Written by Vivek Jaiswal | Co-founder, Customer Guru
A number of people claim to know a lot about customer experience and loyalty, but how much of what they advise should you believe? If they don’t have the evidence to prove that their tactics work then why should you even listen to them. After all actions speak louder than words. Throughout my career, I’ve heard a lot of so called “customer service experts” throw around wild assertions about customer loyalty. Nonetheless, I was forced to learn the hard way that not all of them are true.
Just to make it easier for you, here are some of the worst bits of advice that I was given, about customer loyalty.
1. All customers complaints and feedback should be reported to top level executives
I’m sorry to break it to you, but if you believe that is true, you’re doing it wrong. If all customer feedback is being handed to the c-suite, why do you even have a customer support team?
Although you may have the most intelligent and skilled customer executives, they are not going to be able to handle the hefty influx of feedback and complaints. Instead, you should hire capable employees and train them to the extent, that you can trust them with your customers. Put them in the front line and motivate them to not just give a ‘that’ll do’ response; they should cultivate a passion where they provide a ‘that’s the best solution that you can find anywhere’ sort of response.
All this passion and motivation comes with good employee engagement. There is a definite nexus between employee engagement and customer experience – the better the former, the more effective the latter. In line with one of Bruce Temkin’s 6 laws of Customer Experience, it is only an engaged employee who can create an engaged customer. An employee who believes that his organisation nurtures and enables him grow will understand that it is his responsibility to make the organisation grow.
2. Excellent customer experience strategy is a one-time thing
Ever heard of Darwin’s theory of evolution. Well let me introduce to you the customer’s theory of evolution. The upcoming generation of customers are constantly evolving and their needs change on a daily basis. For the digital-era of spenders, its all about technology. If you truly want to keep up with them, then taking a back seat and saying that you have a modern customer experience strategy in place isn’t going to work. Your customer service department has to frequently work on and make alterations to strategies to stay on track with customers’ changing needs and demands.
You may have implemented a customer experience strategy once, or measured a customer metric over a month, and then you ask “What Now?” Significant results don’t appear in a week, or even in a month. Be consistent with how you measure, monitor and manage your customer. This eventually builds trust and inculcates such a culture into your company. The end result? Loyal and enthusiastic promoters.
3. As long as you focus on a competitive pricing strategy, the customers will come flooding in
Although that may be true for sometime, such a strategy won’t work in the long term. Customer’s wont stick by your company – as promoters – if you sacrifice customer experience for a reduced price. Customer experience alone delivers value that is much more than the product or service itself. So don’t sit around and try to please customers with a low price. Give them an excellent experience and you can earn their loyalty no time.
Everybody loves a low price, but that doesn’t mean that your customers are happy. As per a study by McKinsey 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. Additionally according to American Express, 74 % of customers are willing to spend more for a much better experience. The evidence is right there, so don’t focus on luring customers with low prices, rather entice them with unsurpassed customer experience.
Now take Apple for example. Their prices aren’t the lowest but the quality and experience that they provide are unparalleled. Despite Apple’s high prices they have around 20% of the worldwide smartphone market share. Moreover, iPhone users rave about the phone so much that every person who doesn’t have an iPhone wants one.
Always remember to take any advice with a pinch of salt. It may sound convincing at first but be sure to add your own reasoning to such advice that you receive. Especially in the field of customer experience. A poor customer experience policy could ultimately cost you most valued customers but also your precious quarterly profits!