Your customers’ lives aren’t the same as they were a year ago. Their worlds are filled with everything from social isolation to trying to maintain focus and productivity while working (and learning) from home or maintaining social distance in the workplace. When they contact your customer service representatives, then, they want more than a helping hand — they need compassion and empathy, as well as genuine engagement.
And they need it now.
Kaiser Family Foundation research shows that stress is a constant for many American adults — and it’s increasing over time. As a company, you’ve probably noticed this trend. However, you might not have realized how much of an impact you can make in easing the mental health burden of your clients. With just a few tweaks of your customer experience processes, you can make a difference in people’s lives while simultaneously building brand reputation and loyalty. It all starts with equipping your employees with customer engagement tool kits.
“Now, don’t assume that you need deep pockets to get the advantages of customer engagement tool kits. Fostering deep, strong customer relationships that make the impact you seek doesn’t have to break the bank.”
These tool kits can be literal, figurative, or a mixture of both. They’re a way to help your team members figure out how to become part of the customer journey and individualize every customer service touchpoint.
Does this mean you have to overhaul your customer experiences? Not at all. Instead, you can magnify the best practices that enable every employee to understand how to make clients feel special. For example, you’re probably already collecting and analyzing data to improve processes. A customer engagement tool kit overlaid on top of those processes can help promote loyalty, repeat business, and terrific online reviews.
How to Make Customer Engagement Tool Kits That Work
One company that elevates the customer experience by personalizing interactions (and, quite frankly, seems to see client experiences as its social responsibility) is Ritz-Carlton. Known for offering up personalization at every twist and turn, Ritz-Carlton reportedly gives employees a substantial budget to spend on dissatisfied guests. This gives employees tons of leeway to resolve even the stickiest of situations. As a result, Ritz-Carlton remains one of the most respected hotel chains globally.
Now, don’t assume that you need deep pockets to get the advantages of customer engagement tool kits. Fostering deep, strong customer relationships that make the impact you seek doesn’t have to break the bank.
If the notion of driving repeat purchases by truly and unconditionally caring about customers intrigues and delights you, why not start pulling together your customer engagement tool kit now? Below are some items and processes to support your employees as they wow your clients.
1. Provide workers with a variety of note cards and greeting cards. People are accustomed to receiving texts and emails. What they don’t anticipate is a handwritten thank-you or pick-me-up card delivered via mail. Customers who receive these items after speaking with one of your team members might be touched more than you could imagine. And quite frankly, people don’t feel lonely when they feel they matter.
As one of our partners’ customers wrote: “I was having the worst day but then got this Hallmark card in the mail, and it made me cry to know someone (outside of the family) cared!” That’s genuine impact.
Here are a few of our favorite cards to have on hand:
2. Hold brainstorming meetings to resolve issues. Arrange regular Zoom conference calls with your customer experience employees to brainstorm ways to make your services more client-centered. Over time, sharing imaginative solutions to common customer issues will encourage employees to creatively and confidently problem-solve. Not only will customers sense that your people are authentic, but your people will also have the opportunity to perform intentional acts of kindness.
Besides this, focusing first on customers (instead of thinking about your brand initially) has a positive impact that can be felt fiscally. Deloitte research indicates that companies centered on clients can reap 60% more annually in terms of profits.
3. Make it easy for customers to get in touch with a human being. Remember: These are days where customers crave person-to-person interactions because they might not have them as regularly. Therefore, as part of your commitment to a comprehensive customer engagement tool kit, make it simple to get in touch with your team through countless channels.
What types of channels could work? Everything from your corporate app to social media platforms is fair game. The simpler it is for someone to reach one of your representatives, the faster the representative can initiate a memorable moment.
4. Look for simple solutions and the right business partners in your quest to provide superior customer experiences. You don’t have to engage in your pursuit of inspiring customer happiness solo. In fact, many business partners are willing to assist you. Here at Hallmark, for instance, we can help you send out everything from birthday hellos to holiday remembrances instantly. Countless companies can help expand your personnel to provide more access to person-to-person experiences.
So what types of offerings should you look for in a business partner? It depends on what you do and the customer relationships you have. Take Chewy, which has a partnership with florists so customer service team members can send sympathy flowers to pet parents who have lost a four-legged pal. Use your imagination and think about what you could do that’s budget-friendly yet serves as a powerful and relevant connector between your company and customers.
Customer experiences happen every day across your company. Be sure your team is ready to spring into action by giving them the tools they need to succeed in their mission to care for your fans. Really, it’s more important than ever, and it’ll have a side benefit of making employees feel great about the work they do.
Interested in learning more about upping the ante on your customer service? Download our whitepaper on emotional connectivity suggestions for employees.