I’ve been reading a lot over the last few weeks about “customer evangelists”, “citizen marketers”, and the like. The basic thrust of the reading has been about turning happy customers into folks who will go out and shout to the world about how great your company is.
Partly I think this is great because by definition you have to be making a lot of customers happy before you’ll reach the few who will really make some waves in your behalf. And while I believe that there is good intent behind the discussions, part of it seems disingenuous. Forced, almost. Maybe I'm just jaded.
There were a lot of things that I liked about Webmail.us before I started here. Not least of which was a great page full of testimonials. I remember reading the one from MacGurus.com where they talked about actually being kicked off of other email providers because their domain was the victim of so much spam. Between that and the demo, I knew that the basic product was excellent.
We have an unofficial policy about testimonials here: if someone sends us an email to support thanking us profusely for our help, we ask if they would be willing to contribute a testimonial. If they send one in, I proofread it. I make minor spelling and wording changes and have a web developer post it. Fairly simple & we try not to force someone to feel something if they haven’t already expressed a lot of happiness.
Think we ought to do it differently or have a suggestion? Email me!
What Makes A Really Happy Customer
I spent more hours than I care to admit surfing blogs one week not too long ago. I had made a PubSub feed on the words “customer service”. I read through everything it hit—hundreds of items. My goal was to find patterns of root causes of customer’s reactions to customer service experiences. Here is what I can share, in order of importance:
#1 Successfully resolving the problem
#2 Meeting explicit or implied commitments
#3 Responding in a context-appropriate amount of time
Other things like politeness, for example, only seemed to be mentioned if one of these core things stood out as really good or really bad.
So the extremely happy customers come from going beyond the scope of the problem, from exceeding commitments, and from responding more quickly than a customer expected.
We’re working now to make sure we have extremely happy customers!