When consumers choose to give a brand their business, they generally have many options. Whether it be an airline, a retail brand, or a hotel chain, companies should never lose sight of the fact that their customers are choosing them. This trust in a brand therefore deserves to be rewarded with exceptional service, and a key to its delivery is making sure that customers feel empowered at all times—given choices, rewarded for loyalty, and offered a seamless customer experience. How can brands ensure their customers feel empowered?Deliver a great omnichannel experience. Customers nowadays want to engage on various channels, from social media platforms to SMS to traditional phone. Brands may be available on different channels, but what is truly important is embracing an optimized omnichannel approach. In other words, it’s not enough to have a Facebook page or Twitter account if agents are not actively engaging with customers. Optimize across all channels to deliver a great omnichannel experience that gives customers a choice of their preferred channel and ultimately makes them proud to support your brand.Offer loyalty programs and targeted marketing offers. Loyalty programs are great incentives for customers to keep supporting a brand, such as offering vouchers and coupons or using a referral system that allows customers to benefit from referring friends to a company. Targeted marketing offers also show that brands are paying attention to customers’ preferences and want to offer the best of what the customer might actually want or need. 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 great way to show customers appreciation and proactively handle difficult cases, giving customers back control over frustrating situations.Save them time. One of the greatest customer frustrations? Losing valuable time. Brands must strive to deliver customer experiences that save time, including prompt responses to service inquiries on all platforms, proactive customer service such as updating customers on deliveries and other order/service issues, and eliminating hold times with advanced technological features that allow customer callbacks at their preferred times or only when agents are free to speak to them.Personalize the customer experience. A great aspect of empowering customers is making them feel like valued individuals. Whether it be a service interaction or a marketing email, customers deserve personalized experiences such as being addressed by name, given offers and services targeting their interests and needs, and being treated with empathy and respect during every service interaction. Customers need to feel that brands go beyond merely delivering products or services and truly value their customers’ feelings and experiences with the brands they support.Encourage customer feedback and participation. A poor brand experience may provoke a customer to vent and abandon a brand, while a great experience may light up social media with customer satisfaction comments that turn such customers into brand ambassadors. In either case, companies need to listen to their customers and be willing to hear the good and the bad. Customer feedback should always be encouraged, whether it be through post-contact or periodic surveys, social media platforms, or follow-up calls. Feedback is critical to improving a brand, and customers with concerns should be particularly encouraged to express their opinions. Some brands may take such feedback a step further by encouraging participation in product development or changes to company policies, from creating fan-favorite products to overhauling weak customer service practices.Empowered customers don’t just support brands—they embrace them willingly, refer them to others, and potentially turn into powerful brand advocates in the process. By paying attention to customer choice—as well as voice—brands may earn the loyalty of their customers and fuel their success. Learn about Vocalcom contact center software solutions for delivering powerful customer service experiences.
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