Find me a business owner who isn’t constantly scouring their network, their competitors, and the Internet for ways to serve customers better and I’ll show you a company with a shaky future. There’s so much noise out there right now, no business can afford to pat themselves on the back and assume their current customers are loyal. Or, that they’ve finally “figured it all out” when it comes to delivering the top-notch service millennials and emerging Gen Z consumers expect.
The 3 Ps can solve a lot of loyalty issues before they emerge and will definitely differentiate those who use them effectively from their competition:
Humans have officially crossed over into a realm where we have less ability to focus than a little brainless goldfish. I see this phenomenon happening myself, as being a home-based freelancer comes with a unique set of challenges when virtually all the research I do involves visiting webpages that offer up dozens of rabbit holes to go down on each and every page. When it comes to customer service, you need to focus your attention on each individual customer’s needs.
Collect data about their needs and wants, and how they prefer to use your products and/or services. Send personalised emails asking them what you could be doing better and take action to show they’re a priority for your business. Answer the phone on the first ring if you can and answer messages and emails as quick as you can. Millennials, in particular want personalised service and it’s safe to gamble that the same will show true for other generations moving forward.
There’s simply too many options to leave things to chance — the customer must come first.
You need to show customers you care and appreciate them in calculated, yet meaningful ways in order to maximise retention. Listening and following through on your promises is definitely key, but you also have to show customers their number one by actually telling and showing them. A generic “You’re the best!” won’t do it either.
In fact, it’s best to back up your praise with tangibles that leave an indelible mark in consumer’s memories. Giveaways, loyalty program incentives, and more go a long way to showing a customer how grateful you are for their patronage. If you’re in the business of making customers achieve their goals, always pat them on the back for a job well done.
Everyone seeks praise for a job well done — even if that job is just being a loyal customer, you need to say it often so they stick around.
Customers need to feel like their relationship with you is progressing. While there are many examples to choose from, take a look at how Apple markets their (unreasonably) expensive iPhone lines. With the average price of around a thousand bucks, after the initial launch where they charge a lot more, Apple is in a bind trying to sell customers the newest version unless the customer feels like their upgrading to a bigger, better version. Same with all other tech companies who need to push product upgrades in order to keep profits flowing.
If you’re in the service industry, progress is measured in many ways. From how fast you finish a product, to the favorable end result the customer gets. A renovation company won’t keep loyal customers if they can’t deliver desired results in the time frame customers want. A fitness brand can’t stay afloat without helping customers achieve accomplish their goals.
“I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.’ Abe Lincoln
Following these 3 Ps won’t just elevate your customer service and retention levels, they’re essential to success in the current consumer landscape. The days of the big bad corporation dictating terms of service are long gone. For the first time in history, customers are in charge and with few exceptions, there’s always someone else willing to go to service extremes you are not.
It’s a great era to be a consumer!
Main Image Credit: Robert Wallace/Flickr