There is a simple fact. If you have something to sell, you will need a buyer. But if you have more than one thing to sell, you are going to need that buyer to come again and bring another buyer with him. Or as we know it in today’s economy: retention of a customer.
How do you retain your customers?
There is not one way to customer retention but there is sure an effective way and that would be really exceptional warm-&-fuzzy-packed-in-a-rainbow-topped-with-a-star kind of customer service. And before you get all dejected that such a things isn’t possible. You might want to look in the customer service stories of Amazon, Apple, NETFLIX, GOOGLE, Samsung, Marriot and other famous and some not-so-famous brand known exclusively for their thoughtfulness towards their customers. Studying all those stories, I have compiled a list of attributes that could make a winning customer support strategy. If you are looking to improve your customer retention rates than try to implement these attributes in your company’s customer care.
- Personalize the Customer Support:
Personalization in customer support has to be one of the top attributes of customer service. Each customer new or existing appreciates when their brand makes them feel exclusive. Now and then, a brand should do something exclusively for a customer that isn’t necessary by any account, but is done simply to show that a brand cares about the customer whomever s/he might be.
Example: LEGO responded to 7-year old Luca’s honest email.
- #1 bete-noire of Customer Support
What does customers hate most in a support service?
Being made to wait for long hours.
Customers are people with regular lives. They have jobs and social obligations that limits their time. The top priority of any improve customer service strategy should be to minimize the call handling time without compromising the quality of service. It’s a tough nut to crack but one worth the effort.
Example: This customer was put on hold for 14 hours and he expressed his frustration online.
- Match the Tone of Inquiry:
It is important in customer support provision to answer business phone calls and the queries in the same tone they were asked. If the query was somber the answer should be formal. But if you have a positive answer to a query then your tone should be happy. Sometimes even bad news can be delivered in an upbeat lively way, considering it’s in good taste.
Example: Samsung’s response to guy who asked for a Samsung Galaxy S III in exchange for a dragon drawing. Though Samsung gave him his S III eventually but the initial rejection comment was also brilliant.
- Reward Loyalty & Express Gratitude:
As of 2016, 66% customers expect their brands to remember their purchase history when they reach out for support. It is important to have a centralized data system will help a firm make customers feel valued for the loyalty they show to their brands. It is a good practice for brands to show their gratitude.
Example: TD bank thought to say thanks to their loyal customers by surprising them with gifts.
- Listen to the Social Media:
Get involved. Many prominent entrepreneurs are known for their personal involvement in social media queries. Needless to say that when CEO of a companies like Apple responds to an enquiry, the customer feel like the matter. It also gives the top management to get to know their customer’s wants and needs and scale them with their product’s feature. New ideas can inspire them to create better product/services.
Example: Top CEOs like Steve jobs, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, John Legere, and Elon Musk are known to respond personally to social media queries and use social media as top priority to promote their company’ s interests.
- Learn from Other’s Mistake
Keep track of your competitors, not only to see what they are doing right but also to see what they might be doing wrong and avoid making the same mistake yourself. In the world of social media today, every good and bad customer service story gets repeated.
Example: This GASP customer was treated wrongly and the world responded to it.
Take control of an unfavorable situation and turn it into an advantage. Empower your front line agents to do something different, go extra mile for a customer they can relate to. Customers loved to be surprised and being touched when their preferred brands show that they care about them.
Example: Owen’s stuffed tiger Hobbs had an adventure after being left at airport.
- Out of the Box Thinking
Sometimes the gesture holds more meaning than money value. A kind gesture goes a long way. A smile could give hope to someone in despair. We are living in difficult times. It is as if the life is one big marathon and everybody is just running and eventually they run out of time. So show compassion and acceptance. It is a rare and valuable trait. And it doesn’t cost a dime.
Example: A waitress wrote a thank you note to local firefighters than won them over.