Thursday, March 28, 2013

Five Steps to Keep Your Customers

Customers are fickle, demanding and opinionated. Keeping your customers loyal,
satisfied and saying positive things about you is crucial. There are plenty of things that
must be done via your technology, people and processes to make your culture customer
focused. Here are 5 strategies that need to be incorporated into your daily efforts.

1. Be nice. Sounds easy but we all know from recent service experiences that “nice”
does not always happen. When it does, we remember it. Jaume Tapies, chairman
of the luxury hotel group Relais and Chateaux, says, “The difference between a
good hotel and a bad one is one word: care. Find people who care and you will
have a great experience.” It is time to check your niceness factor.

2. Be easy. Reduce the hassle factor. No one wants to repeat the same information
twice. Customers want to talk to one person. Disney has reduced the hassle of the
waiting in line experience with advanced technology. Ask your teams – what
barriers and boundaries keep them from delivering an easy customer experience?

3. Say thank you. Customers want to feel special. Customers don’t want to be one
of many. Instead they want to feel connected to you and the brand. Apple store
employees use a process called The Five Steps of Service and the fifth step is a
fond farewell and an invitation to return. How do you end the contact with the
customer and do they feel appreciated? The lasting impression makes a difference
in the customer’s decision to return.

4. Do something extra. Call your customers within 30 days of a purchase to check
on satisfaction or tell of a new offer. Write a handwritten thank you note. Send an
extra item with an order. It is pretty easy to wow the customer with simple acts.

5. Connect 24/7. A Sitel Study shows 57% of customers search online first for
a solution when experiencing a problem. Customers want you to know where
they’ve been, what they’ve done and what they need. Working in silos will cause
your customers to flee fast and be vocal about it as they leave. How well are you
managing all the touchpoints?

Customers want to be loyal. It is easier and saves them time. These 5 strategies will help
create the experience that will keep them returning.