Customer service has become a dirty word. The horrors of waiting on the phone for hours during a lunch break only to be cut off when you finally get through; the pointless surveys that promise a £20 Amazon voucher that you never end up getting; or the profusely apologetic sales person who offers you credits to buy something on their website, when really all you want is your money back.

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that customer service needs to change across organisations big and small. So, I’d like to share something we’ve tried at Guild and in my opinion is pretty neat that you might like to try too.

A WhatsApp-style group chat with all of your customers

As a start-up, customer service lies at the heart of our company, or quite literally, lies in the palm of our hands. Post-launch we quickly set up a group called “Inside Guild”, a WhatsApp-style group for all of our account holders on Guild. Not only does this help us create a better a product for our community of users through chatty user feedback, it provides a space for us to share updates, app developments and give back to the community in a really simple, high-touch way.

Socialise your CRM

In addition to this, our customers get to know each other - this is where our customer feedback loop is slightly differentiated from others that exist. "It's like a CRM but social" says one of our clients, a space where users can share best practice, ask questions and maybe even do business with other members of the group -  why not?

The social part gives the feeling of 'we're in it together', any problems that arise can quickly be resolved amongst the group and actioned by us if necessary. The community aspect makes our customers feel part of something, a sense of belonging which helps with satisfaction and retention.

This concept might sound strange to others and having your customers around the same table might leave you feeling quite vulnerable or exposed. However, we have shown that by creating an environment that platforms your customers, giving them faces and names (through our professional profiles) allows you to build trustworthy, friendly relationships with your customers, creating a supportive community that helps you, which in turn helps them.

Staying close to your customers

Some companies might call this a customer advisory board or a user forum. At Guild we called it "Inside Guild", but the name is irrelevant really, as it is about providing the best service possible to your clients and as a result providing your organisation with invaluable knowledge and insight to help you deliver better services and products over time. Since our launch of the group we have managed to:

  • Prioritise the features on our product roadmap with feedback from our community
  • Learn about best practice and tips on how to build communities in different industries and with different groups of people
  • Develop more intimate relationships with our customers
  • Increase the level of engagement with our customers

We have developed a pretty ingenious feedback loop like no other, so effective that we are now approaching other companies to do same. We are working with a number of companies that struggle with retention and customer service. We are on a mission to help you develop better relationships with your clients by making friends with them.

Want to try? Drop me an email [email protected] and we can have a chat.