03 Oct Customers: Love Them or Lose Them
They are the heartbeat of all business. After all, businesses without customers don’t stay in business.
They are the gas to the engine. The sunshine to the garden.
It is vital to keep and grow your customer base. That means providing an exceptional experience with customer service. Product is not enough no matter how great. Customers: love them or lose them.
Happy customers are the best advertisement. When a customer is so pleased with a company they announce it to them or, better yet, to the world it is the best marketing a company could ask for.
Happy customers are more likely to be loyal customers. From Joey Coleman’s 2018 book Never Lose a Customer Again: Turn Any Sale into Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days:
“The lifetime value of a loyal customer can be greater than ten times the value of the first purchase.”
On top of that, Coleman states that sales to an existing customer have a 60-70% chance of success compared to a 5-20% chance of selling to a new customer.
Keeping customers happy keeps businesses happy.
The Next Level
Good isn’t enough. How can you give your customer a stellar experience?
Anticipate Customer Needs
Instead of fixing their problems after they happen, anticipate needs and prevent problems from happening at all. This requires obtaining data, parsing that data and acting upon the findings effectively.
Loyalty Has Value – Reward that Value
Make sure your loyal customers know that you appreciate their continued business. This could be via a coupon code, birthday freebie, points, a personal thank you or something more creative. When AT&T’s Facebook page hit 2M followers they engaged in a wildly unique ‘Thank You Notes’ appreciation campaign .
They hired a band and had the band ask the AT&T customer base to request songs by giving their name, location, picking a genre and what makes them ‘awesome’. The band then spent 2 days writing customized appreciation songs for those customers. Beat that! (Pun intended)
“Companies that use their loyalty programs to appeal to their highly satisfied customers will strengthen their relationships with this group and drive profitable growth.”
Let Your Customer be Heard and Feel Heard
Listening is just step one. Take customer input and act on it.
From the National Customer Service week blog post “3 Ways to Ensure Your Customer is Heard” by Stephen Shander, CCO North America SAP:
“Empathy and knowledge are the surest way to provide your customer value—the only sure way to win in business. Doing this requires the ability to not just listen, but to actually hear what your customer is saying and to act on that.”
Listening and rewarding have short term meaning if the customer forgets the brand that gave them the birthday gift. There is a lot of noise out there. Innumerable companies are vying for attention of current and potential customers.
Per this Forbes article by Larry Myler:
“According to a Bain & Company study, 60-80% of customers who describe themselves as satisfied do not go back to do more business with the company that initially satisfied them. How can that be? Often it’s due to a lack of connection.”
Personal, genuine contact can raise a company above the noise. With so many methods of communication companies have direct access to customers. In Myler’s article, he describes text messages as a powerful way to do this and makes the point that text messages don’t have a spam folder: “96% of all text messages worldwide are opened and read within two minutes.”
A personal note of appreciation could keep that memory of the free birthday gift, and the company that gave it, alive.
Are your customers happy? Do you know what would take their experience to the next level? Do you have the tools in place to help you identify that?
Excellent customer service starts with successfully answered customer inquiries. CSAT.AI provides real time analysis of customer service interactions giving representatives opportunities to improve customer experiences as they happen.