Why has customer happiness only become important in the last 10 years? How do happy customers benefit me? Do I really eat 8 spiders while sleeping in my lifetime? These are all questions I had when I started looking at what exactly customer happiness is and why it’s all the rage these days. So come with me on a journey into the dreaded world of customer service and I’ll do my best to explain how you can leave your users feeling great about your product.

What, so what is it?

Customer happiness is wildly different from customer support. Customer happiness isn’t just answering questions, it’s the relationship you have with your users. It goes beyond just answering support tickets, anyone can do that; customer happiness is the modern version of the old local barber who knew everyone’s name.

Most users will never complain, some will, some will just give up and cancel your service. Happy customers will give you a chance and are far more likely to stick around, more likely to give honest feedback and more likely to refer your business to others.

That’s all well and good, but how can I get happy customers!?

The easiest way to explain this is to go back to the old corner barbershop metaphor. You want happy customers, then this is what you need to try and be. Don’t just answer what comes in, but talk to people, hell, don’t even wait for things to come in, reach out to customers and proactively build relationships. Be that old barber down on the corner.

Here’s some tips:

Educate your support team:

This may seem like a no-brainer, but there is a big underlying reason for this. An educated support agent doesn’t have to pass a ticket to someone else. This means that the ticket can be handled by one person start to finish, and a meaningful conversation can occur. The added bonus is that an actual rapport can be built. No customer happiness can come from sending a ticket and being met with a slew of “…so I’m just going to pass this on to X”. The user can’t get to know everyone they get flicked around to on a support ticket, but if it’s one person handling them the whole way, you can leave not just a satisfied customer but a happy one who feels like they matter.

Be Personal:

Not too personal, that’s creepy, but enough to not seem like a support robot; in my own experience I’ve found it’s the little things that count. Throw in a “how are you?” before you get into answering the question, bonus points for a “how is everything going with X” if it’s a returning customer and you’re familiar with their business. At the end of your message a “I hope I’ve been able to answer your question” shows you care and a “let me know if you have any more questions” shows that you aren’t about to just respond to the ticket and dump the user into the ether. Most of all, sign off with a name. No one is going to want to really engage with someone whose name is “Customer Support”.

Show You Care

There’s no better way to convince a customer you care about them and their issues than by actually caring. The most simple and effective way to show a customer that they matter is a follow-up email to make sure that you have actually solved their problem and they haven’t just given up and moved on.

Handle Feedback

Another way to show your customers their value is by how you receive feedback. Getting honest feedback is difficult, but also possibly the most valuable thing you can get from a customer, so when I see emails that just say “Thanks for your feedback”, I die a little inside. Simply telling your customers what you’ve done with their feedback and how you plan to address any underlying issues they may have is such a simple way to show you care about what they have to say.

Go that step further and note any suggestion any customer may have. Let them know you changed your product because of something they said. If you do that I promise you’ll damn near have a customer for life.

Okay, so can you sum that up for me?

There is a distinct difference between a happy customer and one who just had a question answered. Crossing that line from “support agent” to “Steve from X who genuinely cares about my issues” is one that is as valuable now as ever. Happy customers are more likely to give feedback, are more loyal, more likely to give your name to friends and are a pleasure to deal with. If you don’t care about any of that then at least you’re making people smile and that’s what life’s all about.

This is a great blog. Thanks Nathan!

No worries. Go and make people happy.

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Chris Duell

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