Customer experience can be vital in helping businesses grow and scale faster. Investing in processes and tools that contribute to customer delight significantly impacts the bottom line.
This blog details the panel discussion on Grow sales by delighting customers with George Grigoryan – Marketing Director, SEV, and Vandana Agarwal, VP of Pre and Post-Sales, Birdeye and Justin Meredith.
Key Takeaways of the “Grow sales by delighting customers” session:
- Customer delight means going above and beyond the customer expectations in your industry so that you can outshine your competitors.
- Good customer experience or delight has significantly evolved to finding value across every touchpoint.
- Focusing on customer delight turns customers into brand advocates, improves brand awareness and increases word-of-mouth recommendations.
- Delivering a consistent experience across locations is challenging and needs quality-check processes, staff training, and a customer-centric culture.
- The advent of AI can help businesses route tasks like responding to reviews, social media post generation, and survey responses to AI.
- Businesses should leverage AI and utilize their human agents to personalize customer interactions and provide a personal touch to all customer interactions.
Watch this exciting conversation here to learn more about customer delight:
Grow Sales by delighting customers – Session Transcript:
Justin Meredith (Birdeye): Good morning, Good afternoon, and Good evening everyone.
We are so happy to have you join us for today’s session, “How to grow sales by delighting customers.” My name is Justin Meredith, and I’ll be your moderator. In this session, we will talk about a few things you can do to delight your customers, and by simply doing that, you can generate more revenue for your business.
Let me introduce today’s guest speakers. We have Vandana Agarwal – the vice president at Birdeye, for pre and post-sales functions. Also, we have George Grigoriyan – the marketing director of SEV, a leading Med Spa with over 30 locations across the United States. Welcome.
Justin: I’m super happy that you’re here too because we are going to be diving into a fantastic topic, and I think it will resonate with many of the people tuning in right now. And we will uncover the secret to sales growth by simply delighting your customers. But before we jump into that, can you tell us more about what you and your team do at SEV?
“Customer delight helps business growth. Delighted customers become brand advocates. They happily share your business with friends, write reviews and testimonials.”George Grigoryan
George: Of course. SEV is a multi-location med spa combining Boutique experience with affordable pricing. We offer laser hair removal injectables, microneedling, and other comprehensive skin care treatments with nearly 30 locations throughout the United States. We’ve become a household name in the massage industry.
Justin: So we are here to discuss how to delight your customers. While it seems simple, there is much more to it than it may seem. George, what does it mean to Delight your customers?
George: We’ve always heard that businesses should strive to meet client expectations, but given today’s landscape, I believe businesses shouldn’t just meet the expectations. They should strive to exceed expectations and go above and beyond because if competitors meet their expectations, what’s the value your business adds?
Justin: Vandana, you have an incredible experience in customer success, and that is just ensuring that your customers are delighted. But what does that mean to you, and how does that apply to some of the other people who are tuning in from different Industries? What does it mean to delight your customers?
Vandana: The definition of delighting customers has changed a lot. It’s not just about providing a great experience or doing a great job during that one appointment. You have to ensure
- you are giving them easy ways of finding you when they’re running a search.
- You’re available on all the social or communication channels they want to contact you on.
- You’re making it super convenient for them to book an appointment with you or make a payment to you.
Every touchpoint needs to have value additions done to delight customers these days.
Justin: So, how can you focus on providing exceptional customer experience as a business?
George: Honestly, the answer is probably everything. You have to hit all the variables across. But if we had to summarize them, the few central areas would be service, pricing, and people.
Service has to be exceptional; you have to promise and cater to every client’s needs. I would also say pricing is critical. It is straightforward to say that we’re the best and charge the most expensive price. But it’s much harder to be the best and charge an affordable price.
I believe that nowadays, it is essential to personalize customer experience. Last but not least, I would say people. Being in the med spa industry, our nurses and receptionists are our most significant assets. They’re the ones facing the clients, and they’re the ones delighting the customers at the end of the day.
Justin: Interesting. Now, outside of just having happy customers, what would you say are some of the benefits that you’ve seen that result from delighting your customers?
George: If I were to say one word, I would say growth. We wouldn’t be where we are if it weren’t for our customers. Let’s look at it this way- delighted customers become your brand Advocates. They will happily share your business with friends and write reviews and testimonials. Then word of mouth takes, more clients come, and you start getting better rankings on search engines, and the whole growth cycle just develops.
“AI can help businesses save a lot of time or resources, do a quality job, and delight customers. Recurring tasks can go to AI, while businesses focus on building a human touch in interactions.”Vandana Agarwal
Justin: Now, Vandana, you have worked with all types of businesses, especially at Birdeye. In your experience, what have you seen as the benefit for businesses that can delight their customers?
Vandana: Yeah, it creates a lot of positive noise on social media and other channels. When you spend time delighting customers, they become your brand ambassadors and write great feedback online; they follow your social media, boosting your business.
Also, it’s important to note that not all delighted customers proactively do this. It works well when businesses remind them that they have just had a good experience and make it easy for customers to write a review or leave a comment. So it’s a combination of delighting, making it easy for them, and reminding them to spread that word online.
Justin: That’s a great point, and the word that you said was easy. I think that’s something that can be a game changer for many businesses when you can just make it easy for your customers.
If exceeding high customer expectations and truly delighting customers was easy, we would have many happier customers. But it is not so easy. George, what pain points in that customer-to-business relationship can lower customer satisfaction levels? Please share anything you know in your experience at SEV that you had to overcome to deliver customer delight.
George: When it’s just a business with two or three locations, and especially all three locations are in the same city, it’s a little easier to manage and provide the same quality of service. There are the exact expectations from the customers, and the owners can easily visit and just check on their staff. But growing, scaling, and making sure you still don’t compromise on that quality and personal touch are some of the main challenges when they scale.
