How to offer great customer service and win loyalty
We all know just how much difference fantastic customer service can make to a purchase or interaction with a retailer; whether on or offline. With your own business goals in mind, your objective has to be to use your role models to help you to excel at your own customer service to the benefit of your sales growth and customer loyalty. Acquiring a new customer is never cheap. Investing in customer service can make a real difference to your customer retention and is certainly less costly than finding new customers. So look after the ones you have! Here’s how. Reward loyalty Value your existing customers and ensure that you communicate this to them. A simple “thank you” can go a long way, as can a surprise reward to demonstrate how much you appreciate their business. Consider also the more formal ideas of discounts for volume, loyalty point programmes and incentives for growing their business with you. Remember, the cost of replacing their loyalty is far greater and loyal customers can become great ambassadors for your business. Operate with integrity Be genuine and honest. If you make a mistake, admit it, apologise and clearly explain how you are going to put it right. This approach is far more productive and will impress your customer who will be more likely to shop with you again. Seek to over-deliver It might only be a little more effort on your part but over-delivering and exceeding their expectations will always pay dividends. Give them a free sample, include a voucher for their next purchase, offer them a free upgrade if they are a regular purchaser. Find something that really enhances the purchase for them and enjoy the positive response that over-delivering can achieve. Keep in touch Whether through social media, email, phone or face to face, keeping in touch in between purchases is essential when offering excellent customer service. Your customers need to feel that you warmly embrace them and they need to have ample opportunity to interact with you and learn more about your values as a business. It’s just like keeping in touch with good friends in between meeting up with them – your customers are as important as your friends, if not more so. Be consistent Great customer service is not a one-off act. It’s an ongoing attitude that becomes part of the culture of the company. It’s no good resolving a problem with flying colours and then reverting into your less than acceptable ways once more. Prove to your customers that you can be that good every time they choose to shop with you and they’ll come back for more, with their friends.