Humanzing Customer Service in 2021

 Customer care and service is not a department — it’s a culture.

By Kerry Mulcrone

Is your customer service experience creating loyalty, referrals and great feedback on surveys for your building company?  If not, you may be treating customer service as a set of tasks instead of a mindset and missing the key ingredient to success — a customer care culture.

You need to design the process and create the systems where you take the whole company culture of desire to exceed at the highest level and absolutely deliver at the everyday level around your organizational core values.

Exceptional customer experience means delivering human experiences across digital and non-digital platforms, throughout a wide range of customer types that are far above the baseline level of expectation.”

Customer care is a way of thinking and acting internally which gets translated externally to your customer, through many mediums and people. Encourage everyone to work as “departments without borders,”  versus my job or your job — it is our job — resulting in company and customer relationships. Customer Care is a function of how well a company and all its team members constantly and consistently meet and exceed the needs of the customer.

The challenge occurs when we look at innovation as a way to create new profit centers rather than as a way to deliver better human experiences. Everybody talks about customer care and service, and many believe they are doing so, but what does it mean in practice? In today’s world of hyper-influential social networks and connectivity — welcome Zoom —exceptional care looks vastly different than it did even a year ago. Think like Disney. Be Imagineers and Innovators of new ways to meet your customer in their hearts. Meet them through a positive home building purchase and experience. Catch them early and often with touchpoints that represent you as a company from your core values. Innovate ways to express “you” as you want to be seen by them.

Customers are savvy today or so they believe. There is a direct connection in their minds between how much they paid and the experience they receive for something. The baseline level expectation is what they desire at minimum. Service below this is unacceptable in their minds and seen as sub-par. Service above this level is what they count on and will be merely satisfied with. Everything above this line is exceptional and a relevant human experience they will savor, remember and tell their family and friends about.

Everyone wants to get there…how do you go from here to there? Up your service and you up their perception. We all know perception is the largest part of the game, right? In the end the truth is grey, but the perception of the truth is real.

Exceptional customer experience means delivering human experiences across digital and non-digital platforms, throughout a wide range of customer types that are far above the baseline level of expectation.

The moral of the story is to deliver uplifting and unique experiences to build an amazing reputation. This means you must create processes that include personal and innovative communication and multiple touches across many mediums. 

Here is the good news. These ideas and processes will save you money because your customers will say great things about you and be your champion.

Thought strategies for company customer care:

Build trust and be transparent. It’s important to share information, stay in contact, admit shortcomings if they occur, be clear in communications and expectations and always stay positive and optimistic.

Ask Questions. Listen when the other side talks don’t just hear. Listening is caring. 

Be solution-oriented. Sometimes they are hidden under the question and to be discovered by you. The magic comes from fresh ideas.

Compromising is caring. Winning is never as important as a great meeting of the minds resulting in a compromise.

Out of sight is not out of mind. You can care the very most when your customer sees nothing happening. Embed customer touchpoints to keep the ride smooth, says Disney.

Communicate across departments, what you know, may just be what someone else needs to hear today.

Your strategy going forward needs to articulate a transparent and meaningful mission that attracts great people, great customers, and great human experiences. Be committed and you will be exceptional…

Kerry Mulcrone, MIRM, CSP, of Kerry & Co. shares her hands on direct from the trenches experience and knowledge coast to coast developing company synergy and systems which create both a “Love to work here” and “People love to work with us” environment. Kerry & Co. a New Home Sales, Leadership and Coaching Company celebrating 35 years in the Home Building Industry. Mulcrone is also an IBSx speaker.