We all know luxury businesses sell exclusive products, but what about their customer experience (CX)? Is it vastly different from the service other retailers and brands provide, or is it just the products that keep it afloat? We love to talk about personalisation in CX and how we can go the extra mile by adding little touches to our service. The question is what brands like Gucci and Jaguar do to provide a luxury customer service experience?
What is a luxury customer service experience?
Customer experience luxury brands provide shouldn’t just bring up visions of the fanciest hotels in Paris or the most exclusive bars in New York. In reality, these businesses only strive to show customers that they deserve the products and services they need.
When you think about it, a relationship between luxury brands and their customers is based on deep understanding and trust. Customers know their favourite brands are completely in control, and they appreciate the benefits that come from them.
Therefore, a luxury customer service experience is more than just a quality product or service with a high price tag. It’s the high-end customer service that makes brands luxurious, and small businesses can achieve the same with adequate strategies.
How to provide customer experience like luxury brands?
Think back to any time you had an experience with a luxury brand or business. Did employees behave differently compared to your usual shopping experiences? Most likely they did. Employees in most exclusive businesses invest all their efforts in customer satisfaction. They are completely focused on portraying trust and professionalism, and customers feel comfortable through the entire journey.
Now, how can small businesses incorporate luxury customer service experience with limited funds? My answer is – with a lot of work and exceptional attention to detail. Here are some of my recommendations:
Empowering employees with brand knowledge
A knowledgeable brand ambassador always impresses customers. Knowing every function, feature, colour, size, and usability option is a great way to wow people. When customers recognize a brand representative is not fully invested in the conversation or lacks information, they become disengaged immediately. Only friendly and knowledgeable employees earn the sympathy and trust of customers.
Therefore, you should help your CX operators to understand the product they are trying to sell, so they can advise customers while they’re making a purchase. For example, if a customer comes asking a question about a suit, your employee could enquire if they need any shirts or ties to go alongside. This is a great way to increase and extend engagement.
Investing in personalised customer service
Customers tend to offer businesses they buy from a wealth of information about themselves, and this data should be used purposefully. Finding out a customer’s birthday and then sending them a special discount on that day can certainly impress. If you want to take it above and beyond, you could enlist employees to monitor customers’ purchases. Then, you can treat the most frequent buyers to something of a similar ilk to products they previously ordered.
Thanks to technology, businesses can easily pinpoint trends in customer preferences. Today, you don’t have to worry about the resources needed to gather and track customer data. Smart solutions will collect and analyse the data. You only need to think about the unique ways to make your customers feel special.
Putting empathy at the centre of your business
Considering the year behind us and the rapid implementation of technology, nurturing empathy in our lives might be more important than ever. Without a doubt, it can be hard to feel empathy when you’re constantly interacting with customers, but that’s why employees need more time.
Just like luxury brands, businesses should relieve the stress of unnecessary daily tasks from the shoulders of their teams. They should give employees the time to interact with customers and provide the service full of respect and understanding they deserve. With luxury brands, customers have grown to expect empathy at every step. Those who fail to provide consistent high-end customer service experience are automatically set for failure.
Keeping up with customer demand
No matter how much time and effort you invest in testing your products and services, your customers are those who have an outside point of view. They will spot problems you are not aware of and expect you to act immediately. For you to achieve a luxury customer service experience, you will even need to predict customer behaviour to prevent issues before happening.
Luckily, customer and behavioural data can help you with this. It will allow you to listen closely to your customers’ requests and even predict future actions. Now that people are torn between only digital services and in-store experiences, this proves to be of the essence. In the end, even the slightest changes in your business can make a difference between your customer coming back or never showing up again.
Successful luxury customer service experience examples
We could name countless brands that successfully offer luxury CX. However, it’s also important to see how less-known ones manage to do it. Nordstrom is the god of fantastic CX. When an employee joins the retailer, they are presented with a handbook full of tips like:
- Use the best judgement in all situations.
- Please, feel free to ask your department manager any question at any time.
- Set both your personal and professional goals high.
This outlook means Nordstrom employees offer all customers an incredible service. They even personally let customers know of any sales or special events coming up and send handwritten notes!
Nordstrom isn’t the only company that likes to use handwritten notes to keep in touch with its customers. Brooks Brothers, a lesser-known premium clothes retailer, ask all customers for their address after their purchase. This is so they can send a note from the salesperson they dealt with.
This is a true example of providing a little touch of luxury. Even if most of the customers who receive notes didn’t return to buy again, those who did are bound to remain customers for life.
Things are not so different in other industries. Amazon is the hard proof that a non-retail brand can deliver luxury. Through their excellent customer support, they respond and deliver super-fast, while also offering free returns.
What is your understanding of luxury customer service?
Raising CX to this level is achievable for all businesses, regardless of the industry. Sometimes all it takes is going the extra mile. By adjusting your products and services according to the needs and desires of your customers, you can greatly improve their views of you. The customers aren’t trying to trip you up at any chance possible. They only expect a seamless and comfortable experience. You only need to understand what a luxury customer service experience is for your customer base and act on it. After all, who doesn’t want to be the retailer with a luxury edge?