Suppose you’re a superhero.
Not any superhero, an angsty one. Though your power helps you defuse explosive situations, they’re not the famed, fiery kind. Instead of crushing your adversaries with epic blows of righteousness, you create harmony and build trust.
Even more disappointing, you weren’t born a mutant. You’re a normal human with two ears and an extraordinarily developed ability to listen and problem solve.
Well hello there customer service superhero.
No, don’t click away in an angry superhero identity crisis. Customer service may not be the most…thrilling of superpowers, but it is the gift this world needs.
This is you. This is all of us.
Remember great power comes with great responsibility.
You already have it in you
Public perception of your brand is heavily influenced by customer service, good and bad. Even people who are not customers are influenced by what they’ve heard from friends and family.
That’s why exceptional customer service is the key to unlocking the world’s oldest, most powerful marketing superweapon: referrals.
These stakes are pretty high. Maybe not save the earth before it’s liquidated by a heinous villain high, but still high.
That means it’s worthwhile to develop the customer service powers that have been within you all along. Developing the full force of your power requires tapping into two capabilities you already possess: listening and problem-solving.
The power of listening rests in the innate need of people everywhere to feel understood and validated.
It’s such a forceful need that listening is used to broker peace between nations. It’s used by law enforcement to de-escalate crisis situations. It can even help you soothe the irate customer on the phone.
Even though it seems obvious, listening is hard. Its arch-nemeses, interruption and defensiveness, come forth more easily.
Here’s the key to helping someone feel heard: step outside your own skin to enter the world of the other person to see the situation and their need their way. Use humility and authenticity. Be patient. Wear a spandex suit if it will help.
If the customer’s need has been correctly identified through superhuman listening, solving their problem should come naturally by using the expertise that put you in business.
Here’s where the marketing power comes out: publicly set expectations for the way customer problems are solved, then deliver on those expectations every single time. Like a superhero who shares a plan for how to save the world, then delivers with flourish and gusto.
The expectations can be outlined in a simple plan or promise featured prominently on your website and incorporated throughout the business culture.
But what about when customers set their own expectations that are unreasonable or not possible?
You don’t have to let them walk all over your cape. Here are crisis negotiation tips that can empower you to de-escalate a situation:
- Never agree or disagree with an individual’s feelings.
- Use time and silence to help cool hot tempers.
- Find something to agree on. Getting someone to say yes to one thing can help shift their mindset.
- No matter what, stay solutions focused. Phrases like, “here’s what I’m going to do for you” are handy for remaining noble when adversarial forces close in.
McElroy’s promises and delivers
McElroy’s has provided plumbing, heating, and air service for residential, commercial, and industrial clients since 1951. They’re trusted to deliver the best solutions for the best price.
McElroy’s service technicians are in customer homes everyday. Knowing their customers place a lot of trust in them, McElroy’s displays their brand promise on their residential service page. The promise states customers can count on them to:
- Arrive on time and ready to work
- Treat your home with respect
- Give you an honest assessment
- Leave your home clean with your issue addressed
The brand promise is a simple plan, but its power lies in its universal values that build comfort in customers. The customer’s expectation is set, and all McElroy’s has to do is deliver, which is where they excel.
Here are two actual Google reviews about customer experiences with McElroy’s.
See how closely they echo the brand promise? Showing customers what to expect and then actually delivering on it inspires delight and satisfaction.
No angst here, McElroy’s takes pride in being customer service superheroes. You can too.
If you need help branding your promises and making sure they reach your customers, we can help. We won’t even be angsty about it. Hit us up!