People like People, Not Brands: A Customer Service PSA
It is a volatile time. Let’s face it, we are living in a time when you must work to be happy. It’s not all doom and gloom though! HAVE FAITH!
We found some intel that will help all different types of organizations rise above the negativity and create elite customer service. This is done by simply being human. People like people, not brands.
We know when it comes to excellent customer service, we must go above and beyond. But HOW do we do this?
Be 100% Real Across Your Social Networks
When you socially surf, and you come across your network, what do you truly see? Do you see a human behind the posts? Are you simply megaphone marketing, yapping about yourself OVER AND OVER? Take a backstep on that one and understand one thing.
It’s time to get real! Mark Traphagen states it’s ‘time to grow up or get out’ when it comes to social media. This is the kick in the pants we need to make a mark on our social path. Be real or people will know you are faking it, especially in customer service.
Stop Bragging About Yourself
News flash! Your target market does not want you to talk about yourself all the time, sorry (not sorry). Your perfect customer wants you to answer something for THEM. Why did they even search you in the first place? Have you answered that, fully and completely? Here are 5 Ways to See How New Customers are Finding Your Business.
Take this test: Click on your own website and if you can’t figure out what you do in 15 seconds or less, there is a problem.
Fluff content and buzzwords can take control of your entire company. Be very careful about confusing your readers! Be real, be honest and be to the point. Too many words, over imagery and continuous buzzwords, could drive your perfect customer away.
Make Your Bio Count
If you were your target audience and YOU visited YOUR site, how would you feel? (Phew, that was a lot of ‘yous’.) Would you feel that there is a human behind each landing page? Would you feel that the “Teams” or “About Us” pages truly reflect the team that is behind the service?
If your About Us page doesn’t truly capture the culture, you are missing something BIG! One of the most important things about putting a bio together is making it relatable. What are the fun sharable (somewhat personal) things you can relay to your readers?
Don’t Be Afraid to Be LOUD and be PROUD
Because there are many different generations running a company, there is often fear that a true vision can’t be spoken through a brand. The one thing that the present has taught us about customer service is that we need to not be afraid to honestly speak our minds!
“Not all talent comes with the skills needed to be successful. Change that.” –Melissa Lamson, President and CEO, Lamson Consulting
It’s time to stand out, everybody! Don’t be afraid to be loud and there is no reason to apologize about it. The more real you can be, the better. The more colorful, engaging, outrageous (suitable for work, guys!) you can be, the more your customer can relate to you!
Take Skullcandy for a perfect example, they ROCK out their brand. Every employee that works at that company lives and breathes their products because they are fun! It’s time to be fun.
Relate to Your People
If you know your audience, as you should, you should know what the like! Just like our friends at Home Advisor, we know that they know their market like the back of their hand. It is so important to speak their language, walk in their shoes and know what they love.
“If you’re up on your soapbox, rattling off every single product feature, then you’re missing an opportunity to tell customers what’s in it for them. “- Monika Jansen, Head Kick-Ass Copywriter and Strategist, Jansen Communications
If your brand is only representing what they think people will like, they may be missing the mark. It’s time to ask questions, take polls, evaluate surveys. Don’t forget, these need to be sent with an emotional sentiment. Be real from the research phase to close of sale, and then beyond, through and through.
Practice What You Preach
When it comes to customer service, the number one thing that people may evaluate is how you treat others. If your brand is preaching to have elite customer service and then turns around and produces a mediocre experience, there is another red flag.
Living up to your word is the number one way to go when it comes to good business etiquette. Easier said than done in the customer service world! Beginning with the inside out, you do need to practice what you preach. This means that from the team’s ground up, you are showcasing the qualities your team services.
Ethics plays a big role here! Here are some ways to practice what you preach from Maria Hebda of The Career Experts:
Ways to Embrace Ethics & Integrity in Business & Leadership
- Decide which ethics are important in your business and personal life then put them in writing or incorporate them into your mission statement if you have one. If you’re not clear on these principles, they’ll be very difficult or impossible to follow.
- Make your values a critical and integral aspect of your business plan (formal or informal).
- Don’t overemphasize profit motives at the cost of compromising integrity. Keep the focus on service.
- Practice ethical behavior. Talking and writing about ethics is not enough. If ethics aren’t practiced in action, they won’t exist in your business.
Keep it Interesting
There comes a time when things get a little….stale. When you feel that you keep posting the same things over and over and over, it may be time to change things up! Keeping it interesting goes way beyond changing the words you use! It expands to the events that you go to, the people you meet, the style you perceive. It’s time to keep it interesting!
For notes on how to do this, ask us! Sometimes it’s easier to ask someone with a fresh eye or ask your clients! You can also peak into ‘behind the scenes’ at VIPdesk Connect and find out how we keep engagement FRESH.
Good luck out there, people! And remember, people like people, not brands! Go time!