Wondering if customer loyalty is costing you money? Did you know that 71 percent of customers have stopped using a company because of the poor customer service they received? Did you also know that the average value of a lost customer is $243? Poor customer experiences cost companies money and seriously hurt the bottom line. No company can afford to just throw away $243 per person.
Fortunately, there is a solution to building customer loyalty. By focusing your efforts on improving your customers' experience, you can help encourage them to return to you, improving retention and stopping the bleed of past customers going to your competitors. Here's how to do it.
Focus on employees
Your employees are the face of the company when customers interact with your brand. Make sure they represent you well. Develop a strong relationship with employees by giving them degrees of independence, flexibility, and a work environment that's a pleasant place to be. Employees will become more appreciative and enthusiastic about your brand and pass that along to customers.
Give employees training, then independence
Focus on building a culture of independence. Allow company representatives to troubleshoot and solve problems on their own. This will help them feel more appreciated, while improving customer service. Now, when a customer calls with a complaint, the person who answers can actually help them, rather than passing the phone call from person to person.
Try to under-promise and over-deliver
Far too many customers are used to companies neglecting their promises, so show that you're different. Promise customers the minimum of what they can expect and then over-deliver.
Listen to what customers say are the weakest parts of their experience
Though fewer and fewer customers actually use complaint lines to let companies know they did wrong, that doesn't mean they've stopped complaining. Instead, it's simply become more common for people to release their reviews to the public through social media.
A bad review from a disgruntled customer can have an enormous impact on your company's reputation. Address customer complaints head-on and try to make amends for their poor experience. If the customer is satisfied, then politely ask them to update or remove the bad review.
Treat bad reviews as learning experiences. Ask yourself the following questions:
• What part of the customer experience was impacted (product research, pricing, the purchase itself, questions about the product, etc.)?
• Are there any patterns to the types of complaints made by customers?
• What do these bad reviews say about how customers wish to be seen in your organization?
Use the information you garner to guide you in making improvements to the customer experience. Prioritize changes based on the weaknesses customers point out in their reviews, and let them know they're valued by your company.
The customer experience can be a fantastic predictor of consumer loyalty and retention. When you learn how to convince customers to stay with your brand, you'll see more money in your pocket and better growth. Use the above advice to update your customer experience to make the most of every interaction between customer and company.