Entertaining our Customers

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Have you ever considered entertaining your customers as a way to better serve them and differentiate yourself from your competition and drive increased customer loyalty?  We all like to be entertained.  It holds our attention and we seem to remember things we enjoy.  We also tend to share entertaining experiences with others. Of course our customers want to get the service or support that they are expecting when they called in the first place…but it doesn't hurt to be entertained at the same time. 

Don't get me wrong here…I am not proposing that our agents start singing and reciting poems over the phone in order to entertain our customers.  I am suggesting that our agents see the customer in a different light and that we treat our customers as guests who we aim to please and entertain.

Disney teaches the concept of being onstage and offstage to each of their employees known as "Cast Members".  On stage is everything the customer sees and experiences.  However, to keep the park running perfectly, it takes a significant amount of work behind the scenes known as "off stage" that customers NEVER see.  These are the break rooms, cafeterias, dressing rooms, the tunnels and hallways to move cast members around the park in addition to the storage for cleaning supplies and props.  Necessary for the business, but not for the customer to experience.

When it comes to a contact center, our agents need to remember that everything they do is "on stage" with the customer.  So, remember to put the happy voice on and strive to provide excellent service and it will stand out for the customer.  In addition, there are many parts of our contact center that are necessary for operating the contact center, but shouldn't be exposed to our customer.  Keeping them separate will help you ensure an excellent customer service experience.

Besides having our agents talk with a smile and demonstrate excellent personal service there are other ways to provide entertaining service to our customers.

IVR Prompts – Forget the plain, ordinary, voice that dominates most IVR menus.  Use a voice that has some personality or flaw that makes it entertaining…the customers will notice and if it has a subtle tie to the style and culture of your organization then you will be entertaining and create a memorable experience.

Hold Music and Messages – Why not beef up the hold music and messages with more entertaining messages.  Perhaps make the customer laugh with relevant jokes or even build in a game or trivia into the hold messages.  Don’t just mention a cross-selling opportunity while the customer is on hold…but produce a “radio spot” that will be entertaining and sell.

Post Call Communication – Use customer satisfaction surveys or thank you notes or even invoices as an entertaining connection to the phone experience.  Send a thank you note signed by the humorous personality of the IVR and hold messages or even theme the service request paperwork as a by-product of your products mentioned on the call.

Are there other examples that you have experienced or that you use in your business today?  Please share them here…I think we would all enjoy it.