“I love BirdAI. We use it to generate more (review) response options.”George Grigoryan
So, making sure you have the systems in place with the staff training and quality expectations across is important. Businesses must make sure that across the board, wherever the client visits, they get the best experience.
Justin: So, looking ahead, I think everybody here knows about this boom of AI that we’re in. I think it was late November when chat GPT was released, and since then, it seems like the entire world has gone full AI. That’s not just on the business side but also on the consumer side, which can affect some of their expectations.
So, George, what is your prediction for the future as technology evolves? Will customer expectations continue to evolve?
George: I mean, it’s a very fascinating landscape, and it’s only going to keep growing and developing. The future can be so easy that you can get a website done with a click of a button.
I believe that the human aspect, which is the personal touch, would only become more valuable. If calling or texting becomes the norm, having a human answer will be much more valuable.
So, I think businesses would highlight real operators- real humans will become an asset to a brand.
Justin: I think that makes total sense, and businesses could promote having real humans that will talk to customers and make it almost a marketing campaign. Vandana, from your perspective, because you work here at Birdeye, we are a technology company looking forward and progressing. We’re leaders in the pack, especially regarding automation things like AI. What is your prediction for the future as technology and customer expectations evolve?
Vandana: I think AI can help businesses save a lot of time or resources, do a quality job, and delight customers. All recurring things can be done through AI. For example, AI can help write a response to a review and quickly create a social media post. Businesses can instead spend time building the human touch and resource management as an asset while offloading as much as possible to AI.
Justin: Yes, you can use AI and automation to take away a lot of the tedious manual work, and you can use that human capital to focus on the essential things. This can be being able to talk to a customer face to face or handle a more negative review that might require a more nuanced approach from an actual person instead of an automated review response.
But, if you had to respond to hundreds of reviews, it would be much harder to get to those negative ones. Whereas, if you can use automation to help, you could get through many of them. That’ll give you more time to spend on the more significant issues AND give that human touch.
Now, George, in that aspect, is SEV implementing any AI capabilities at the moment?
George: We’re using chat GPT at this point. We’re also using Birdeye’s new product – BirdAI. By the way, I love the product. We use it to generate more response options. I think having options is so good. Words significantly impact people, so having different variations of the same sentence so you can pick and choose helps.
Justin: Yeah, I was a social media manager in a past life. And trying to think of multiple ways to say the same thing repeatedly is exhausting. I would have loved to have something like BirdAI to write all the captions or to come up with different options I could choose from or play around with. Vandana, would you be able to tell us a little bit more about BirdAI? I know we’ve got some pretty cool capabilities that we just released.
Vandana: Thank you, George, for experimenting with all the new features. Just so that everybody knows, we recently launched a review response AI. Over 70 percent of the responses done manually through Birdeye are all AI-generated, which is a big win. We are also adding a lot to our AI features. As of last week, we have launched listings description – you can write SEO-friendly descriptions, and Birdeye Social can save time posting on social media using our AI.
We have also launched automated web chats. You can draft a quick response when a question comes in on your web chat, or if a question comes in through social media, you can respond to a message using our AI.
You can also draft your survey, respond to survey responses, etc. This is a game changer because you’re saving so much time and can improve your response quality without hiring additional staff.
Justin: Incredible. Also, some extraordinary capabilities are coming out. For example, our social tool has a large language model integrated from where you want to create the post. Not just that, it can also do something similar for images that you need for the post.
I think just having it on that same platform where you can apply it to your social media, not just for one location but for any location you want, is awesome.
Before we wrap, I just wanted to ask what strategies businesses could implement to improve customer experience.
George: Let’s look at it this way – the service or product offering has to be outstanding; it has to cater to what it promises to; otherwise, growth or delight becomes challenging. So, investing in
the service and product and ensuring that it satisfies and goes above and beyond the customer expectations will be number one.
Also, I would say people are your biggest asset for service businesses in the Med Spa, health & healthcare industry. They’re the ones who are facing the customers, and they’re the ones who are delighting the customer. So, the more you invest in training them and keeping their motivation high, the better customer satisfaction across the board will be.
Then, stay current so you know everything we learned last year. We can kind of forget because they say now we have AI. Things are getting exciting differently, so staying current, staying and following trends, or even setting trends is essential.
Justin: Vandana, do you have any advice? From your experience working with so many different industries and businesses, how can they prioritize delighting their customers and establishing that culture, creating different processes to manage it better?
Vandana: I think you should focus on the customer journey. Then, trying to have enough tools to communicate with each other and be automated rather than the business spending time is the key.
For example, several clients hardly got two or three reviews a month on Google. By automating their review generation process through Birdeye, they get hundreds or thousands of reviews monthly. Also, companies like SEV, spending a lot of time improving customer satisfaction, use our reporting tools to know which locations are doing great.
You can also automate client communication. If your website visitors are reaching out to you, give them the ability to text you later. Understanding the customer journey and implementing automation with the right tools is the key so humans can spend time with customers.
Justin: You said something exciting at the beginning: just knowing your customer Journey. George, last week, you mentioned Aroma marketing. You know you don’t think about that unless you understand your customer Journey. So, you walk into a facility or a business location, and you’re considering what am I, as a customer, feeling, smelling, hearing, and seeing. You need to understand from that level.
Also, on the online side, consider how hard it is to set an appointment, communicate, or ensure that my services are met. It’s essential to understand all that stuff when trying to create an exceptional customer experience.
Birdeye’s user conference – Birdeye View 2023, aims to help businesses understand customers and leverage the right tools to improve customer experience and sales. For more valuable conversations surrounding local businesses and technologies that can help them grow, tune into Birdeye View now.