We’ve all been there.
“That’s fine sir, I’ll call you back at 2:30 tomorrow, no problem at all”.
2:30pm comes… nothing.
3:30pm… still no call.
4pm rolls by and you decide to call them back yourself. “Sorry sir, we have been fielding a large number of calls today and you were next on my list!”.
Of course I was…
This type of questionable customer service is common place these days. At Indigo Swan, customer service is all about making a connection.
Ever since we started, our retention rate has been over 93% each year. Last year was our best yet, as we retained 97.7% of our clients. We’re able to achieve these results by implementing and sticking to a set of core values and beliefs – keeping it human is key.
Our top tips:
If you’re going to do it well, do it well 100% of the time. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many businesses forget that it’s often the little things that matter. Your customers are like your employees – you have to keep them engaged, enjoying the experience and feeling part of an exciting journey. If you don’t focus on them, one of your competitors will!
Surprise them! If you’ve nailed number 1, great! But don’t get too complacent just yet. To keep your customers engaged (just like your employees) you have to surprise them from time to time. Keep things fresh! We often hear stories in the news about banks and insurance companies offering great rewards to new customers, but nothing to their existing clients. Reward loyalty and give back to your customers as much as you can. You don’t have to send them a card every year… but it’d only cost you £1 and it’d put a smile on their face – bargain!
Be honest. If something goes wrong, hold your hands up, say sorry – but whatever you do, don’t get defensive! By being honest you gain the customer’s trust, and by passing them onto someone who knows the answer or popping them on hold to source the answer yourself, you’re providing them with a far better experience than you would if you just bumbled your way through the call. Then, review what went wrong and make changes if you can.
If your favourite brand falls down in one area of customer care, it’s only natural to start questioning your loyalty and how valued you are as a customer. Communication has to be consistent – from the first contact a client, supplier or colleague has with you, through to the most recent conversation or email, it has to be on point throughout. Get to know your client, understand how they like to be communicated with, build rapport and, most importantly, listen! Too many people jump in when speaking to a client without giving them ample opportunity to explain their problem, give their opinion, ask their questions. Let the client talk, make notes and provide clear, detailed and informative answers in return.
Examples from the Swans
As part of this blog, we asked three Swans, who work in three different departments, to share what good customer service means to them.
Aimee, one of our Energy Contract Enthusiasts (she was shortlisted for the 24/7 Legend award at The Energy Live News Personality Awards in 2017):
“For me, delivering excellent customer service means consistently exceeding my customers’ expectations. This could be by providing excellent energy prices, getting the team to close a particularly tricky case or simply sending a customer an origami swan if they’re having a bad day.”
Rae from our Client Services team:
“I am very much a happy-go-lucky ‘people person’ and enjoy any challenge or query which is thrown my way. I strongly believe that if you have a happy outlook on what you need to do, people are more receptive and willing to go the extra mile. It may seem a simple concept, ‘being happy’, but it really can be quite infectious. If you have a happy, positive customer service experience, then you remember it and that is what I aim for with every human interaction I have.”
Alex, who works within Client Discovery:
“Research, research, research. Know about the company or organisation before approaching them as that way you are a friendly voice, approaching a business to make a connection. If the business comes later – great!”
Being authentic is so important when it comes to excellent customer service – you have to be real. We love working with clients who are just as invested in the Indigo Swan journey as much as we are. It’s all about great communication, listening to their needs and probably most importantly, being human!
What’s the best customer service you’ve ever received?
James Groves, Head of Talent and Organisational Development
Sophie Crabb, Head of Client Experience