Offering a delightful customer service has become the lifeblood of the businesses all over the world. Success of any business is directly proportional to its customer experience.
A good customer experience often leads to customer retention.
Do you always find yourself wondering why your business is unable to retain customers, despite selling a decent product in the market?
What is the value of retaining customers?
You are actually ignoring the basics and probably one of the most indispensable factors driving a business. That is customer satisfaction.
A Harvard Business school report suggests that if businesses, by providing a better customer service, increase their retention rates by 5% then they can experience an increase in their profits by 25%-95%. This alone is enough to prove the importance of customer retention in driving sales and revenue.
Before we move on to the strategies of retaining customers let us first find out some of the companies that value their customers and have excelled because of it.
A brilliant example of this is Amazon Go, a store by Amazon. It brought the concept of a shopping mart without a checkout counter which was one of the most significant feedback given to Amazon by its customers. So Amazon promised its customers to provide them with such a service.
Amazon Go uses artificial intelligence to make the shopping experience much more easier for its customers. The idea is to bring onboard, everything which is technology driven. The customers are saved from the waiting queues at the checkout. Amazon gave a whole new meaning to the customer service, the customers feel at ease as they have been saved from the long queues of checkout. According to Amazon, there were over 3.5 million cashiers in the US and their jobs may be in jeopardy if the technology spreads eventually.
Another example of one of the new age companies that value the customer most is Dollar Shave Club. Dollar Shave ensures that it has a rich understanding of its customers. It believes in delivering an outstanding customer experience. “We don’t respond to situations; we respond to people,” is the philosophy that they follow to drive the company's customer engagement.
You too can make profits if you keep your customers feel important by listening to what they say. These 7 ways can help you with that.
1. They help you improve
It is a great way to improve your business tactics. While conversing, customers often provide you with business information of various other players in the market. It is a great way to know where you are lacking behind. You get a know-how of your competitors.
StumbleUpon is one such company which realized the value of listening and has taken a remarkable jump in both frequency and length of user visits. The company states, “listening to customers is the key to success”.
Remember the best business decisions are an outcome of research and analysis and not wild guesses.
2. They are the most genuine feedback providers
Your customers are the best testers. No matter how much you invest in research and data analysis of your product, but the customers would definitely find the loopholes. And why not, they are the end users, they know it better!
A company which believes in the concept and has touched new heights is Plenty Of Fish, an online dating platform. They developed their dating site on their users’ feedback. Users were asked for suggestions and the application was updated as per their feedbacks.
Not only Plenty Of Fish, but you must have also seen the biggest of the companies offering free samples to their customers and taking feedbacks.
3. Empathy is the key to a delightful relationship
All of us, when frustrated with a product or service, want somebody from the brand to hear our complain. Empathy brings with itself a delightful feeling. When a customer service agent empathetically listens to the clients while they bring out their grievances, a special relationship is built.
Believe me or not, a happy and delighted customer gives more business than just a satisfied customer —because he is now a retained customer.
On the other hand, if you fail to listen to a customer, they become dissatisfied. You might lose them to your competitors sooner or later.
One can use empathy statements while listening to what they say to complain. For example, “I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you, please give me a minute, I can fix it”, “I would love to help you with that” and the like.
A Must Read: Importance of Empathy in Customer Service
4. Listening to the customers gives them a feeling of belongingness
"Ask your customers to be part of the solution, and don't view them as part of the problem," Alan Weiss has correctly said.
Products and services are designed for customers. If the people, for whom the product is designed, are not taken into the loop, how can one expects of offering the best possible products to the customers?
Hearing customers makes them feel wanted, involved and belonged. Always try to show your customers that they are valuable and then only you will be able to retain them.
Hearing employees make them a part of the creative team. Creativity can never be limited to the employees of a company. Even some regular customers can give you opinions that are really creative. This may help you to enhance your product or service.
5. It helps you generate more leads
Nowadays, when competitors are only a step away, it is very difficult to bring new leads. Their unhappy customers are your prospects. Approach them, give their feedback the utmost weightage and offer them what they want with some additional benefits.
This gesture is really appreciated by your new customers. Listening to their grievances grows their trust in you.
6. Word of mouth
Old is gold. This is one of the oldest methods which works even today. You generate a goodwill and it will work wonders for you. Referrals are the most cost effective and efficient way of promoting your business.
If you listen to your customers, they get motivated to the extent that they personally recommend a product or service to their close ones.
All of us are aware of the food safety scandal that Chipotle was involved in. And due to the same, it saw a huge sales plummet. But lately, it ensured its success through word of mouth marketing by delivering a positive customer experience. Chipotle has earned the love of millennials, despite its multiple food scandals.
7. Building loyalty is important
American express’ OPEN forum is possibly one of the best ever examples of a customer loyalty driver. It was aimed exclusively at helping small businesses grow. The company excelled primarily by building loyalty among its customers. Customers openly share their views and feedback on the open forum which decide the next policy, service or product changes.
Selling a product to customers is not a big deal today. Also, this does not ensure that the customer will come back to you. Actively asking for feedback from clients and responding to their opinions build a stronger trust and relationship that make the purchase process more indulging.
It is to be noted that maintaining delightful relationships with clients always pays off really well. You can have an extra edge over those companies who just focus on selling quality products. Never underestimate the benefits and advantages of customer satisfaction.
It brings along with itself a lot of benefits. And many of them are the essentials of a good leading company. The more you learn from your customers, the better you improve on your product or service. Offering them ways to converse with you through live chat support or any other way, would definitely offer you a much better market share than before.