It Is All About Service And Community
For this post I want to talk about Service and Community. Service will essentially refer to customer service and the customer experience as well. I want to talk a little about these because Service and Community obviously go hand in hand, and are important to me.
We live in a world of social media, tech startups, and always being hyper-connected. The power that our smartphones hold is really amazing if you stop to think about it. There are countless ways businesses reach us on them.
The businesses that are able to stand out, are the ones that grow their communities and fans. From what I see, these businesses that stand out are the ones that have a stellar experience and even more stellar service for their customers. Yes I know it makes sense, but tell that to all the businesses that don’t get it (yet).
It Starts With The Product
It starts with a product that is an absolute pleasure to use. It needs to serve a purpose and fill a need that people have. Then that product needs to be easy to learn and use. Sounds like a lot of work huh?! It is the truth.
I should emphasize that it needs to be a pleasure to use. A product/service that is a joy to use, is the first thing that creates raving fans (Note: Raving fans talk about your product/service to others). Before a product/service is launched, you need to put in the time and effort to refine and tweak to where it is excellent. No, it doesn’t have to be perfect (nearly impossible). But it does need to be refined and make that “WOW!” first impression.
The word I like to think about is “Fluid.” Is the experience smooth and easy? One of the things that I love about my smartphone (BlackBerry Z10) is that using the OS is very smooth and fluid. I don’t even have to think about what I’m doing. No matter what I’m doing on my phone, if I make one quick gesture I’m checking my inbox. One more quick gesture I’m back to what I was doing. No double clicking a home button and *bouncing* around.
A fantastic example of great experience is Buffer. These guys nailed content sharing and scheduling. The key for me is that you can curate content to your Buffer queue without even thinking about it. If I pull up some content online that I want to share, I hit the extension in Chrome and set it to the appropriate account(s). It’s become an action that is effortless. Just imagine if all of the products/services you use were like that! Kudos to Buffer for making an experience that is so easy and pleasurable.
Service And Support
No product/service in this world is perfect. That means you need to be ready to offer stellar customer service/support. Even if you are offering a “freemium,” type product or app. That could be even more crucial because if they run into difficulties and it’s not easy to gain a resolution, you just lost a user.
Think of it as another part in hammering your customers with that “WOW!” factor. You built a great offering, the experience is easy and great, and when issues arise you are a superstar that blows them away. You just gained a “raving fan.” Each one of those will tell their peers about their experiences with your product and YOU. They will tweet their satisfaction and blog their stories.
Again, look at Buffer. They respond to email inquiries, tweets, and blog comments very quickly. You can tell that it is their goal to make sure you are happy with using their product on all fronts. Go to their twitter account and look at the incredibly positive tone they use, how apologetic they are when someone has an issue, and how grateful they are to their users. Truly a great example of what I am talking about here.
All of the above now brings me around to the Community aspect that I want to talk about. Why are companies on social media? Why are they blogging? They are building a community. And for good reason! Life moves fast, companies and products come and go so fast. The users, raving fans, and so on are what breathe life into your offering. They are the best and most effective marketing tool you can possibly have. They are also your most valuable critics.
There is an undeniable value in building a community for your product/service/brand etc… It is astonishing how so many companies don’t seem to realize that. Perhaps that is why companies that do see that value stand so high above the rest? That makes sense to me. Making your dedication to your community a point of differentiation.
Pressgram is a free iOS app. It really caters to online publishers (bloggers) using WordPress. There are core values they don’t stray from. The app is very easy and fluid to use. There is an incredible community behind Pressgram. Someone that is already a raving fan is more than willing to lend a helping hand if you need it. That’s powerful. That is passion for not only the product, but the core values of the product as well.
My real estate team keeps these concepts at the top of our minds when working with our clients. Our first objective is to offer pure excellence in our services for home buyers and sellers. One part of this is clarity. It requires a dedication to make sure our clients fully understand the scope of the situation, and their options. The next part is making the whole process for our clients as smooth as possible. If we were in their position, that’s exactly what we would want. See how that makes sense? Finally our business thrives off of referrals. Our clients talk about us with their friends, and then recommend us. We are forever grateful to be able to work with such great people!
Make Service and Community a focus for your business.