It’ll never change: a standout customer service experience will always grow and maintain brand loyalty. No matter the size of the company, its industry, or the service and product available, a memorable (and positive) experience will go a long way.
Have you noticed your customers slowly leaving? Or, are your services stuck in a rut? Now is the time to color outside the lines and take a fresh approach to building customer loyalty.
While it’s not an uncommon practice for brands to share birthday wishes or surveys after purchase, these types of gestures are almost expected from customers. Instead, work to express your appreciation to customers when they least expect it. It’s these small acts of gratitude that will go a long way as you work to keep a strong grip on your customers’ loyalty. And don’t underestimate the power of showing thanks in other formats. Mix it up, and try simple approaches like phone calls, small branded gifts, or even the classic handwritten note or card thanking customers for their business.
Lean On Education
Not every customer interaction needs to be a direct sales opportunity. Work to think outside the box on how a potential purchase can possibly benefit a customer’s day-to-day life by way of personal anecdotes or stories from previous customers, which can explain the service or product in action. The thought with this is to draw a connection with your customer that makes you an approachable resource and not just a part of the sales process. If you can successfully create a top-down mentality in your approach to customers both old and new, you can work to boost that brand loyalty even further. If it proves difficult to come up with this type of content or experience for your customers, don’t hesitate to approach third-party vendors to assist.
Highlight New Offers
One-time specials or price-reducing deals are hardly a new concept, but what exactly you’re offering to customers can be. Instead of slashing prices or extending holiday-focused specials, why not introduce something fresh that sets you apart from other retailers — like a totally exclusive product warranty deal with any new purchase [full disclosure: Fortegra is an extended service provider]. Once decided upon, highlight the chief benefits and how this deal differentiates you from your biggest competitors. With useful extras for customers, you might spur repeat business.
As an extension of additional customer education, make an effort to keep outbound communication relaxed and open. But how? Try a quick, no pressure check-in on your customer’s experience about a month after a purchase. Instill in your employees that this should be similar to two friends chatting over a cup of coffee — a conversation that shouldn’t feel stuffy or, even worse, scripted. This same casual approach to communication can be carried over to your in-store experience as well. More often than not, if a customer feels like they’re part of a positive experience and truly valued, the more likely they are to return, recommend your product or service, and be a loyal extension of your brand.
Looking to grow your customer loyalty in a big way? If so, now is the time to try something new.
Paul Dobbins is national director of sales and account management at Fortegra Financial Corp. , which, together with its sister Tiptree Financial subsidiaries, is a single-source insurance services provider that offers a range of consumer protection options including warranty solutions, credit insurance and specialty underwriting programs.