Thomas Wilson

5/5/2021

[LinkedIn Post] Being so customer-centric your customers think you’re a robot

(This is a cross-post of a short article I wrote on LinkedIn)

Stop me if you’ve heard any of these: “your call is valuable to us”… “on a scale of 1-10 how would you rate our…”, ”at {companyName} we care deeply about our customer experience…”

Have you literally ever believed anybody when you’ve heard or read these things? I have not. Not even once.

But we should care. I know Oxwash does. We care a lot that people send us their wedding dresses, bedding, favourite band Ts and home team jerseys. It’s one of the top three reasons I decided to work at Oxwash - everyone genuinely cares 💙 I’m a front-end engineer, I make software that real customers use every day, and I care that they have a good experience. At very least I care that we should know if our software is confusing our new customers.

👇 The good news is, it’s actually really easy to stand out. Literally all you have to do is act like you’re a human being who cares. So I’m bringing four tips on how to talk with your customers like you’re a human who actually cares about them

  1. 🕵️‍♂️ Focus on who you want to talk to: You’re not going to be able to talk to everybody all of the time. You have other things to do. I started talking to first-time Oxwash customers. It’s enough that I’m fielding e-mails every day, but they’re not banging down my door. I think it’s really important your software is understandable to first-time users. If they don’t stick around long enough to learn the…quirks of your system then there’s a problem. You might care about your longest customers, or those in a certain age range or who work in a certain sector. Start small, you can always go bigger.
  2. 🤖 Automate (but not too much): How many e-mails in your inbox were hand-crafted and delivered by artisanal humans? Probably less than half. Use automation services to send-off e-mails based on database and software events. Use snippets (shoutout to TextExpander and SuperHuman) so that certain thing (like instructions on how to update your version of the app in the App Store) aren’t hand typed every… single… time. But always, always put something hand-crafted into a reply, especially when someone’s taken the time to send you useful feedback.
  3. 🎁 Share your findings: We now run monthly reviews with product, strategic, and technical staff. Every single bit of feedback (critical and complementary), every suggestion, every point of contention is brought up and discussed with real humans so that we can do something with that information.
  4. Respect people’s time: Every e-mail I send asking for feedback always gives people the chance to reply with “1”, “2”, or “3” (which stand for “good”, “bad”, “I’m too busy at the moment”). I’d love a considered and detailed response from every customer, but I’ll settle for more data overall, if it means sacrificing a bit of depth. Trust me, people love telling you what could be improved, but rarely care to gush about your software to you.

Like what you just read? See all my writing