Fostering Customer Loyalty and Retention

Fostering Customer Loyalty and Retention

In today’s competitive world, companies need to use many strategies to deliver great customer service and attract new customers. The rise of the omnichannel opened the doors for new, creative tactics in customer service and marketing while also presenting the very modern challenge of keeping a brand image consistent across all channels. With a little forethought, companies can effectively retain their customers, inspire brand loyalty, and attract new customers to their brand.

Be personal and timely.

Customers want to feel that they are valued as individuals, not simply for the business they give. This is especially true in stressful customer service situations when support is greatly needed. For this reason, companies should strive to personalize the customer experience in as many ways as they can. This can mean everything from agents addressing customers by name during all interactions (regardless of the channel of communication) to allowing customized settings on a company website when purchases are made (such as wish lists, shopping baskets, and tabs for setting preferences). It’s equally important to be timely-answering customers as quickly as possible, keeping them updated about deliveries and any pertinent information that affects them, and following up after customer service cases have been resolved, for example. Customers want to be informed and will appreciate the human touch, as many studies have shown that brands with humanized, personal touches attain customer loyalty much more than brands that treat customers in a more mechanical, impersonal manner.

Offer loyalty programs, referrals, and goodwill gestures.

In addition to thanking customers for their business at the end of each interaction, another time-tested way of showing appreciation is to reward customers. Loyalty programs are great incentives for customers to keep coming back, such as offering vouchers and coupons. Another great strategy is a referral system that allows customers to benefit from referring friends to your company. This allows businesses to keep their customers while finding new ones as both the current and new customers are rewarded for their business. It’s also important to consider making gestures when customers are unhappy with a situation, such as a delayed delivery or a technical issue that is taking too long to resolve. Offering an account credit, for example, is a professional way to please the customer and proactively handle the situation-don’t wait for the customer to ask for it.

Just be proactive overall.

In addition to pleasing the customer in a stressful situation, companies should do what they can to avoid those situations altogether. Being proactive means being several steps ahead of the customer-and seeing things from his or her perspective. What if they have a technical question? Make sure FAQs are posted on all channels. Is there an anticipated delay in delivery or scheduled website maintenance? Let customers know in advance. Even when all is running smoothly-deliveries are on time, sales will be held as planned-keep customers informed ahead of time so they don’t have to ask you for the answers later.

Use marketing campaigns that are tailored to customer needs.

One great benefit of the omnichannel approach is the ability to reach a vast audience-a tool which is critical to effective marketing campaigns. But are you sure you are contacting customers on the channel they prefer? Using analytics can be helpful to determining which channels are best for contacting certain customers (again, personalization is key here). Once that has been determined, make sure that the products or services being offered are tailored to the interests of that customer by reviewing their purchase history with the company. Not all customers will necessary want to hear about the same products. Lastly, timing is just as important-make sure customers are contacted enough about offers to keep your brand image present, but don’t overwhelm customers with too much information. Periodic emails or social media updates that bear all the relevant information they need is much better than too many short emails or updates that customers might find bothersome.

Give customers a great experience.

Simply put, customers will come back if they have a great experience with your company, so do everything you can to achieve this. Offer a seamless omnichannel experience, be friendly and approachable, be thorough in providing information, and make the company website and mobile versions user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing. Going the extra mile to please your customers will pay off as your customers will be happy to interact with your brand and feel appreciated for their business. To learn more about excellent contact center software solutions for delivering great customer service, please visit www.vocalcom.com.

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