Loyal friends are the best. But you can’t take them for granted, or expect them to be loyal to you when you are not loyal to them. The same goes for customers, I would say. Loyal customers are the best. But you can’t take them for granted, or expect them to be loyal to you when you are not loyal to them. So what can we learn from nurturing loyal friends and being a loyal friend that can help us do the same with customers to improve their loyalty and sales?
Loyal friends expect our attention and appreciation, as would a loyal customer. Loyal friends appreciate shared connections and an understanding of their likes and dislikes, as would a loyal customer. And, loyal friends want to know that you will be there when they need you, to know they can count on you day and night, as would a loyal customer.
We can easily translate these expectations into behaviors that are important in driving customer loyalty and maximizing sales in a service environment through loyalty focused selling. Here’s how:
- Treat them Special. Segment your most loyal customers: The term “best friend” has a special designation. They deserve a higher level of attention and appreciation. Companies can improve customer loyalty and sales revenue by segmenting their most loyal customers and rewarding them with special treatment, offers, communications or promotions. They can also do this by paying attention to how their selling interactions sound to their customers. For example, instead of asking every customer if they would be interested in purchasing an extended warranty for a computer, ask only those customers who have warranties expiring in 90 days or less. This comes across as helpful since the inquiry is more relevant to them when their warranty is about to expire as opposed to an inquiry about extending a warranty soon after purchase, which comes across as up-selling. By paying careful attention to how interactions sound to customers, companies can improve loyalty and generate additional revenue.
- Create Shared Connections. Recognize customer behavior: Relationships between friends are built on shared connections and understanding their likes and dislikes. By recognizing customer channel preferences, account history, purchasing behavior, and the wealth of predictive analytics available, companies can make the best offer to each specific customer in the most effective manner, thereby driving customer loyalty and improved revenue through a more personalized experience.
- Be On Their Side. Focus on helping: Just like your best friend would expect you to be there when he or she needs you, loyal customers expect their favorite businesses to be there to help them, 24/7. By ensuring access to customer service through multiple channels, 24/7, they can rely on the company for help when they need it. This involves a combination of live agent and technology-assisted support that shows the company is accessible and considers their customers’ needs for service a top priority.
So, treat your customers as you would a friend and you should see significant benefits in sales and customer loyalty. After all, we’re all human, right?
NOTE: Angela is leading a pre-conference workshop on Tuesday, June 14, for IQPC’s 12th Annual Call Center Week in Las Vegas. The workshop is entitled How to Do It Right! Turning Your Contact Center into a Revenue Generating Center without Sacrificing Customer Satisfaction & Loyalty.