All businesses, no matter what they sell, need a constant stream of customers to stay viable over the long term. Happily, there is no better way to ensure this than making your customers fall in love with you. In fact, by doing this, you can not only ensure they come back for more of what you are offering but that they will evangelize to others as well. Read on to find out more.
Under promise and over deliver.
One method that can be used to get your customers to not just like you but adore you is to underpromise and then overdeliver. What this means is that you don’t toot your own trumpet too hard in the marketing stages, but then wow your customers with a fantastic product and experience when they do make a purchase.
Of course, such a strategy can be challenging to pull off, because you will want to market your products successfully enough for people to buy it. Therefore getting just the right balance can be difficult.
Identify and optimize touch points.
When it comes to customer service touch points are crucial. In fact, you need not only to identify when your customers directly interact with your business, but also optimizes these experiences to make them as positive as possible.
Of course, many of the strategies listed below can help you to do this, but in particular, ensuring that your website is well designed and user-friendly is essential.
After all, many people now go online to research or buy a product before they do anything else and if you have a clunky interface, or provide a less than satisfactory experience they will have few qualms about navigating away and using a competitor instead.
The line between excellent and just satisfactory customer service is actually quite thin. In fact, it is the difference between just doing what is expected of you, and going that extra mile.
Happily, there are two rather smart ways that you can push your customer service to the next level relatively easily. The first is to provide treats to your customers whenever you can. These may take the form of free delivery or a discount on a special occasion or at the launch of a new line. You may even want to give them something physical such as a free gift or bag of sweets along with their order. Of course, by doing this, you will absolutely build up positive regard between you and customers and impress them with the service you provide.
Additionally, there is another way in which you can push your customer service to the next level, and it’s by going that extra mile when it comes to service and care. After all, if you make your customer feel genuinely cared for they are much more likely to come back to you time and time again.
Happily, there are quite a few ways that you can offer them additional care including using appointment reminders over email or phone. Something that provides a service to your customers, and can help them keep their appointment with your business, and so save you money on lost time as well.
Then there is the option of offering a guarantee for the product or service you provide. Something that means if your customers don’t get what they expect they can claim their money back. Of course, this isn’t just going above and beyond for them, but can also act as a way of reassuring customers when they do come to make a purchase. Something that can help them to overcome their own objections when it comes time to buy.
However, leveling up your service is no good if you don’t have the basics right, and that is why listening to your customers is so essential when it comes to getting them to love you.
In fact, listening to those that make up your core demographic isn’t just excellent customer service, but it’s smart business as well. After all, these are the people that are paying your company’s way, and if they don’t like something, or want an aspect of the product or service you offer changed, it only makes sense to ensure that there are ways for your company to hear and act on this.
In particular, providing opportunities for customers to feedback on their experiences, as well as how happy they are with the product they have paid their hard earned money for is essential. Of course, this use to be limited to people writing or calling in, but now there are many more ways to engage customers and get feedback on their options.
One of these ways is to use review sites that are independent of your company, as people can leave their honest opinions there, and you can reply to them to show that they have been heard.
Of course, social media is another fantastic and very instantaneous way of allowing your customers to contact you directly. In fact, many businesses have found this so useful that they have made Twitter or Facebook into their main customer service channels.
Obviously, any comment and quotes do need to be handled carefully when in the public forum. Although, hosting your customer service in this way can also provide you with an additional benefit, namely that other potential customer can see how much you care for your current customers, and that even when there is a problem you deal with it in a professional and timely manner. This being something that can help your sales figures as well as your customer service standards.
Another crucial area that you need to get right when it comes to customer service is how you communicate. What this means is that the tone and language that your customer service representatives use needs to be clear, and professional.
It can also help to have a clear escalation process when it comes to customer services because this will assist in managing your customers’ expectations as you deal with their queries. Something that can minimize frustration and provide reassurance that something is being done to deal with their problem.
Improve product knowledge.
Next, don’t forget that there is nothing more frustrating when you have an issue as a customer than trying to convey that problem to someone who has no idea what you are talking about, even though they are meant to be an ‘expert.’ To that end, spending time and money on staff training to improve product knowledge is a must if you want to impress rather than depress with your customer service.
Of course, a fantastic example of this is the Geniuses that work in Apple stores across the world. In fact, they provide a high level of expertise instantly, that not only helps to sell their products but also enables whoever is using them to get much more from them than they would be able to alone. If that isn’t good customer service, I don’t know what is!
Part of excellent customer service is recognizing a loyal customer and rewarding them for their loyalty. The most common way of doing this is to offer points for purchases, allowing your customers to accrue a larger balance and then trade this in for additional products.
Of course, this is fantastic customer service because it provides the buyer with an additional reward on something that they were going to purchase anyway. It also encourages them to stay as loyal to your brand as possible, too which can help your business’s bottom line as well.
Give them the opportunity to become a superfan.
Finally, if you really want your customers to adore you, then you need to get on the superfan trend. For those not familiar with the term a superfan is a customer that not only enjoys your products but is obsessed with them. Of course, this is customer service and marketing crossover, but it is well worth the extra effort involved.
In fact, to create super fans you will need to provide people with the opportunity to engage in exclusive events, get sneak peeks behind the scenes, offer first looks when new ranges come out, and even create communities either online or IRL where like-minded individuals can get together and discuss your brand and products.
By doing this not only do you make your fans feel important, care for and loved, but you also turn them into people that will evangelize to others about the unique selling propositions and benefits of your brand. Something that can be invaluable when it comes to attracting new customers, who you can then also begin to suitably impress.
In summary, if you want your customers to love you, you need to get the basics right including listening, caring for them, and offering clear and helpful communication.
You also need to go above and beyond what is usually expected in the customer service relationship and provide additional bonuses, and benefits. Finally, if you want real adoration from your customers, give them the chance to become a super fan for your brand. Something that can help you spread the love to new customers as well.