An important metric

There is one important metric that should be considered in any report.

It’s the cost of what you have achieved.

Not only monetary cost – though that is always a fantastic way to start, that would immediately set you apart from the vast majority of people – but also the cost in terms of energy, in terms of time spent, in terms of forgone opportunities.

Adding the cost to your reports can very much give you a clearer picture of how effective your work is.

It’s surprising how many teams are not aware of how much their achievements cost.

More than

Customer service is more than answering customers’ questions and complaints.

A community of users is more than setting up a forum where they can communicate with each other.

Customer focus is more than interviewing your customers on a regular basis.

Customer experience is more than asking customers how likely they are to recommend your brand.

And yet, that’s where most companies stop.

Easy to copy

To promote a new grocery delivery service, you can talk about how fast it is, how easy to use it is, how convenient it is.

Or you can build a community around unique recipes, with ready-made ingredient packages available for purchase, a weekly menu-planner that takes allergies, calories, habits, and personal preferences into consideration, and some way for the users to contribute (pictures, comments, own recipes, etc.).

Of course, if you can leverage both, that’s fantastic.

But things like fast, easy, and convenient are easy to copy.

Different meals

Everyone can do marketing.

It’s something most marketers have heard at one point or another of their career.

Of course, what that means is that everybody can do marketing tactics. Or even better, everybody can think of marketing tactics.

Because marketing tactics are intuitive and they are something we are exposed to (as consumers) every single day.

Where marketers can get a real edge, though, is using those tactics within the framework of a marketing strategy that fits the specific market. And do that consistently and over time, measuring results and getting better.

That’s not something everyone can do. It is actually something most people struggle to wrap their minds around.

You might think about it this ways.

On one side, you have the day when you just open the fridge, pick whatever it is that is in there, and try to organize some decent food for you lunch.

On the other side, you have the day when you plan your meal, you do grocery shopping accordingly, you follow a recipe a dear friend shared, and you end up with exactly the dish you wanted to eat.

I know which one I prefer.

Help them move forward

If you approach a customer support ticket, a negative review, a cancellation request with a defensive mindset, you will always fail.

When people approach you with a problem, they are not interested in hearing that it’s not your fault. They might be seeking a solution, a clean cut, a way to rant. Never will they want to hear a closing statement from your defence attorney.

What do you want to achieve and what do they want to achieve are two important things to consider in these cases.

You have a system to monitor your customers opinions because you want to know when things go wrong and try to remedy that, possibly changing people’s attitude towards your brand. Then why is it rarely your fault, why is confrontation often the go-to tactic, why is empathy the last thing that’s being taught to your people?

And on the other hand, customers do very often reach out because they care and they want to share. They are unsure about what happened, they are hurt because things did not work out as they expected, they want to know they have not done a terrible choice.

So, when you see a customer support ticket, a negative review, a cancellation request, keep in mind you are not there to prove a point.

You are just there to help the other move forward.