Written by Vivek Jaiswal | Co-founder, Customer Guru
How to pave the way for customer loyalty by focusing on customer experience?
Studies have time and again proven that awesome customer experience is directly linked to customer loyalty. Imagine this: a restaurant where you are greeted by your first name and the special dish of the day is recommended to start off a beautiful evening. This not only will go a long way in retaining you as a customer but also will encourage you to recommend the place to your near and dear ones. Similarly, a great customer experience also encourages customers to spend more. In most restaurants, the amount of tip is determined by the quality of service. A rather bizarre exhibit of this correlation was displayed by a 92 year old millionaire in Pennsylvania, who was so delighted by the service quality of a waitress at Peachtree Restaurant that he tipped her $20,000! (Source: Millionaire tips waitress with college tuition).
Businesses nowadays are extra focused on getting their customer experience right as the flip-side to this is loss of business. They have realised that with the power of various channels and media, the customer is either praising or criticising a brand. And all that feedback is openly and transparently visible to other prospective customers and can directly impact their buying decision. Besides the feedback, it is the speed at which customer opinions can go viral, sometimes even real-time as the event unfolds because of social media, that has companies gasping for air.
The challenge that companies face is that not all customers are alike and that they can’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to them. So what can companies do to provide customer experience that results in customer satisfaction and ultimately converts to customer loyalty? Here are three sure shot ways that help answer this question:
Examine customer feedback with a fine tooth comb
Consumers in this day and age are quick to provide feedback, write reviews, and comment wildly on social media. The golden rule here is ‘All feedback is important’. The customer service team needs to have a record of and study all compliments and complaints. This analysis will reveal customers’ attitude towards the company’s products and services and keep a handle on customer sentiments even before things go completely out of hands. Technology such as omoto.io is designed to enable companies achieve exactly that – stay on top of customer feedback and act swiftly on it.
Inculcate the ‘WOW’ philosophy
All top-notch companies have one thing in common: they are proactive in their approach to customer behaviour, which results in amazing customer experience. Recognizing and rewarding staff that provide awesome service levels will set the bar high for other employees. This will create a culture that breeds the ‘Wow your customer’ concept in your organisation. The employees will eventually feel they are the face of the company and will go all out when tackling a tough customer.
Put equal focus on new and existing customers
Many businesses can disclose the number of new customers or accounts from the top of their head. But, if we were to question them as to how many customers or accounts they lost in the previous month, those same organizations are likely to draw a blank stare. The focus seems to be on acquiring new customers rather than trying to retain existing customers. The reason is simple: existing customers expect more and more each time they interact with your company. But, ‘wowing’ your existing customers every time ultimately helps your organization win them as paying customers for life. This also helps your organization with some free marketing via social media and word of mouth. For the business to grow sustainably, equal focus must be given to both new and existing customers and better experience for existing customers automatically gets you more customers!
In conclusion, customer loyalty is priceless for a company. And the only thing that wins you undying customer loyalty is great customer experience. Focus on delivering that and customer loyalty will become a byproduct of your efforts. We would love to hear your thoughts on what your organisation is doing to enhance customer experience, please share in comments below.