Leaving customers wanting more is what all great brands do. It’s what keeps them coming back for more constantly. And when they keep coming back for more they are more likely to recommend you to their friends. Your online reputation is crucial, as the UC Davis scandal has shown. Another scandal involving the Baylor University showed how important it is to be in the news for all the right reasons.
This guide is going to show you some of the ways you can keep your customers chained to your brand.
No Substitute for that Personal Touch
Did you know that a recent study revealed small businesses lose $200 billion each year because they consider customer service to be a burden?
The biggest sin of customer engagement is not treating each customer like an individual. You need to make sure that you are showing how much you love your customers. It’s more expensive to provide this personal touch, but customers do appreciate it and they are going to show it.
And make sure that you don’t use a robot to talk to your customers!
Quick and Painless
Nobody likes contacting customer service only to be forced to enter a myriad of information about their account. They want to get the answer to their question and then they want to go about their business.
Reduce the authentication period and stop making your customers wait while you key in their information. If your customer feels like it’s a hassle to get in touch with you, forget about ever leaving them satisfied.
Connect with Your Customers
It’s easy to think that customer engagement is all about making sure that you are asking questions. To an extent, that’s exactly what it’s about, but it’s really so much more.
Every time you speak to a customer you should see it as a chance to initiate a relationship. This is the time to build up a personal connection with that person. A relationship is about showing empathy for their problems and doing everything you can to solve them.
One of the deadly sins of customer engagement is becoming a walking, talking FAQ.
Empower Your Customers to Act
Simply answering questions will only lead to traditional answers that don’t actually solve the problem. You will spend much of your time answering questions regarding unusual situations. You need to train your customer support staff to empower customers. They should know your business inside and out.
One of the worst things you can do is to outsource your team. They don’t understand your company and they can only be of limited help.
Measure What Your Competitors are Doing
The only way that you are going to measure the success of your company is to measure yourself against your competitors. Every so often you should compile a report on the support options of your competitors. To do this, you should call your competitors and pose as customers.
Your goal shouldn’t be just to match your competitors but to exceed them. Incentivize your support team to do better by providing rewards and bonuses.
Everything should be geared towards solving a problem, while at the same time doing it quickly. Reply to your customers as soon as possible and try to keep your wait times to an absolute minimum. A sense of urgency sends the message that you are the future of eCommerce and you are determined to value your customers.
This will send a subtle message to everyone who contacts you that they matter. It’s going to make them more likely to come back for repeat business.
Admit Your Mistakes
Sometimes you will get things wrong. Even the best companies have a PR nightmare at some point. The trick to making sure that it doesn’t impact your online reputation is to admit that you made a mistake and to be proactive in making it right.
You may have to offer a public apology and a discount. It’s hard to swallow your pride sometimes, but this is one of the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.
Last Word – Making Customer Service Something Special
Once you start to prioritize customer service, you are putting yourself in prime position for success in your industry. Many small businesses consider it to be an added extra, but if you move in the opposite direction you are going to have an advantage over everyone else.
What do you think is the most important facet of customer service?