It seems like every time we turn around, there is another story hitting social media about a poor customer service experience. Companies scramble to mitigate the damage, but the aftermath of damaging stories – especially if they go viral – can often leave a lasting effect.
In fact, 95 percent of people who have a poor customer experience share with others, while only 46 percent of those with positive experiences share. If those statistics aren’t alarming enough, we also know that companies that invest in service outperform their competitors more than 2:1 in earnings.
Focusing on customer service
Organizations across the globe are sitting up and taking notice of these numbers and have decided to pay closer attention to how loyal customers pay dividends in spades. Investing time and money in a well thought-out customer experience strategy is necessary if you want to be considered a player that is here to stay.
What we do know is that customer engagement leads to loyalty, and loyalty leads to positive word-of-mouth and increased share of wallet: win-win.
Creating loyal customers is simple, but executing these components can sometimes prove challenging.
Here are four ways to generate customer engagement and loyalty:
Your customers are busy and are not looking for something else to complicate their lives. Always look at how a customer interacts with you, and make it easy for them to do business with you at every touch point.
Technology is ever-evolving, and so, it seems, are the various ways consumers can use it to engage with businesses. An important note: don’t offer the latest and greatest technology just to offer it. Ensure that the interaction is seamless and relevant to your customers.
3. Response and knowledge
When customers reach out, they want a quick response and their question answered. Seems simple, but if it were so simple, wouldn’t everyone be good at it?
Make sure you are always looking at things from the customer’s perspective. Successful companies ensure that their customer service teams have the tools and knowledge they need to provide the correct answer or resolution quickly, regardless of the communication channel.
Also, dig down to determine why your customers do business with you. What problem are you solving for them? Knowing this will enable service teams to have the right solutions available at the right time.
4. Service recovery
Don’t give a customer or client a reason to contact you with a complaint, but when they do, recover well. While businesses never like to be on the receiving end of an upset customer, it does happen. It is imperative that great service recovery, which begins with empowered employees, is taken seriously. Your angry customers can quickly turn into zealot advocates if you respond authentically, demonstrate that their concerns are taken seriously, and that their time and money are not taken for granted.
While planning and implementing a customer engagement and loyalty strategy do not need to be too complicated or difficult, they do need to be a priority and to be worked at consistently. Like any other relationship in our life, if you let issues fester for too long, the relationship will eventually fade or perish.