It can be easy to focus solely on acquiring those first customers as you set out on your tech startup adventure. Of course, that should always be the number one priority – without customers, you have no business! But the moment you have those customers, you have to make them happy – really happy. And this is something people sometimes forget. If your first customers are unhappy, they won’t spread the good news about your service, and if they’re really unhappy they’ll say bad things, which ain’t good.
When people buy, they buy the whole experience.
You can prepare a tip top quality app, but if you have poor customer service set up to deal with inevitable glitches and questions, you might be shooting yourself in the foot. This infographic from desk.com illustrates the unnecessary damage bad customer service does.
It’s worth aiming for a super-smooth experience for your client from start to finish. To set your mind on the right track, here are 7 customer service tips from the King of World Class Customer Service, Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of a little company called Amazon.
- Truly Understand Your Customer
It’s not enough to know them, or even listen to them. You have to understand them. Every year Bezos makes all his managers, whichever role they are in, man the phones in a call centre for two days – including himself. Basically, get to know your customer better than they know themselves.
- Bring an Empty Chair to Meetings
Bezos wants everyone to obsess about the customer, and he even brings an empty chair to meetings. He tells the people there that the client is in there with them, sitting in that chair. Why not do the same thing?
- Start with the Customer Needs and Work Backwards
“We’re not competition-obsessed, we’re customer-obsessed. We start with the customer needs and work backwards.” Simple, but not common. Are you doing the same?
Steve Jobs also said pretty much the same thing: “You’ve gotta start with the customer experience and work back to the technology.”
- Respect Today’s Customer, They Have Bigger Voices
In the old days, an unhappy customer would tell an average of 6 people. These days, with social media, they can tell 6,000. Bezos emphasises the authority of today’s customer. Respect them as you would respect anyone who could seriously hurt your business if they chose to.
- Make Your Company Truly Customer-Centric
This might sound obvious, but it’s worth re-stating loud and clear. So many tech start-up entrepreneurs are product-centric, or service-centric. But try to forget about your product and service for a second. Focus all your energy on the customer, and then create something they need, and deliver it in a way that makes them smile from ear to ear.
- Don’t Settle for 99% in Customer Service
It’s those who always persistently go for 100% who stand out and are exceptional. Be one of them!
- Don’t be Afraid to Apologise
If you make a mistake – and you will – apologise loud, clear and with great humility. Bezos himself has done so many times on behalf of Amazon mess-ups. It’s human, and understandable, and it draws your prospects closer to you.
What a fantastic bunch of tips on customer service mindset. And to help you get going, here are 3 excellent customer service tools for tech startups!
A great software with (of course) excellent support for smoothly implementing customer service across your whole system, making sure everyone is easily on the same page.
- Zen Desk
A superb little service that allows you to route everything to your mobile, and various other functions that give you super-fast initial customer service response time. Speed of response is one of the biggest factors in keeping customers happy.
- Smarter Track 10 X
This is a massive comprehensive compilation of high quality customer service tools, with everything you’ll need from Live Chat features to customer surveys.
Still not satisfied? Here’s a very groovy list of 52 customer support tools for tech startups.
Got any questions about your customer service? Ask away!