The Freshdesk blog plays host, every Thursday, to a little series called the Secret Sauce; it’s a series of interviews with customer support personnel of various companies from across the world. A coffee shop. An online community. A project management application. Just about every kind of business.
The support reps talk about a whole host of things: how they hire new reps, their scaling strategies, how they like to unwind after a long day’s work and so on.
And the one theme that I’ve noticed echoing through all of their interviews is that while they all care about answering the customer’s query and solving problems, they care more about customer happiness. Happiness has, in their minds, replaced satisfaction as the sentiment to keep an eye out for.
What’s the distinction?
It might seem like we’re nitpicking (bear with us) but there is actually a proper distinction.
Satisfaction is being content with one’s interaction with support.
Satisfaction is an experience that doesn’t stand out; it’ll quickly fade from both your memory and the support rep’s. It’s going to be a story that’s so unremarkable that you don’t even tell your therapist about it.
Happiness, on the other hand, is like a beacon of light. Customers aren’t just happy with the interaction. It isn’t momentary. They’re suffused with happiness. They tell the story to as many people as possible. That story changes moods, days and lives. It keeps them with you, loyal to degrees unimaginable.
Happiness leaves a huge impact in the customer’s mind and it might just take your business to the next level.
How do you get your customers from satisfaction to happiness?
Some people are of the opinion that you can make customers happy, as opposed to just satisfied, by going the extra mile for them. You make a grand gesture and voila, instant happiness.
Others think that it’s the way you handle their request – your first answer arrives within seconds of a support request, you never let an exchange go beyond five interactions and so on. That’s the happiness ingredient.
But I think that happiness lies in the details.
Sure, I like at-the-speed-of-light replies and grand gestures as much as the next person. But what really makes me happy is the way companies approach support.
It’s a collection of everything – the solution article, the answer to all my questions, that pops up before I’m done typing out the subject of my support request. It’s the little notification that shows up in my inbox the minute I hit ‘submit’ letting me know that you’re on it, that you care. It’s the ‘Contact Me’ button inside the mobile app that tells me that you do understand how frustrating it is to open up my tiny mobile’s browser, find your support portal (or worse your website) and type out my query.
It’s making the support process as seamless and painless as possible. It’s weighing what’s easy for me as a customer as opposed to how they can improve the product with my feedback.
Happiness is in the details. Not the grand gestures.