There’s no doubt about the importance of customer loyalty in the time of switching service companies. ICMI recently wrote an article on ways to increase customer loyalty in the summary below:
Customers get terrific service in waves during their life and use those experiences to judge everyone else’s. Customers also have more choices than ever before and therefore are forced to use their service experience as a key gauge of product and service excellence. Social media has made every person into a “Consumers Report.” Figuring out how to retain customers today is no simple task.
Here Are 5 Key Loyalty Drivers:
Customers want a demonstration that you know and understand them. Contact centers win when the screen is instantly populated with all you know about the customer, including personal information picked up from the last contact. It means if a customer is transferred all that data goes with them making it unnecessary for the customer to repeat anything.
Customers’ loyalty soars when they discover they can be active participants in the service experience. It involves giving customers choices. Why can’t customers select what they want to hear if a wait on the phone is required? When Myers Park Hardware store in Charlotte was overwhelmed with customers seeking supplies after Hurricane Hugo, the store turned to loyal customers to run cash registers and help load items in customer’s vehicles. Customers will care when given a chance to share.
A large customer contact center elected to alter their closing question: “Is there anything else I can help you with?” They realized as a closed question it subtly signaled to customer that the conversation was essentially over since it was lengthening call handle time. They changed the closing question to: “What can I help you learn more about today?” CSAT scores soared, as did first contact resolution scores. Customers value organizations that help them grow. Make every contact center rep a mentor to customers.
A value proposition includes the product (or outcome for non-object selling companies), the price, and the experience involved in getting the product or outcome. These “givens” like the air we breathe—taken for granted unless removed. Customers are loyal to organizations that make sure the basics are always perfect. And, today effortless is one of those basics. Customers are today far less tolerant of wait time, processes that only benefit the organization, and broken promises. Take an empathy walk through your customer’s experience and notice all the places on their journey where effort can be eliminated or minimized.
Features have become far more titillating than function; extras more valued than the core offering. It means attracting customer loyalty today requires viewing customer service as an attraction. Think of the service experience like Cracker Jacks. What can be your “free prize inside?” Look for simple ways to treat customers like today is their birthday!
Loyal customers act as a volunteer sales force; championing you to others at home, work, in social circles – and even around the globe via recommendations on social media. The formula for creating and sustaining customer loyalty comes through understanding, inclusion, learning, trust, and joy. Put these five features in your customers’ experiences and watch their admiration soar right along with your bottom line!
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