When I was younger, I would enjoy the day at the theme park. I noticed immediately a way to do more for my money, the fast lane. It gave me the ability to derive more excitement and pleasure from my day (IE more rides). I really appreciated the opportunity to get better access and more value. And I was totally comfortable spending the extra money for the better experience.
Fast forward to this decade, I have noticed a lot more companies are starting to understand this concept. Video streaming services provide faster speeds and no commercials for a slightly higher fee. At ballparks, I get a better experience, if I purchase the VIP pass. Console games now offer the gold and platinum packages of their games. Which provide the gamer a leg up as they start playing. Even my food delivery service will pick up from any restaurant, if I pay a higher fee.
With all these amazing incentives at the point of sale, it strikes me as intriguing that companies will go to all this effort to encourage us to get more from their service or spend more, but still keep your support experience the same. All too often I pay more for a service or experience and then the support team lets me down. And in return I end up leaving the brand or getting a pretty bad taste in my mouth. The good news is that some companies have started to differentiate on the support side (IE Airlines, Hotels). The bad news is you have to join a club or scheme to get this premium level of support.
I submit that companies should consider a few factors and build their support experience around their consumer, the “heart” of their company. After all, if the consumer is not there enjoying the service or experience, the company doesn’t exist. So for all the companies that want to nurture their “heart”, here are some 21st century ideas on how:
- Build your support process and policies around the consumer, their spend levels, and full purchase history. Create a support experience that keeps them sticky for a lifetime
- Consider setting up your support teams by consumer persona, not all consumers are the same. Often times a small % of your consumers drive a lion share of the revenue. Don’t lose them by jumping over dimes to find pennies
- When consumers buy a premium service, automatically give them a premium support experience. The revenue vs. cost trade off will be worth it and you can easily retain the consumer as a promoter
- Make the tough trade-offs and be more flexible. Consumers understand a great support experience comes at a cost, so make tough tradeoffs that give your better consumer, a better experience. Don’t be afraid to treat your consumers that don’t value you, worse and be nimbler and creative with those that are loyal to you
- Use technology to your advantage. The world is changing, consumers don’t need to talk to someone all the time. They don’t always even need a human. They just need a resolution to their issue. One that gets them back to using your product again
The worse and most frustrating thing for me as a consumer, is to have to leave a brand I have become loyal and addicted to. I generally do it because I am forced to, by bad support or a bad product experience. On the reverse, when companies delight me, the “heart” of their company. I find it very easy to stay and spend more. In fact, I often don’t pay as much attention to my spend levels, if the value is known and felt.
My hope, as customer success executive, is that more companies will continue to evolve their point of sale value options, while aligning it more intrinsically to an excellent and unparalleled support experience.
If they can do this, they will have me and I am guessing you for a lifetime!