So you want to provide great customer service… well, sure, there’s a handbook for that.
It’s full of dos and don’ts, ideas, and suggestions. It’s packed with things we should and shouldn’t do when we’re interacting with a customer or prospect. But is a long list of rules really the best way to learn how to be a better customer service representative or sales associate?
Wouldn’t it be so much easier if we could break every customer service interaction or sales experience into 3 simple steps that any customer service rep can just repeat over and over again, to deliver a great experience?
Well, as luck would have it…
Before we go into our 3 steps, you’ll remember that there's a giant difference between customer service and a great customer experience. If you've forgotten what that was, or you didn't see the video, you can watch this video right here.
So now we’re working towards that one goal: to create a great customer experience through every single customer service interaction we have. We’re ready for step number one.
The trigger question is the first question that pops into your mind the instant you go on a journey you never expected.
Imagine you're on a customer service team for a rental company. And you get a phone call, where somebody wants to know one simple question: “how much does it cost to rent x for the day?”
Now a lot of customer service handbooks will tell you that you need to get their name, their phone number, and their email address before you give them a quote. You’ve guessed it: this is terrible advice! Because it's creating a bad experience.
Instead, as a great customer service rep, you gotta answer the question straight away. Tell the customer it’s going to cost them $500, or whatever figure it is — that one little interaction will earn you trust because they know that if they have a question, you’ll give them the answer. You’ve started to turn a doubter into a believer which is what a great customer experience is all about.
Friction can be anything that gets in the way of creating a great experience for the customer, anything that stops them getting to the next moment of commitment.
If you actually want to get this customer to sign a rental agreement by the end of the phone call, that's the moment of commitment you’re aiming for. In the meantime, you need to get them to make some little commitments so you’re going to have to get rid of any friction along the way.
So instead of asking for their name, and their last name, and their email address, and their phone number, right off the bat, which causes a ton of friction (and frustration) for the customer, you can do something very simple: ask just one question. For example, start with their name, but do so by scaling comradery. Which, conveniently enough, brings us to step 3…
Scaling comradery is all about building a team. In fact, it's about taking your brand and personalizing it for the person you're on the phone with.
So you might say something like, "Hey, my name is Andrew, and I'm gonna be here to help you all the way through the rental process, and I'll even be here the day that you pick up your equipment. But what's your name?" You see, scaling comradery is about giving up some information — personal information about you — so that they’ll feel comfortable enough to give you their name. And as soon as they've given you their name, they've actually taken the first step in their moment of commitment. They've given you some information, to get some information; they've traded some data. Yeah, it's that easy!
Then you’d go back to the beginning and go through the steps as many times as it takes to get to the ultimate moment of commitment.
So in this case, you need to look out for the next trigger question. It might be, "Hey, Andrew, I was actually wondering if X is available on June 25th for a full-day rental?" And you're going to remove some friction by saying, "Hold on one second, while I just pull that up for you on my computer.”
As you're pulling that up on your computer to see if it's available, you move onto the next step. You scale your comradery by giving up a little bit more information about you and the brand, to build the next level of trust, to get to the next piece of information.
For example, "while I pull this up, I just wanted to tell you that we’re not open on Saturdays and Sundays, but you could pick it up on the 24th, and we should have it here ready for you. I'm going to be able to send you a quote at the end of this phone call, would you mind just giving your email address while I wait for the computer to load, so that I know where to send it?" And there you have it. You've got them to the next moment of commitment.
Really it’s about giving them some insight into the process, it's about showing them that you're doing work while you're talking to them and actually walking them through the steps. And in order to create a great customer service interaction, you do this over and over and over, until they've committed to rent that piece of equipment, or buy that product, or buy your service, or schedule the next appointment, or take a meeting, or whatever it is your goal is, on that phone call.
Do it over and over until you’ve created that Loyalty Loop, and taken them from a doubter to a believer!