Many organizations struggle to find ways in which they can build customer loyalty and reduce customer churn. In this article, Bob Lucas offers some proven ways to create loyal customers.
Companies are spending large amounts of money and time creating costly reward programs, sending out expensive marketing materials, and investing in expensive customer relationship management systems. While each of these components have value and contribute to customer satisfaction; the following are three simple, proven strategies that build customer loyalty.
1. Become a trusted customer resource
Customers often encounter life challenges that require expertise beyond their capabilities. For example, an electrical light switch stops working, a toilet starts leaning, their computer starts giving error messages, or they start experiencing problems with their cars.
In each of these instances, people will often turn to a reputable source for assistance to help resolve the issue. If you are that source, take the time to listen empathetically and then demonstrate that you have the knowledge and expertise to assist them.
By effectively and efficiently helping navigate the problem and coming to a speedy and cost-effective resolution, you can show value for the products and services that you and your organization provide. You can also increase customer satisfaction and help ensure that they will return to you again in the future.
2. Demonstrate integrity
In a world where stories of unethical or illegal behavior from businesses and service providers are commonplace, you have an opportunity to excel in demonstrating your own integrity. You can do so by:
- Keeping your word and meeting agreed timeframes and commitments
- Being honest
- Being consistent and reliable in your service delivery
- Providing quality products, competitive warranties and guarantees
3. Address service breakdowns professionally
Things do not always go the way you plan. An unexpected delay may necessitate a schedule modification or a product may fail to perform as expected or promised.
When such glitches occur, take the opportunity to listen to your customers and immediately take the appropriate action to address the situation. Work professionally to identify the issue and cause, and then negotiate an acceptable remedy. By showing that you are committed to resolving the issue to the customers’ satisfaction in a timely manner, you can retain their trust and confidence that you are working in their best interest.
By taking these three simple steps, you can assure your customers that you are interested in meeting their needs, wants and expectations. You also show that you will put forth the effort to ensure that they are satisfied.
About the Author
Robert (Bob) W. Lucas is an experienced customer service consultant and has written many books, including the top selling college textbook, “Customer Service Skills for Success” and “Customer Service: Building Success Skills for the Twenty-First Century.”
Customer loyalty has to be earned. Over a longer period, consistently. As a customer-centric company, we figured out several working retention strategies.