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2 Simple Steps to Improved Customer Loyalty Erica Bell

customerloyalty 2 Simple Steps to Improved Customer LoyaltyWe've heard it all before – it costs a busi­ness more money to acquire a new cus­tomer than it does to keep a cur­rent one. What sep­a­rates your busi­ness apart from oth­ers? Bet­ter ser­vice and a bet­ter cus­tomer expe­ri­ence can con­tribute to greater cus­tomer loy­alty. Is what makes your busi­ness dif­fer­ent one of those three aspects of your busi­ness or a com­bi­na­tion of the three? Here are a few sim­ple steps you can take in each sec­tor to increase cus­tomer loyalty.

Cre­ate Effi­cient Cus­tomer Service

Cus­tomer ser­vice isn't lim­ited to one com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nel. Cus­tomers are look­ing for a busi­ness who will respond to them in a timely man­ner, no mat­ter how they choose to reach out. Your first step should be to ensure your busi­ness has a toll-free cus­tomer ser­vice num­ber and sup­port email address that is eas­ily found on your site and prod­uct tag­ging. Cus­tomers expect a response from com­pa­nies within an hour, espe­cially when they are reach­ing out on social net­works. How­ever, the aver­age response time is just about 13 hours. A Dimen­sional Research sur­vey found that what makes a cus­tomer ser­vice inter­ac­tion bad is hav­ing to explain a prob­lem to mul­ti­ple peo­ple (72%) fol­lowed by the prob­lem not being resolved (51%).

  • Take­away: Make sure that your cus­tomer ser­vice rep­re­sen­ta­tives receive great train­ing on a reg­u­lar basis so they can answer ser­vice ques­tions in a timely man­ner the first-time, with­out hav­ing to hand off the call, chat or message.

Con­cern Your­self with the Cus­tomer Experience

The customer’s expe­ri­ence involves every sin­gle time they come into con­tact with your busi­ness. In-store or online, each touch point between you and cus­tomer needs to be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion. Har­ris Inter­ac­tive and inCon­tact con­ducted a sur­vey in 2013 that found con­sumers are less likely to make buy­ing deci­sions based on brand loy­alty, and more likely to choose a com­pany that offers per­son­al­ized cus­tomer expe­ri­ence options. Per­sonal expe­ri­ences can make a dif­fer­ence and if you offer these up, you can draw in new cus­tomers while retain­ing those you've already earned. Peo­ple talk about the ser­vice, expe­ri­ence and prod­ucts they love… and hate. Be on the receiv­ing end of the pos­i­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tions with per­sonal touches in expe­ri­ences your com­pany offers.

  • Take­away: You’re a busi­ness, but cus­tomers want a per­sonal expe­ri­ence. Don’t let automa­tion get in the way of show­cas­ing all you have to offer to each indi­vid­ual customer.

As Henry Ford once said, “"A busi­ness absolutely devoted to ser­vice will have only one worry about prof­its. They will be embar­rass­ingly large." Loyal cus­tomers are cre­ated when a cus­tomer has a great expe­ri­ence and great ser­vice. The Dimen­sional Research sur­vey found that cus­tomer ser­vice not only affects rev­enue, but has a long last­ing impact as cus­tomer ser­vice is the num­ber one fac­tor influ­enc­ing how much a con­sumer trusts a com­pany. Both those who are just start­ing a new busi­ness and those who are look­ing to improve the suc­cess of their estab­lished busi­ness need to begin to pay atten­tion to the ser­vice and expe­ri­ence they are cur­rently offering.

And Finally, a Reminder…

April is Cus­tomer Loy­alty Month. Use these tips to engage your sales team in the process of cre­at­ing loyal customers.

Erica Bell is a web copy­writer for Business.com Media, Inc., and a guest writer for Impact Learn­ing Sys­tems. She cov­ers a wide range of top­ics includ­ing online mar­ket­ing and cus­tomer ser­vice costs. Find Business.com on Face­book at https://www.facebook.com/businessdotcom.
 2 Simple Steps to Improved Customer Loyalty
Erica Bell
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