Thank – Thanking with sincerity and ending on a high
Sometimes it’s easy to think that having given a solution to the customer that the interaction is done, then we let the experience peter out and finish with a standard “Is there anything else I can do for you today?” Meh. If you’d done your job properly, then you would have identified that up front! Last moments matter and can colour the whole memory a customer has of their experience with you.
Nobel Prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman explains how an experience and the memory of an experience are two different things. He tells the story of a man who was listening to a symphony and heard a horrible screeching noise at the end of the recording. The man claimed that it ruined the whole experience for him, but Kahneman points out that the experience had already happened – it was the memory of the experience that was ruined, not the experience itself.
So why does this matter to us? Imagine that you have delivered a GREAT experience for your customer only to have a customer remember it as an awful experience because of the way the interaction ended. Or your customer left the interaction with you feeling GREAT, but then realised that you hadn’t covered something with them or asked them for some information for the next steps in resolving their issue and they had to call the organisation back. This colours their memory of their interaction with you. It’s the memory of the experience that they share with friends, family and colleagues and it’s the memory that makes them reluctant to do business with/buy from you again.
There are two steps to ending the interaction on a high. They are:
- Confirm what happens next
- Having offered a solution to the customer, make sure the customer knows what is going to happen next. That means clearly explaining actions you are taking plus any actions you’ve asked of the customer as part of the solution (e.g. sending you documentation or additional information.) Getting this right means that we don’t rush through the next steps – we explain them carefully and at the appropriate pace for the customer. Rushing through the next steps causes the customer to ask questions, leads to you having to repeat the information and could lead to you losing control of the interaction right at the end.
- Thank the customer and give a personal and memorable goodbye
- Throughout your interaction, listen out for ‘gifts’ from your customer. The gifts are the little details or snippets of information that you can use to end your interaction in a really personal way. It might be that your customer has told you that they are going on holiday soon, in which case, you might say, “Thank you for contacting us today – I hope you have an amazing holiday!”
A sincere, warm and memorable thank-you and goodbye should be different in every customer interaction as our customers are all different! Ending the interaction with a personal, trust-building ‘thank you and goodbye’ and ensure your customer leaves the interaction feeling confident that their question or issue has been resolved or knowing what will happen next.
Take a look at our GREAT Customer Service programme and if you’d like to explore this topic further give us a call on 01582 463464. We’re always here to help.