This week we feature an article by Ashwini Dave who writes about how important it is to show your customer’s appreciation in order to retain their loyalty.
Organizations are irrelevant without customers. They are the major reason why you are in business. Data from NewVoice Research revealed that 53% of customers switched brands because they felt unappreciated.
There’s the tendency to think that your product quality is your sustaining factor. Perhaps you offer a high-quality product or service, giving consumers the satisfaction they deserve. But a quick Google search of your niche-based businesses in your locality will give you several results on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). Chances are that some of these businesses offer the same quality you boast of, if not more.
With the right amount of work, strategic planning and dedication, any business can be good at what it does. But not all businesses can boast of loyal customers.
Customers deserve some appreciation every time they walk through your doors. 70% of a customer’s buying experiences are determined by how the customer feels they are being treated.
Remember the Customers’ Name
How do you feel when you walk into a store, and you are attended to with a certain familiarity? People have needs. They are inevitably going to seek ways to have their needs met. But they’d rather do that in places where they feel appreciated.
An average business deals with several people on a daily basis. With so much on your plate, remembering the name of every customer might seem like a tall order. But with some effort, it’s not impossible, especially with the use of digital technology. According to a Connected Shopper Report, only 37% of customers feel that businesses know them. There’s a void to be filled in the remaining 63%.
Remembering customers show that you value them. Simply mentioning a customer’s name while communicating with them breaks the ice. Statista reports that emails personally addressed to customers had an 18.8% open rate in comparison to the 13.1% that were generalized.
Recounting his experience of being remembered in a restaurant, Shep Hyken outlines the benefits of remembering customers name: it makes them feel special, personalizes the experience, creates a connection and increases chances of a return visit.
Solve Their Problems
Customers are bound to encounter problems while doing business with you. The existence of a problem isn’t a problem itself; how you handle it is what matters.
A Customer Experience Impact Report found that 86% of customers were willing to pay up to 25% to be served better. Don’t just offer basic support, go the extra mile. Offering half-baked solutions to customer problems is a far cry from the excellent service they desire. Adopt a proactive approach, don’t just talk the talk, do the work.
Solving customer problems entails the following:
- Understanding the situation
- Identifying the clog from your end
- Assuring the customer
- Finding a solution
Finding a solution may require an innovative approach especially in complex situations. Telling the customer what to do may not be adequate. Sometimes, you need to roll up your sleeves and do it for them.
Directing a non-tech savvy customer to resolve technical issues on their end is unrealistic. You can make it easier for them by using engagement tools like co-browsing. Basically, you and the customer get to share the same screen. You are able to access the webpage where the problem lies, and solve it. This single act thanks to the customers in a thousand ways for their patronage.
Offer Personalized Services
Every customer is unique. And this uniqueness shows in their individual preferences. Having patronized you for some time, thrive to make customers feel at home by giving them what they need without waiting on them to say it.
A State of Personalization Report found that only 22% of customers were satisfied with the personalization they were offered. Personalization is offered on the premise of available data. This raises privacy concerns among stakeholders. Are customers willing to share their personal data in order to receive personalized services? According to a Salesforce Study, the answer is yes. 57% of customers are willing to share their personal data to get personalized offers.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) helps businesses to strengthen relationships with customers. They get to keep track of customers’ activities and use the information to provide services that are tailor-made for them. Gartner predicts that, by 2021, CRM will be the largest enterprise software in spending revenue.
According to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), there’s a prohibition against processing personal data “unless it is expressly allowed by law, or the data subject has consented to the processing.” By getting the consent of customers on your site, you’ll have no problem collecting their data.
Constantly Improve Your System
According to Gartner, customer experience is the new battlefield as 89% of businesses reveal that they compete on the basis of customer experience.
There’s always room for improvement if you are committed to offering the best.
Businesses miss the mark when they get complacent with their service delivery because they have many customers. You need to recognize that customers are all about having their needs met in the best way possible. The day they come across a business in your niche that offers better service, it’s only a matter of time before the switch.
An ROI of Customer Experience Report showed that 77% of customers recommended the business to their contacts following good customer service. Improving your customer service begins with your support team. Ensure that their skills are apt and updated. The incompetence of a single agent can cause your business a great loss.
Run customer feedback survey occasionally to measure your service performance. You might be doing the wrong thing the entire time without realizing it.
Troubleshoot your customer service process, identify loopholes and fix them via business process improvement.
Action speaks louder than words. A simple “thank you” makes customers’ efforts worth it. Harvard Business Review (HBR) found that acquiring new customers to your business was between 5 – 25 times more expensive than retaining existing ones. Saying thank you to customers with actions don’t only win their loyalty but also helps you save some money.
Ashwini Dave is a Digital Marketing Executive at Acquire.io, a customer communications platform.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: Can Amazon Be Disrupted