We don’t think it’s any secret that customers don’t want to be a “number.” They need to know that you care that you value their interest in your company. Still, customer service seems to be the last thing in any marketing strategy. Allow your customers to feel special, give them a reason to stay loyal to you, and not move on to the next best thing.
- According to McKinsey, 70% of buying experiences are based on how the consumer feels they are being treated.
- “66% of consumers say they’re likely to switch brands if they feel treated like a number, not an individual.” – State of The Connected Customer Report
- 76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.
So how can you stay at the top of your customer service game?
Monitor social insights, pull from your Google analytics, and understand where your traffic is coming from and what they are looking for. Don’t assume you know who you should be marketing to or what they are looking for based on your product or service. Your target audience can, and will, change. You need to pay attention to the patterns of change and adjust your marketing accordingly. Providing them with the marketing that fits their exact expectations proves you care about their needs.
Whether your customers need 24/7 chat or direct lines; be there for them. Know the level of commitment you can provide and follow through. Don’t commit to something you can’t maintain and don’t assume they will wait to hear back from you whenever you are available. Research what your customers need (how and when) and deliver what you are capable of. We’ve said it before; we are in the land of demand. Consumers want what they want right here, right now. They will search until they find it, they won’t wait. If they need to reach you and you aren’t available, they’ve already decided you aren’t worth their investment.
Consistent Online Presence
Create an online presence that supports your business and provides the information your customers need. Research where your customers are searching and how they stay connected. Build your online presence in those areas and be committed to the updates necessary. Consider all avenues; social media, e-newsletters, website, blogs, directories. Don’t assume they will find you. Make it hard for them to miss you. Put yourself in front of current and potential customers by understanding where they are.
Hear Them Out
Take all feedback (positive and negative) to heart and act on each one. If a customer is taking the time to provide their honest opinion on an experience they’ve had with your company, they clearly feel deeply about it. They will share that opinion with everyone they know. If it happens to be negative, bad news travels fast! Listen to each scenario and act accordingly. Hear them out and try to put yourself in their shoes. Find what reaction makes the most sense for both you and the customer and handle it professionally. The same “reasoning” isn’t going to work for all situations, customize it per individual.
Don’t let the positive feedback pass with a simple thank you. Take note of it and dig deeper. Should you expand on it? Should you change it? Can you duplicate it in another part of your business? Let them know you’ve heard them, that you appreciate it and that you are continually working to provide the best service you can.
“You can lose up to 50% of your customers because of poor customer experience. It is important to ask your customers how they feel about your business through regular surveys and interviews.”
Simply put, you are nothing without your customers. If you don’t put customer service first, someone else is and taking your customers along with them. Customer service needs to be at the top of your marketing strategy and we can help!