What does it take for a brand to connect with customers? Vulnerability, authenticity and innovation. In order to have a strong experience, customers need to feel connected to the brand and its employees. They want to feel like real individuals, not just numbers or dollar signs. This week brought stories of how companies can build connections with customers in a variety of ways that can all contribute to the customer experience.
Apple Will Award $1 Million To iPhone Hackers
Can you hack an iPhone? It could earn you $1 million. Apple announced the major award this week as the next level of its bug bounty program, which rewards people for finding security risks and loopholes in its products. Previously, the awards were only as much as $200,000. The million-dollar prize will go to anyone who can remotely get full control of an Apple device without the owner ever interacting with it. Hackers who find smaller security issues can earn rewards up to $500,000.
Apple isn’t the only company that crowdsources its security checks, but it does offer the biggest reward. In an age where customers are more concerned about their digital privacy than ever before, Apple is right to take every precaution necessary to ensure its devices are safe. Opening the door to any potential hacker shows its confidence in its products in an authentic and transparent way that can definitely resonate with customers.
Overstaffing Can Hurt Restaurant Customer Experience
More waitstaff may seem like a boost to customer experience, but a new article highlights a common problem in the restaurant and bar space: overstaffing can actually push employees to quit and hurt customer experience. Common practice in many bars and restaurants is for bartenders and staff to pool their tips and then split them according to how many hours each person worked. However, if a manager schedules more people than needed, the number of people in the tip pool grows, lowering the amount of tips each person takes home. Lower tips can add stress to waiters and make them less motivated to provide a great customer service. Like many industries, the schedule—and ultimately the customer experience—comes down to the manager.
Employees need to feel valued—both emotionally and monetarily—in order to provide a great customer experience. When restaurants and bars are overstaffed, it can lead to staff actually taking home less than minimum wage for working a grueling job. Managers need to value their employees and ensure they’re treated fairly so that they will pass that on to customers with great service.
Spirit Airlines Tries To Use AI To Boost Customer Satisfaction
Spirit Airlines is known for its ultra-low rates and its bare-bones amenities—and for often being at the bottom of customer service lists. It’s the fastest growing airline in the U.S., but it also often sits ranks low on airline satisfaction lists. Now, the company is looking to turn things around by adding a feature that allows customers to chat with the brand directly from a Google search. It cuts out additional steps and makes it easier than ever before for customers to get answers to their questions and problems. The chat will use a combination of AI chatbots and real humans, but so far Spirit reports that the majority of issues can be solved completely by AI.
Aviation is a competitive industry, and customer satisfaction plays a huge role in a company’s success. Leveraging AI and making it as simple as possible for customers to get answers could be the boost Spirit needs to build its customer experience. Customers crave convenient interactions, especially when problems can be solved quickly and on their schedules.
Involving customers, valuing employees and introducing new technology can all be ways to build connections with customers. Those lasting relationships can create loyal customers who enjoy their experience enough to come back again.