2 years, but consumers still expected new color choices or materials sooner.