Happy customers are loyal customers who are willing to pay more, renew service agreements, purchase additional services, tell their friends and provide referrals — five solid reasons why you should deliver the best customer experience. When you create experiences customers enjoy and remember, they’ll reward you — over and over — for it.
The first step to prioritize customer service is acknowledging it’s a marketing expense and should be incorporated into your budget, especially when you realize customer retention costs far less than customer acquisition.
With technology and social media, customer service strategies are changing constantly. Ask yourself: Will what I’m doing make the customer want to place a positive review on social media sites? Customers can voice their opinions — good or bad — about a business in an instant on social media for the whole world to read. Companies should do everything possible to encourage customers to post positive reviews on social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, and websites such as Angie’s List and Yelp. According to a survey by the American Marketing Association, 90 percent of consumers trust peer reviews, and 70 percent trust online reviews.
If you aspire to create an unforgettable impression of your company in your customer’s mind, consistency is crucial. Customers want attentive service each time they deal with you. Inconsistent customer service has a negative impact on customer loyalty. Marketing research reveals 86 percent of happy customers are willing to pay more for their experiences, and 89 percent of consumers began doing business with a competitor following one poor customer service experience. Customers who had problems resolved quickly and properly often rate a higher level of satisfaction than customers who didn’t have problem or complaints. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to empower your staff to resolve problems before they reach the supervisory level.
Customer service to-do list
■ Keep employees happy. Happy employees often mean happy, satisfied, loyal customers.
■ Clearly define customer service responsibilities to employees. Provide a quality training and development program, continually reinforcing the importance of service excellence.
■ Empower your people to own customers’ problems. They should be able to go the extra mile for clients.
■ Respond to complaints as soon as possible. The shorter the response/resolution times, the better.
■ Walk the talk. Everyone needs to take responsibility for the roles they play in keeping customers happy.
■ Keep your promises. If you say you’ll do something, do it. Honoring your commitments is critical.
■ Fix your mistakes. If you did something that didn’t work, rectify it. A quick way to lose a client forever is not admitting you’re at fault and not fixing your mistakes.
The customer’s perception is your reality:
Rule 1: The customer is always right.
Rule 2: If the customer is ever wrong, reread Rule 1.
You can reach Goldglantz, president of Pest Control Marketing Co. and author of “Marketing Matters,” at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buy Marketing Matters by Harvey F. Goldglantz from the PMP bookstore at mypmp.net.
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