Inflation might be easing up, but the prices of most goods and services remain high. If you compare it to last year’s stats, inflation is already on a downward trajectory. Yet, retailers and manufacturers are still looking to cut corners to pull bigger profit margins. However, even downsizing companies know they can’t afford to completely erase their customer care division.Even as inflation seems to cool down, people are still bracing for the worst. Consequently, many are still holding off on spending on non-essential items. In today’s challenging economic climate, companies can’t afford to lose customers.
Customer Retention vs. Customer Acquisition
Everybody knows that it takes more money to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. In fact, Harvard Business Review estimates the former to be 5x-7x more expensive. Given that merely retaining customers is challenging in this economic climate, you can imagine how difficult it is for companies to attract new customers today.
Thankfully, a great customer service team can help keep clients coming back for more. Customer care isn’t just about answering phones promptly and addressing specific concerns. It’s about establishing trust with clients, making them value your assistance, and managing their expectations. Promoting customer loyalty generates its own rewards. Loyal customers stay longer with you and buy more from you. If they’re happy with your service, they won’t hesitate to promote your brand to friends and family.
So, how do you nurture customer loyalty with your clients? By celebrating your relationships with them, and making it easy to do business with you. Here’s how to do just that:
1. Build a Community
For many fans of the business, providing an online community that they can call their own is a great way to build up a loyal following. Helping establish online forums gives followers a legitimate outlet where they can show support and share ideas with other like-minded individuals. Whether as a sponsor or a mere endorser, providing brand support to these communities can go a long way. The recognition alone can ensure reciprocal respect. As a way of giving back, followers will use this community to hold open and meaningful conversations about the brand and its products.
As a bonus, supporting helping online communities can create an added effect of attracting new customers. The presence of engaging, informative, and helpful content in these forums can actually gravitate new customers and prospects seeking information. The support or advice of older community members can help convince them to join the ranks of loyal customers.
2. Remind Customers of Your Valuable Service
When keeping in touch with customers, it pays to reach out to them in channels they are already very familiar with. Sending them regular communication via personalized emails and text messages can keep them informed of developments, special offers, and everything else.
Regularly reminding customers of your brand’s value can work the other way as well. Sending them personalized well-wishes on occasions such as birthdays can show that you value their patronage.
3. Open Communication Channels
When providing ways for customers to contact you, make as many channels available as possible to ensure that their messages eventually reach you. Instead of forcing them to meet you on your own turf such as your hotline or via email, allow them access to channels where they can comfortably communicate with you. Apart from phone or email, omnichannel customer care can happen via touchpoints such as the online store, direct messaging, chatbots, social media pages, phone apps, and others.
Should customers experience problems, omnichannel support may not be enough to diagnose the root cause or fix the problem altogether. The ability to seamlessly switch from one channel to another to resolve an issue can create the ultimate positive customer experience. For example, ScreenMeet allows customers to share their screens with customer care representatives so they can pinpoint problems faster.
4. Ask for Feedback
Like with all things in life, if you don’t ask, the answer’s ‘No.’ So, ask! Getting feedback from loyal customers is a great way to get honest opinions about everything from product performance to customer care sentiment. After all, they’re the customers most likely to respond to your call anyway. However, don’t make the mistake of taking your followers’ comments lightly. As highly engaged customers, they will also be more likely to respond to your every action or inaction. Acting on their suggestions (at least the helpful ones) can show them that you take their feedback seriously.
Strengthen Brand Loyalty
Responding to your customers by taking in suggestions, acting on complaints, and asking for feedback are effective ways to gain their trust. Consistent application of this strategy can enhance their loyalty to the brand even as they provide a steady revenue stream.
Showing appreciation for their support is a great way to reciprocate that love. As such, the entire organization, led by your customer care team, can return the favor by practicing the following traits:
1. Be Honest
Loyalty is often a byproduct of trust. When customers trust you to deliver solutions to their needs, they will find little or no need to involve other providers. In return, brands need to reciprocate that loyalty by remaining honest with their customer base. In an economic slowdown, many companies will take the opportunity to raise prices or reduce production. Customers would want to hear the news from the brand itself rather than wake up one day to find their favorite product suddenly becoming more expensive and harder to find.
2. Be Transparent
Part of being a responsible company is maintaining transparency in everything the company does and deals with. This includes voluntarily disclosing information about its business practices and funding sources. Many customers prefer dealing with companies that share their core beliefs. This often leads to developing a special kinship for brands that support the same movements, practice ethical sourcing of materials, and support environmental initiatives.
Granted, even those that endorse business ethics may find themselves involved in industrial accidents or facing allegations of financial impropriety. In cases like these, companies can earn loyalty from their customers by choosing to cooperate. Transparency about what went wrong—and how you’re going to be better moving forward—beats PR damage control every time.
3. Show You Care Outside of Customer Care
Caring shouldn’t be restricted to your customer service department. Your brand messages and statements should reflect the care and attention you give during the design, manufacture, and delivery of your products. Because you care for your customers’ welfare, you make sure that your products all carry the mark of manufacturing and product excellence.
The world’s top brands often provide unconditional product guarantees. If, for any reason, the customer feels unsatisfied with their purchase, the company will happily accept a return and issue a refund. Why? Because caring companies care about their customers’ experiences, not just their credit card information. And customers notice this!
Customer loyalty isn’t built by a product delivering on its promise. Delivering upon what you’re selling is the bare minimum, to be frank. Earning customer loyalty relies on a delightful customer experience, from start to finish. Did the product arrive in good shape? Did it arrive on or before its scheduled date and time? Also, did the customer care department answer the customer’s questions or efficiently resolve their issues?
As for the customer, product satisfaction and good service are key ingredients of a great customer experience. If buyers managed to get both from a single supplier, it’s unlikely that they’ll spend more time looking for another retailer. At this point expect the customer to return for order refills, replacement products, or upsell/cross-sell purchases. How big a jump are we looking? Business.com reported that returning customers spend 67% more compared to new buyers. This is more than enough to maintain a healthy revenue stream.
ScreenMeet Helps Ensure Awesome Customer Care Services
Keeping your revenue streams flowing takes more than just providing a killer product or app. Customer service should also commit to delivering outstanding customer experiences.
ScreenMeet is a cloud-native application that allows your organization to go above and beyond in customer service. Providing callers with omnichannel screen sharing and remote takeover support—so that clients aren’t cornered into vocalizing complex issues or forced to reiterate their problems to different agents—is a game-changer.
Screen sharing is a critical capability to help our customers in this digital-first world. With ScreenMeet's integration with Service Cloud, it also makes it seamless to use for our support engineers.
Jim Roth, EVP Customer Support, Salesforce
Learn more about how ScreenMeet can help deliver a better customer experience through screen sharing. Tell us about your pain points and the customer experience you’re after, and we’ll be happy to arrange a free demonstration. ScreenMeet is ready to help you offer a top-notch customer care experience, are you ready to offer your customers the start-to-finish care they deserve?