In a recent study of more than 250 companies, the Peppers and Rogers Group
found 81 percent of firms with strong competencies for delivering continuous and positive consumer experiences not only gained loyal customer bases, but also significantly outperformed their competitors. While it seems logical that many businesses would strive to provide these types of loyalty warranting experiences, many don’t. This is especially true in the technology industry, which has one of the lowest customer service ratings, according to Forrester’s 2011 Customer Experience Index
How detrimental can a reputation for poor customer service be? Consider the following:
- Businesses should expect one dissatisfied customer to tell between nine and 15 people about their poor experience and 13 percent to tell more than 20.
- More than 86 percent of consumers quit doing business with a company because of a poor experience.
- It takes more than 12 positive experiences to make up for one negative experience.
- It is five times more costly to bring on a new client than to retain a current client.
With that said, how can businesses provide positive experiences and achieve loyalty? Communicate
Do more than send an email. Pick up the phone, update customers and make them feel like a part of the overall experience. By keeping customers in the loop, businesses foster a team experience and ensure project progress is always being made. Collaborate
Team up with customers; celebrate the successes and work through the challenges together. Go Above and Beyond
Pay attention to the little things. Whether it’s an after-hours email or a phone call on the weekend, make sure customers are always taken care of. Measure Retention
Be cognizant of the company’s retention rate. It not only serves as a report card on customer service, but it will gives insight into the overall health of the business. Slow Down and Listen
Tune into the customer’s needs and be sure those needs are fully understood. Make Time
Ensure customers know time will always be made for them, whether it’s an email, phone call or in-person meeting. Make the time to support the customers that support the business. Understand Clients’ Needs
By understanding and delivering services to satisfy each client’s unique needs, businesses can set themselves apart and provide services that aren’t available anywhere else.
By following these guidelines, businesses can feel confident they are making sure their customers feel like part of a team that communicates, goes above and beyond, and ultimately provides consistent positive experiences that warrant fierce customer loyalty.