It is true that it’s better to invest on customer loyalty than to acquire new customers. Experts say that loyal customers spend more, advertise your product or service for free and amp up your brand. The challenge, though, is turning new customers to repeat customers and customer service plays a big role in this transformation.
A recent survey shows that 71% of customers who did not go back to a business they originally catered to did so because of a poor customer service experience. Those severed relationships totaled $83 billion in the United States alone or $289 per customer in annual sales.
So how do you boost customer loyalty? We have come up with five ways listed below.
1. Make that (personal) connection.
Research shows that consumers are begging for a conversation with a real person more than ever. It is ironic that consumers seek human interaction as part of their shopping experience. While automated phone systems save money, remember that callbacks from a well-trained customer service representative earn loyalty. Use the contact data you have of your customers to reach out to them with special offers and new products and services, or to just send them a birthday card. Use any excuse to keep your company in their minds. We are not discounting the connections made in social media but sometimes, all it takes is a personal touch and you’ve got a customer for life.
2. Begin and end strong.
Studies reveal that customers remember the first and last moments of their interaction with you more. Educate and train your employees about this. Friendly and upbeat employees get the same hourly rate as grumpy ones so they have a choice to be let go or step up. Hello and Goodbye are important words.
3. Deliver more than what is expected.
Customer loyalty wanes when good customer service is lacking. Customer issues should be attended to promptly, courteously and efficiently. We know that not all products and services meet expectations perfectly all the time. There are bound to be problems. How you handle these kinds of issues will make or break customer loyalty. Strive hard to deliver more than what is expected. They will remember this and will feel like their purchases are safe with you next time. You will earn their trust.
Customers will remember this, but they will remember bad service even more. So make sure to do this consistently.
4. Reward loyalty.
Gabriel Bristol, president and CEO of Intelicare Direct, a customer service solutions company, said that providing good customer service isn’t always enough to keep consumers coming back. Businesses should let their customers feel they are special and wanted. A simple gesture of appreciation like a free product or special discount has great impact. You’ll be surprised at the loyalty this will generate.
5. A simple thank you goes a long way.
Your customers chose you. Businesses always have competition in the market so the fact that your customers chose to do business with you earns them your gratitude. Thank them every time for choosing you, and let them know in words and deeds how important your business is to them, regardless of how big or small their purchases are.