The Business of Being Charming: Service Design for Customer Delight

January 15th, 2016   |   Posted by

About Harry Parker

Follow my journey as I share the roadmap to living a comfortable retirement. Like many people around my age we are redefining what retirement is all about. Our generation is not satisfied with just sitting around waiting for time to pass. We’re breaking the rules and making our latter years mean something.

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Do you remember that time when the Royal Bank of Scotland launched the RBS app that gets you emergency cash when you lose your card?

If you’re going to be creative and innovative, aim it toward pleasing your customers, and they’ll love you AND you get more customers. So much hooplah has been around marketing and SEO lately, especially with the new changes from Google and other platform algorithms, that entrepreneurs are so jacked up about marketing and SEO, and forgotten about their customers.

Business growth hinges on your customers, not on how well you use keywords or apply design elements for optimum social media exposure.

I’ve had a think about being charming recently, when a bunch of businesses I’ve had contact with sent me and Jan holiday greetings and some discounts to sweeten those remembrances. They varied in how charming they really were, of course. Some were little more than generic greeting cards, while some were personalized despite being sent out automatically en masse.

The same companies who sent out the latter were the ones with exceptional customer service, like The Book Depository, whom you can count on for speedy and courteous replies.

This charm that can and does grow companies is called service design, something I read about in The Guardian last month.

Service design is all about delighting your customers, through effective marketing, and, after luring them in, making it easy for them to be heard and answered when they need support, and in the first place, making it convenient and fast for them to buy and use your product or service!

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Joe Heapy, founder of Engine–a company working “to enhance customers’ experiences and to improve business performance across a wide range of industries and sectors– says, “Increasingly, we’re looking to design in an element of novelty or originality to a service. There’s something about finding an element of surprise for customers, to draw them in and charm them in a new way. Hassle-free and innovative service can really define a brand and ensure that customers stick with a company.”

That gives me (and you) something to think about for the new year.

If you’re thinking about an overhaul, or simply an improvement for your business process, that’s a good place to start: Something new and original and charming, to take away any and every hassle your clients or customers would go through while moving toward purchase, and after purchase.

When there are complaints, are they dealt with warmly, speedily and honestly? Do you acknowledge faults and blame, not sounding resigned to (and defeated by) external forces, but instead completely in touch with the issue and already improving it?

Harry Parker

Follow my journey as I share the roadmap to living a comfortable retirement.

Like many people around my age we are redefining what retirement is all about. Our generation is not satisfied with just sitting around waiting for time to pass. We’re breaking the rules and making our latter years mean something.

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