4 creative strategies to delight your customers

Airtable, Pagely, ShareThis, and Open Listings share their unique tactics for bringing the “delight” factor to their customer experience strategies. Spoiler alert: It’s all about keeping it personal.

From the skeptical prospect who’s new to your brand, to the long-time advocate who sings your praises from the mountaintops, every part of the customer journey requires careful attention.

We’re always brainstorming new ways to delight our customers here at Front, so we asked a few gurus to share their strategies for success amidst the abyss of automation we live in today. Here’s a look into the customer experience strategies of leaders from Airtable, Pagely, ShareThis, and Open Listings.

Airtable

Airtable is bringing the power of a database into their simple spreadsheet software, enabling anyone to build the tools they need to organize anything — from cattle tracking, to filmmaking. More than 30,000 companies like Tesla, Target, Shopify, and more use Airtable to power and organize their workflows.

Here’s how Airtable’s Director of Partnerships David Peterson thinks about providing a positive experience across their broad customer base.

“At Airtable, we provide a horizontal product that can be used for anything from UX research and video production, to construction site management and cattle ranching. When there are so many possibilities for how our product can be used, it can be challenging to ensure that every user gets the guidance they need to build the tool that's right for their team.

Our greatest asset in providing a meaningful, personalized customer experience is our large collection of templates—hundreds of pre-built databases (or “bases,” as we call them) that we've put together to serve as good starting points for users across many different industries.

With just a few clicks, you can set up an editorial content calendar, build a sales CRM, manage recruiting, or run your event marketing. The majority of these templates were created after talking with our users about the specific needs of their industries and the solutions they've built to tackle their teams' unique problems. As a rule of thumb, whenever we encounter a new use case, we make sure to put together a relevant template.

Airtable Universe, a platform where Airtable users can open-source their bases Airtable Universe, a platform where Airtable users can open-source their bases

We also actively encourage our users to publish their bases on Airtable Universe, a platform where any Airtable user can open-source their bases. Anyone can make their own copy of a base that's posted on Airtable Universe, so if you're interested in how Insomniac Events uses Airtable to manage recruitment and staffing for its music festivals, or how WeWork's UX team uses Airtable for its user research, you can make your own copies of their real Airtable bases to see for yourself.

We learn so much from our users and, in a way, you could say that we rely on the creativity of our existing users to ensure that new users get a meaningful and relevant customer experience.”

"We learn so much from our users and, in a way, you could say that we rely on the creativity of our existing users to ensure that new users get a meaningful and relevant customer experience.” - Airtable, David Peterson, Director of Partnerships

Pagely

Pagely offers flexible enterprise-grade WordPress hosting and support for all sorts of brands — from the largest tech companies, to universities, creative agencies, governments, magazines, ski resorts, and more. They deliver an experience tailored to the individual customer by being highly selective with automation of external communication and allowing customers to reach them through multiple channels.

Pagely's Director of Customer Success Kristopher LaGraff approaches customer experience with a tier-less support system that allows them to act as an extension of their customers’ teams.

“We view ourselves as an extension of the client's team, rather than a help desk. Our goal is to educate and empower the client by providing personal, hands-on assistance. By utilizing a tier-less support system, we can provide expert knowledge efficiently with little to no escalation delays.

"By utilizing a tier-less support system, we can provide expert knowledge efficiently with little to no escalation delays." - Kristopher LaGraff, Director of Customer Success, Pagely

Our core value is basing our success on the customers’ success — we're all on the same team. We believe in building trust through human interaction, rather than canned automated responses. Each support case is unique and should be addressed accordingly, which automation fails to achieve.”

Every support agent at Pagely is an engineer who can solve customers’ issues the first time, without needing to escalate complex issues to technical support agents. They aim for every problem to be solved by the same agent — so their customer experience is seamless with no transfer from one agent to another.

They’re available through multiple channels to field support questions, because they know their customers can have urgent website questions at any time of day or night. Customers can reach them through a support email alias, live chat, Twitter, phone, or their private Slack channel.

👉 Check out how you can manage multiple support channels easily in one inbox with Front.

ShareThis

ShareThis provides consumer engagement and social sharing tools that are used by three million publishers to drive engagement, traffic, and personalization. Millions of publishers including USA Today, Ellen Degeneres, and the Dallas Cowboys use ShareThis to grow their audiences.

Here’s how Chief Happiness Officer Brandon Sun manages customer experience at ShareThis by tracking support tickets, pinpointing customer pain points, and sending them tailored content.

“Our main goal for customer happiness is making sure that we are engaged with our users whenever they reach out for support and to provide up-to-date content that helps to answer common questions we've received.

In a world where AI Chat bots are slowly taking over, we’re hoping to provide a tailored support experience for everyone who reaches out to us. In order to do this, we’ve set up a variety of triggers which allow us to send crafted personal messages to our users as they wait to receive help. Within these emails are alternative ways they can find additional support through articles we've created beforehand. I believe that frequent, automated confirmations to our customers are a key part in feeling that your voice has been heard.

"We’ve set up a variety of triggers which allow us to send crafted personal messages to our users as they wait to receive help. Within these emails are alternative ways they can find additional support through articles we've created beforehand." - Brandon Sun, Chief Happiness Officer, ShareThis

Once we are able to get to the ticket, there are guidelines in place to help us better understand common tickets that we’ve solved in the past. If the question is a brand new one, we make sure to tag the ticket and figure out creative ways to either:

1) Alert our product team that there is an issue with one of our tools, or
2) Create content around the issue to better support future tickets

ShareThis’ resource center has been a pivotal part of their customer experience strategy ShareThis’ resource center has been a pivotal part of their customer experience strategy

We’ve found that the more support content we create, the less likely we’ll see this question asked again in the future. So we make sure to always tag our tickets and count the most commonly asked questions at the end of each month. If an issue occurred over five times within a month, we'll go back, audit the process and try to find better ways to deal with said issue.

👉 You can automate inbox tagging in Front. Check it out.

For common issues, we do use macros, but like to place unique indicators such as {make sure to use their name!}, to remind us to include a personal touch or using the user’s name in situations where we have to ask for more information.

Often times it can be easy to just attach a macro and send the email off but having an indicator makes us stop and think of a custom response; even though the bulk of the message is automated.

By adding just a tad bit of uniqueness to each message, we’ve found that the overall response back to us has been a lot more positive. Just remember that when it comes to support, having someone you can put a face to, instead of an automated bot, is already reassuring!”

Open Listings

Open Listings is an all-in-one home buying service that makes buying a home more efficient and affordable. They’ve helped buyers purchase more than half a billion dollars worth of homes while saving them more than $5 million in agent fees. Unlike using a traditional real estate agent, buyers don't rely on a single agent for all parts of the home buying process. Instead, they spread the work across specialized teams. That way they can give better answers, complete offers faster, and eliminate busy work for agents.

Open Listings' Director of Growth Kevin Miller says their customer experience strategy is to constantly evolve — working continually to find new ways to surprise and delight their customers.

“At Open Listings, we have a surprise and delight mentality when it comes to customer happiness. For example, we try to go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to communicating with our customers. In fact, we recently extended our CS hours to 10PM PST so that we could differentiate ourselves by getting you answers to your home buying questions, even when you might expect no one to be online.

We use Front to manage our all customer-facing communications. Front lets us deliver a consistent experience, no matter where you are, or who you are. We treat every single customer with care as if they were a family member.

"No email is sent greeting you with, ‘Hi there.’ We are hypersensitive about making our customers understand that we have real people on the other end of our conversations, people who care and want to help them buy their home." - Kevin Miller, Director of Growth, Open Listings

Getting new teammates up to speed is a breeze with Front because everyone on our team can get a glimpse at each others’ messages. This helps them learn from each other. Canned responses and drafts let us see messages before they’re sent, so we have total quality control. With one platform, there are no missed opportunities, and no message falls through the cracks.

No email is sent greeting you with, ‘Hi there.’ We are hypersensitive about making our customers understand that we have real people on the other end of our conversations, people who care and want to help them buy their home.”

👉 Read more on how Open Listings scaled to serve 500,000 home buyers using Front

Delighting your customers starts with personalizing every interaction. Learn more ways to delight your customers in our customer service how-to kit, Giving exceptional customer service as a team.