Unless you are the Department of Motor Vehicles, odds are your customers (or potential customers) have a choice as to where they take their business. That said, even the DMV has competition nowadays depending on where you live (cough cough, Arizona…). It is absolutely pertinent that anyone seeking to throw their hat into the customer service ring, regardless of the good or service, adopt an omnidirectional service policy that seeks to create loyalty through the highest outcome of customer delight lest they be left in the dust.
1. Rewards: It is not enough to offer a service.
Customers need incentives. Gifts with purchase, gifts for simply taking the time to speak with them (AAA tote bags and backpacks for example for requesting an insurance quote. Writer received two even though she already had a policy for sending an email saying she liked the product), something, anything, they can walk away with. Cash back, discounts at complimentary businesses, exclusive offers, unique thank you gits: There is no limit to how far certain retailers are going to tangibly show their customers their gratitude for supporting them in particular.
2. Exceptional Customer Service: Simply being present is not enough; exceptional customer service is an art.
Your brand is the story-song of the idea; your employees are the dulcet tones hypnotizing your target demographics hearts, minds and wallets. Empathy; not just offering a pair of shoes but inquiring about the tired foot and how deserving it is of a new sole. Encouragement; a post-depression economy still holds a certain stigma when it comes to expenditures. Let your clients know that their decision to invest in your offering is worth more than its price tag. Energy; an employee delighted to be serving the company can effortlessly imbue wont unto the potential buyer.
3. Flexibility: We get when we give.
The palm trees ability to bend allows it to withstand infinite storms whereas their ridged counterparts will uproot, snap, or crumble in the presence of force. Policies are necessary, but being able to put a personal effort into getting the customer-client a superior result does not go unnoticed. Present party included, 16 years later I remain loyal to my initial bank and as a result, they have been more than gracious with waiving the occasional incurred fee or two. Both of our backs are being scratched, and all within the confines of lowest employee’s capabilities. That same employee‘s desire to make their customer feel like a human, not just another account number, establishes the empathic connection, reinforcing the first and second pillars.
4. Trust: Do as we say AND as we do.
Modern consumers have collectively risen past widespread financial heartache recently. Now more so than ever, the buck speaks loudly. Consumers are putting their money into goods and services that are not only offering what’s needed, but doing so in a holistic, thoughtful, and oftentimes humanitarian fashion. All trust and confidence are lost if the brand fails to practice what they preach and informed consumers will quickly take their dollar elsewhere.
5. Education: We know together, therefore we grow together.
There is humility in admitting we don’t know everything. Encourage the customer-client to not only seek a product but to know that they will be thoroughly educated on their decisions from any possible employee. Establishing a unified front as far as your employee knowledge base is concerned will allow for your brand’s presence to be cohesive on all levels and will reinforce the fourth pillar of trust.
At the end of the day, without the customer-client, there is no business to be had. Treating each and every individual as golden might seem like an impossible task, but if the reward is a lifetime of loyalty – the cost of caring is immeasurably worth it.