How to Save the Customer from Him or Herself
Several recent studies including CCMC’s survey of Voice of the Customer programs suggest that faulty customer expectations and errors are the basis of 30% of all customer dissatisfaction and service workload. The problem – NO ONE READS ANYTHING! What to do?
Avoiding Customer Rage
Warn customers through multiple channels about their most common mistakes and erroneous expectations.
Use prominent labelling, yes, to convey this information, and include the information on your website’s home page prominently labeling it with something catchy like – “We know you don’t like surprises!”
But above all, employ video. Short videos are the best. No one has time to read a page of directions, but many people will watch brief videos. Making them fun and funny adds to their cachet and will lead to their viral distribution.
My exhibit A is the airline safety video. In the past, NO ONE watched safety videos. Then, airlines started making them funny. Even stodgy United Airlines did visual puns with kangaroos. Now, at least half of passengers watch the videos.
CCMC suggests three uses for video to stimulate your thinking:
- Communicating an important issue
Velcro has created a hilarious video begging customers not to call other hook and loop products velcro because doing so violates Velcro’s trademark rights and could adversely impact their brand ownership.
Zipcar has created an array of videos of less than a minute on topics such as extending your reservation. Each is like a short soap opera – for instance, one has a guy trying to impress a young woman with a picnic, which requires her to extend her Zipcar reservation. The narrator sits on the picnic blanket eating the grapes while educating you on four ways to extend your reservation – all in 45 seconds!
- Setting proper customer expectations for new product
Hughes Network Systems and Tesla both provide customers with videos that educate them about satellite internet and electric cars, both of which behave very differently from more traditional products. Customers who have watched the videos may be much more likely to avoid common mistakes and have less service needs. See Hughes’ video.
- Communicating complex information about an emotional issue
Dr David Langer, the Chairman of Neurosurgery at New York’s Murray Hill Hospital provides patients and families with a video summary of their discussion of the diagnosis and proposed surgery so that the information can be reviewed after the session. One patient noted that she and her family had watched the video six times, learning and absorbing more each time – feeling more calm and comfortable as the information sunk in. The cost of the video is more than offset by higher patient compliance and satisfaction.
Three Recommended Actions
- Create a simple video that explains how to avoid the three most common problems your customers raise. The video need not be glossy – have two of your 21-year-old service staff do a YOU TUBE quality video. Consumers are used to that level of quality – substance is much more important than production values.
- Create an incentive for customers to view the video. Tesla makes video viewership a prerequisite to delivering service. Navigant Credit Union in Providence, Rhode Island gives members ¼ point off their interest rate for watching their video – educated members are much cheaper to service, making the reduced interest rate worth it.
- Measure and update – measure the service workload of customers who view the videos versus those who don’t. This will help you gather all the data you need to justify more investment in updated videos.
For more information and papers on the impact of customer education and customer experience management and its importance as a component of your customer experience strategy and your Voice of the Customer program check out our Insights section.