This week I’ve been lucky enough to catch up with Constant Contact All Star Karen Haller from Karen Haller Colour and Design Consultancy to find out how she WOWs her customers, and how her email newsletters are part of her wowing tool kit. Karen tells us how great customer service has let her thrive in a niche industry.
What do you do to WOW your customers?
It seems that good customer service is often a casualty for those of us living in a fast past, hectic busy, busy world. For me it’s about getting back to basics and coming from a place of service – good old fashion customer service. Being friendly and courteous, listening to my customers’ needs, honesty, trust, and doing what I say I’m going to do and managing their expectations. Then giving them that little bit extra.
Over promising and under delivering is not where you want to be.
Don’t be the person who gives amazing gifts but can’t turn up to meetings on time – your customer won’t necessarily thank you for it. A customer would rather you get the basics right.
To be honest I don’t always get it right and I constantly strive to be better. If this does happen I put my client’s needs first, looking for a solution I know I can deliver and will be suitable to them.
What good and bad customer experiences have you had?
Some of the best customer service experiences I have are when I feel I have been listened to. Often when I go into a shop and ask a question it can feel like my question isn’t answered, or I feel dismissed. I feel customer service can be one of the most difficult tasks to get the balance right. You are dealing with people and often their problems. Get it right and it can be one of the most rewarding.
One of the things I really like about using Constant Contact is when I call one of the coaches; they are genuinely helpful and will try to find solutions to my problem no matter what problem I am experiencing with my email newsletter. They think outside the box.
So how do you WOW in a newsletter?
Because the work I do is a relatively unknown niche (applied colour psychology for business branding) a large portion of my newsletter is education based whilst giving practical application advice. I include business branding colour articles I have written to give my audience value, as well as articles that will be fun to read.
On the subject of adding value, it’s possible for some newsletters to feel a bit, “me, me, me.” I have always been most comfortable when sharing my knowledge with others and being responsive to what people are asking from my newsletters – my aim is to make it about them. I hope this is what gives them a WOW!
What are your tips on WOWing customers?
Be wary of building your customer service on shaky foundations. As I mentioned earlier, you don’t want to be the person that gives amazing gifts without getting the basics right. Get solid customer service foundations and then think about what you can do extra for your customers – that will really WOW them.
If you feel overwhelmed, and that can easily happen, always go back to basics and then everything else will start to fall into place.
What small businesses can take away?
Karen’s advice is brilliant and easy to put into practice for small business owners. Make sure you get the basics right before trying to WOW your customer by going that extra mile. Give your customers value in terms of your expertise to WOW them in your newsletter. Most importantly, come from a place of service and listen. People love to feel that they have been heard, and really, it’s the best way that we can learn from each other.
What do you do to WOW your customers? Tell us your tops tips below.