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Engaging and building customer loyalty to build long-term relationships is one of the best strategies you can apply to keep your business healthy for many, many years. And to do that, the customer service is absolutely essential.
As Sam Walton, the founder of the Walmart supermarket chain, said, “A company’s goal is to have a customer service that is not only the best, but legendary.
As you can see, the demands are high, but so are the rewards. According to a recent IDC study of 24,000 consumers in 12 countries, after having a positive customer service experience 25% of users are encouraged to leave an opinion and 18% renew their products and services with the same company, even if it’s not the cheapest option.
Customer loyalty is, therefore, a bet for the future in which to start working from now! I want to share with you these 6 strategies for customer acquisition and loyalty
One of the main complaints of customer service is that they are robotic and unnatural, even if the user is interacting with people and not with answering machines.
It turns out that companies insist on training their employees to memorize greetings, sales pitches and apologies, while customers want genuine answers.
In fact, according to the aforementioned study, 83% of consumers believe that talking to a person will always be important in customer care. In addition, the more complex the problem to be solved, the greater the need for personal treatment.
So when you talk to your customers, try to make communication as “face-to-face” as possible. Be sure to use their names, use humor if appropriate, and be polite but natural. Showing empathy will greatly help you connect with your customers.
Don’t miss any opportunity: all interactions allow you to attract and retain customers. And little by little, repeated interactions form the relationship.
Think for a moment about your personal life: the people with whom you build the most solid relationships are those with whom you often interact, right? Well, the same goes for brands.
Therefore, in order to attract customers, your goal must be to maintain fluid communication, really listening to your customers and reacting according to their response. A quality communication will be the touch that differentiates you from the competition.
As the ancient Greeks used to say: “know yourself”… or, in the case of companies, know your customers. The process of attracting and retaining customers has a lot to do with sales: you need to know the name of the person you’re talking to, what they need, when their birthday is and even the breed of their dog.
How can you get all this information? The key is to continue the conversation after the transaction. For example, if your company is dedicated to B2B, you can search for the user profile on LinkedIn or your client’s professional page. Once you have this information, you can begin to think of ways to add value: recommendations, content, training.
In today’s business environment, the easiest way to distinguish yourself from the competition is through the customer experience, not the products or services you offer. Giving the customer an increasingly personalized relationship will make them remember you.
Improving customer acquisition and loyalty requires a change of attitude. Complaints and negative comments are not an unbearable nuisance, but an opportunity to know what your customers really think of you. Personally, I prefer a thousand times that a user complains openly to leave the brand without giving any explanation.
Negative criticisms are those that help you improve your services, give you the opportunity to redeem yourself and help you avoid possible online reputation crises. But for that, you have to learn how to handle them correctly.
The next time a user protests, take it as an opportunity to solve their problems. Listen to him, get the information you need to solve the problem and act quickly. Apologize sincerely, thank the customer for sharing their problem, and promise only what you can offer. If all goes well, you’ve built customer loyalty forever.
One of the basic keys to a good relationship with the client is fluidity. In fact, according to IDC, 67% of consumers and 91% of companies believe that online and mobile services should be faster and more intuitive.
To maintain this fluidity, it is necessary to have regular contact with the customer. Once again, think about your personal relationships: if you never meet someone, if you don’t know anything about their day-to-day life, it is inevitable that the relationship will end up getting cold.
Creating an ongoing relationship allows you to monitor how the user feels about your brand and tackle possible problems before they surface. These ideas will help you keep the spark of your relationship alive:
After the relevant interactions, follow up by phone, email or social networking.
From time to time, send friendly messages to your customers to remind them that you are still available to them.
Create valuable content, such as articles or videos, and circulate it through your newsletter.
Send a monthly email with your company’s news, such as product launches, events and interesting content.
All long-term relationships are based on trust and commitment. If you can get your customers to trust you, they will be much happier and much more likely to become loyal in the long term. Achieving this is a matter of integrity and common sense:
Be sincere, be honest and always keep your word. If you promise something to the customer, you’d better keep it to the letter!
Show your good intentions. Often trust is broken because the customer has the feeling that the company wants to take advantage of him, rather than acting on mutual benefit.
Be flexible. You know that the customer is always right, and even if he isn’t, sometimes it’s better to give up a little on your terms.
Outbound marketing is based on going to where consumers are and interrupting their daily lives to showcase your products and services. This is the case with classic TV ads, banners or spam.
Inbound marketing turns this paradigm of marketing to attract and retain customers. The idea is to get your customers to come to you to start nurturing your relationship with them.
One of the most common strategies to achieve this is to create valuable content that solves the real problems of your potential customers. Through blog articles, videos, ebooks, reports and other content, you can attract users to leave their contact details and become a lead. And a lead can be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
2 habits you should adopt if you are trying to attract and keep your customers
1) Focus on “Why?
In everyday life, how many times have you been talking to someone on the phone while checking your email or Facebook, how many times have you missed a deadline or forgotten to make an important call?
Needless to say, we are distracted beings trying to balance multiple sources of information; the problem is that we are not doing very well. And that’s precisely what happens when dealing with the client.
If your employees can only half focus on your customers, your buyers’ experience will suffer a huge blow.
They’ll feel neglected, ignored and go elsewhere. By not focusing on the buyer, we only perceive a small part of what they say and, based on that, we react in the wrong way. Remember, good practices will lead you to develop the habits of a good salesperson.
Imagine a couple entering a store in search of a plant. They ask one of the employees to recommend some kind of palm tree to put by their pool.
The employee only replies: “You can’t put a plant next to a swimming pool… it’s too dirty, look for swimming pool plants over there…” and all he does is point in one direction to return to his place.
The wife will think, “That was very rude… and it’s obvious that this one doesn’t know any more than we do. Ten seconds later they get in the car and go to another store.
If we had paid attention to the customer, perhaps we would have understood that this family was looking not for a palm tree, but for an ideal decorative accent for their patio to share with family and friends.
The employee would have taken a few minutes to suggest some more suitable alternatives and they would have left happy with their new purchase.
A good salesperson would use his concentration to listen only to the person in front of him. He would probably use his skills to understand why this couple is in this store today.
When you focus on your customers’ reason for visiting your store, you develop the following quality:
2) Empathize to understand the customer
Empathy is the ability to imagine what the other person feels.
Maybe a buyer is frustrated because he broke his favorite coat or happy because he is looking for a gift for his wedding anniversary. If you can empathize with him and his emotions, you can use all your knowledge about the products in your store to help him solve the situation.
Maybe even the customer has already looked for options online, but something has stopped him from taking that step. When you have empathy you have the wisdom to measure the options that exist and help the customer solve their problem.
We should not confuse “empathize” with “sympathize. If we sympathize we only come to the conclusion of: “yes, it must feel very ugly” without connecting with the client’s true emotions. If we cannot really identify with him, we cannot help him find that which will leave him happy.
To develop that empathy, we must stop thinking that the salesperson is in control. In reality, the customer is the one in charge. And to attract and keep more buyers, you have to make sure you’re not treating them like criminals who did something wrong, or like children who have to be explained everything to them as if they’re incapable of understanding.
Rather than asking “what are you looking for,” let’s ask questions that help us understand the frustrations, emotions and perspective of the person in front of us.
If every member of your team focuses, listens and empathizes with every person who walks through the door, they will come back. Consumers are humans who seek friendly treatment and enjoy connecting with someone who focuses on solving their needs and offering the best solution to their problem.
When your team develops these skills, customers will notice and tell their friends about the fabulous shopping experience your store has provided them.
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