In simple words, customers rarely remain loyal to brands that compromise on their experiences. Read on to learn more about what it takes to improve customer experience and loyalty.
The first step to achieving this goal is to understand big data and knowledge management. You must’ve come across these one-liners if you’re a business owner: the customer is always right, the customer is king, or, the customer knows. An in-depth look at the one-liners reveals that all power, as far as buying a product or subscribing to a product is concerned, rests with the customer.
The best you can do as a business owner is to convince the buyer that your product or service is better than that of your competitor. There’s only one way to go about it – improve the customer’s experience and make sure they remain loyal to your brand.
Note that customer loyalty significantly depends on the customer experience. In simple words, customers rarely remain loyal to brands that compromise on their experiences. Read on to learn more about what it takes to improve customer experience and loyalty.
Gather Customer Feedback
How do you know if your customers are happy with your product or service? It is simple—ask them. Feedback is a gem many business owners overlook. This is strange because gathering customer feedback doesn’t cost much.
Feedback boxes, surveys, usability tests, and reviews are good examples of gathering customer feedback. Remember, the goal here isn’t to collect data and leave it at that. It is all about knowing which areas of improvement you should focus on.
Be sure to have a touch of human connection as you gather feedback. If you’re doing it online through a survey, end the survey with a ‘Thank you, Mr/Ms. X’ Refer to the customer by their name. That way, the customer feels appreciated and part of your business.
By reaching out, customers feel a sense of belonging. Therefore, they are more likely to remain loyal to your brand because they identify with it as a caring brand – one that takes seriously what they have to say.
Improve Customer Support
Your customers should access support within the shortest time possible. It isn’t enough to have a chatbot on your website or a toll-free number. If a customer waits in the line for too long, they will feel frustrated and will most likely abandon your brand for a competitor.
The most effective way to improve customer support is to have different customer support channels. Social media customer support, toll-free lines, and email stand out as good examples of how you can leverage customer support.
Remember, it is not just about a timely response. It is all about solving a customer’s problems and challenges with your product or service to their satisfaction.
Whatever you do, always remember that no tool or AI element can compensate for the lack of a dedicated and skilled workforce regarding customer support. Any time you hire people for your customer service team, go for individuals with the required skill set for your business.
Be particularly keen on the following factors:
Patience and empathy
Customer service representatives deal with different types of customers; some are agitated and annoying while others are curious and calm.
Your customer service support team representatives must be able to handle different temperaments while remaining calm. They must then come up with a solution within a short time.
Good communication skills
Your customer service representatives must be able to communicate clearly and concisely. They must convey what they mean in a way that customers find easy to understand.
They must never be quick to end conversations in a way that leaves customers frustrated, dissatisfied, and confused.
Customers can tell when a customer service representative is clueless. This almost always leaves the customer with a bad experience, a setback that negatively affects loyalty.
The solution is simple – ensure that your customer service representatives have complete knowledge of your product and services and your pricing plans.
They don’t need to have everything on your fingertips. It is better for a customer service representative to say, ‘Hold on a sec, I’ll get back to you immediately after checking with our product development team,’ than to provide the customer with inaccurate information.
Then, by all means, get back to the customer within the shortest time possible.
Develop an App
Not so long along, business owners invested in applications in a bid to boost and increase their sales. It was a fad about a decade ago. That’s not the case anymore. Business owners have since discovered that apps create communities where customers ‘meet’ by logging in to access services wherever they are.
With that in mind, it makes sense to develop an app for your business to maximize customer interaction, collect feedback, and grow customer loyalty.
Be sure to personalize the data you collect through the app. Refer to customers by their name and offer them discounts each time they buy a product or subscribe to your service through your app.
It is also essential for you to develop a user-friendly app that’s easy to navigate and fulfills the needs of your business. You can then enjoy the following benefits:
- Personalization of customer experience – It’s about making customers feel like part of a greater family. It can be as simple as referring to each customer by their name. You can also take advantage of the data you collect to keep track of customer birth dates and send them happy birthday texts via the application.
- Access to customer support – Make it easy for your customers to access customer service through your application. They shouldn’t have to log in to your website or wait in line to have someone from the customer service department assist them. Instead, offer instant customer service support through the app.
- Ease of access to other services – This is a no brainer. Your app should make it easy for your customers to access your products and services on the go.
Even if you don’t have the IT capacity to develop the app in-house, you can work with external professionals to create an app that’s user-friendly and safe for your customers for a lower cost than having to hire developers yourself.
Reward Your Customers
You probably don’t know this yet, but customer retention strategies are less expensive than impressing and attracting new customers. That’s why customer loyalty is essential. Acquiring new customers is 25% more costly than retaining your current customers.
So how exactly do you end up with a loyal base of customers you can consistently retain? It is easy – reward your customers.
Remember, there’s much more to rewarding customers than investing in traditional loyalty programs. Customers are more likely to stop using a brand they are loyal to after three or more negative experiences.
To be on the safe side, expand your loyalty programs to include social and behavioral actions, such as referral points and more incentives for user-generated content.
Be sure to reward even new customers. You’re trying to woo them into your product or service. A timely reward is another way of saying, ‘Here’s what you stand to enjoy once you buy our product or subscribe for our service.’ It is also a sure-fire way of improving customer experience and loyalty by establishing a rapport with them.
Improving customer experience and loyalty isn’t rocket science. It all boils down to understanding what your customers want. Take into account their concerns and use their feedback to improve your services.
Whatever you do, invest in measures that don’t just improve customer experience and loyalty but also guarantee customer retention. This is important because your customers are your brand ambassadors.
As such, a good experience each time they use your product or service makes them loyal. They are then more likely to recommend your product or service to their families, friends, and loved ones.