When people call certain service companies -- realtors, pest control, movers and the like -- they are essentially dialing 911. That's because they’re likely facing a crisis that involves one of life’s biggest stressors, ranging from birth and death, to marriage and divorce, to a new house or job or no house or job.
A recent study on easing anxiety for stressed-out customers looked at “high-emotion services” (the purchase of a new home or car, computer repair or airline travel, for example) that elicit intense feelings even before the product is purchased or the service begins. The problem the researchers found? These types of companies often fail to sufficiently address emotional triggers in their business models.
Certain product and service providers, it seems, make enduring impressions on distressed customers. If you're such a provider and you can’t adequately respond to those buyers' concerns and feelings, your customers will remember (and share) that your service left them feeling overwhelmed, helpless, neglected or, even worse, frightened. Those notions don’t exactly add up to top customer satisfaction scores.
So, what can you do?
Rescuing customers from themselves
As co-founder and CEO of College Hunks Hauling Junk, I've learned that our role in customers’ dramas defines our mission: to rescue these clients from stress. If our team can’t deliver on that promise, our clients will suffer.
So, the question becomes: How can an entrepreneur address a customer’s emotional and logistical needs simultaneously?
My team and I are all doers, but we have had to take a step back and assess our entire process to figure out how to fulfill our mission of making moving easier for everyone involved. Through our experiences with stressed-out clients, we've learned to leverage technology, psychology and ourselves to move them emotionally -- not just physically.
Here are four strategies that every entrepreneur can put to good use: