In a world where the competition is only a stone’s throw away, customer service really is the new marketing. Today, customers have access to an endless amount of information about your business, and research shows that they’re ready and willing to switch to your competitors at any moment if you don’t have fantastic customer service. So, how do you do customer service the right way, in order for your customers become or remain loyal? It all starts with a customer service strategy with the following steps incorporated:
10 Easy Steps to Improve Customer Loyalty Through Customer Service
Customers want to be communicated with. If a customer has interacted with you in the past, ask for his/her feedback. You can reach out to customers even if they have not communicated with you directly. Send them coupons, alert them about new products, and see what they think of your company in general. When people think they are being listened too, they are much more likely to return and become loyal customers.
Of the customer service strategies, this is probably the easiest, but often forgotten. A big turn-off to customers is bad customer service. Make sure that there’s a clear and accessible way for customers to communicate with you, whether it’s in person, by phone, or by email, and that you have someone assigned to customer service on an ongoing basis. Using Woveon, it is quick and easy to look up conversation history and past problems as well as assign a team member to a specific conversation. Remember to maintain an upbeat and positive attitude toward your customers; the reputation of your business is at stake.
3. Keep Your Employees Happy
Staff retention is crucial to your company for improving customer service excellence. You might think this is odd considering this is meant to be around customers, but research shows clearly that staff stay when they are happy and respect the company in which they work. Their happiness translates into excellent work when dealing with important customers.
We’ve come up with a Customer Service Goal template to help you translate your business goals into customer service goals. This should help you realign your team’s focus so they understand why customer service is important and how customer service should be delivered.
In the realm of customer service, the importance of product knowledge cannot be understated. Unless there is a complete and all-around understanding of the products and/or services offered, it will be unlikely that you will be able to veer your customer’s decision towards buying or even considering your offerings. Product knowledge will make your customer service team sound confident, competent and efficient. Their conviction in the company’s offering will be reflected when they interact with the customer, leading to higher possibility of a sale and customer satisfaction.
Becoming your customer’s trusted advisor will build customer loyalty and reduce customer churn. If you were an IT Company, you should aspire to be the technology guru. Then your responsibilities will transcend the bare minimum your contract entails. If a customer wants advice on the most suitable mobile phone, you better be ready to assist that customer in choosing a device.
Remember that each customer is an individual with unique circumstances and needs. Do everything within reason to solve customer problems or complaints. Don’t assume you understand the situation before you have heard the customer out and made an effort to see things from their perspective. If you demonstrate that you’re listening, you have a better chance of retaining their business, even if you can’t fully solve the problem. Responses such as “That’s our policy” will ensure customers never come back.
According to serial entrepreneur David Skok, sales is often more effective when you have an existing relationship with a customer, and when you’ve already provided value. This matches up with research from TARP Worldwide, which shows customers do enjoy receiving helpful recommendations on new information and products that will help them achieve better results.
Companies such as Coca-Cola and Lockheed Martin have spent thousands of dollars giving their customers VR experiences. These education programs inspire and educate their customers on much more than just the products they sell. Companies that care about their customers should be willing to spend on more than just the products they offer.
7. Implement Anticipatory Service
Anticipatory service is a proactive approach to customer service. Instead of waiting for problems to occur, a company that implements anticipatory service can eliminate problems before they happen. This can include an email notice about a payment before it is due, or an airline sending an alert that the plane is likely going to be delayed a few hours before. If people know about the problems they might run into, they will not be as surprised and will instead be more understanding. In your customer service strategy, consider having a customer service charter. It will let customers know what level of service your customers they can expect whilst also making clear the level of service employees should be providing.
When it comes to highly-rated customer service, data show that quality and completeness matter more than speed. According to research from the Gallup Group, customers were nine times more likely to be engaged with a brand when they evaluated the service as “courteous, willing, and helpful,” versus the “speedy” evaluation, which only made customers six times more likely to be satisfied. It’s important to note this in your customer service strategy. Many companies stick to metrics like ‘first response time’ or ‘problem resolution time’, when the satisfaction of the customer should also be a factor to be considered.
9. Be Personal
This is a super simple part of a customer service strategy, but is so often looked over. Make sure that you and your employees get to know the names of regular customers. This kind of treatment makes people feel important and respected and is one of the reasons they’ll return to your business. Once again, with Woveon’s conversation history, it is easy to look up past conversations to understand past problems and other information they may have shared with you.
A successful marketing strategy will bring customers through the door, but only a successful customer loyalty and retention plan will keep them coming back for more. Never take customer loyalty for granted. Remember keeping customers is 6times cheaper than gaining new ones, so keep your existing customers happy!
It’s tempting to concentrate on making new sales or pursuing bigger accounts. But attention to your existing customers, no matter how small they are, is essential to keeping your business thriving. Focusing on customer service to improve your customer loyalty is a great place to start!
Which of these are in your customer service strategy? Share with us below!