Capturing customer loyalty can feel like trying to catch smoke – it’s a lot easier said than done. But there are a few ways you can give your retailer the edge: see these tips from guest business writer, Jennifer McWay. Your customers will be firm friends before you know it.
Capturing and cultivating customer loyalty
63% of all millennials find loyalty programs and customer service important. In fact, the same study conducted by Access Development determined that 80% of all customers stay with a company that offers personalised service. These numbers are simply too big to ignore. The return on investment in effort and time has become apparent. Customers will show up for personalised customer service, and will return when that service reaches beyond expectations.
Make it the priority
When a company makes the customer a priority, it shows. Build the business around the needs of the customer, including giving customer-facing associates the most power possible. This means making sure these associates have all the answers necessary, even if that answer is, “I’m sorry I don’t know that answer, but I will find someone who does right away.” The customer feels their issue is being addressed promptly, and remains at the centre of the transaction. Procedures for handling customers must also be specific, such as the speed of greeting customers, the attitude expected from associates, handling every customer type, and techniques on keeping the customer the centre of the transaction.
Fine-tune the centralised customer experience
As mentioned above, the customer must be at the center of every transaction. This means that associates truly listen, using body language and responses to ensure the conversation stays customer-centric. The company must discover ways to make the customer’s life easier, then give associates the tools to do so. Block customer inconvenience through every step, such as offering a simple return policy. Focus on areas that need work, such as late deliveries or products out of stock. Look for any areas where the customer is not the center of the transaction, and change it. Remove suppliers who are unreliable, find couriers who will deliver on time, train employees to offer better than great service, and so on. People return where they feel respected and where they know they are the center of attention. Use this tendency to create loyal customers.
Talk to customers
Loyal customers will keep coming back for exemplary service and product, but will also understand when things simply don’t go the right way. Communication is key in these situations. If a reliable supplier loses a truckload of product to a road accident, for example, loyal customers will be more apt to be patient with the misfortune. Customers will also stay loyal to a business that offers this type of transparency. Offering rain checks or promises for the product from the following supply will help customers return again. Simply telling the customers why a product is temporarily unavailable will maintain trust and the service relationship.
It is important to remember the General Data Protection Regulations when conversing with customers. Any information gathered is confidential. Further, marketing emails must not be forced on customers. They must opt in to the mailings.
Creating customer loyalty is as simple as offering the best customer service. Make sure policy allows for improved service, and maintain transparency. Gaining repeat customers gains a stream of new customers as well, allowing businesses to grow exponentially.
About Jennifer McWay
Jennifer McWay is a professional copywriter and editor. She works on a freelance basis and after a long career in the city, specialises in entrepreneurship and business topics. When not at work she enjoys running, spending time with her young family and travelling as much as possible.