When it comes to customer loyalty or connecting with customers, so many things are involved. The business strategies you use in most cases plays little or no role in driving your sales or bringing about repeat customers, but what matters most is the actions you take!
Another sentence you can use to describe the above topic is “customer retention.” Before I proceed, I would like to inform you that the personal touch which your customers receive from your business revolves round you and your employees. It will also interest you to know that there are two types of employees – the employee with a start-up company and the employee with a full blown company.
The first one faces fewer customers while the second type of employee deals with chains of customers. Whichever one your business has, there is already the potential for poor customer service delivery because the start-up firm will at some point add more customers just as the full blown firm.
In all these, your common goal is to make sure your customers receive customer satisfaction and compelling service experience. So what then do you need to make this happen? This article will expose you to 5 action plans which you can possibly use to connect with your customers starting from now! Let’s see them…
Action Plan #1: Create a Customer-Service Policy
I looked up the word “policy” in a mobile dictionary and saw many definitions but decided to pick this one:
“A principle of behavior, conduct etc. thought to be desirable or necessary, especially as formally expressed by an authoritative body.”
Now I want you to take note of the words I underlined above because they serve the basics of what Customer Service Policy stands for. One sure way you can use to connect with your customers is by writing or creating a Customer Service Policy.
The Customer Service Policy should come from you and you in return will give every employee of yours heads up as to what the rules are and be ready to live up to them at all time. Your Customer Service Policy mustn’t be exhaustive or too loaded with grammar for your employee to understand, a simple and captivating lines of sentences will just be fine. The following are some examples you can use:
- The customer is always right even when he or she is wrong
- Never argue with a customer
- Employees are empowered to offer 5 percent discount to any unsatisfied customer on serious cases
- Always focus on the customer/user experience than the product itself
- Always encourage customers to get their frustrations out in the open
- Always create room for positive dialogue with customers
And you can go on just like that…
Action Plan #2: Get Emotionally Connected with Your Customers
Passion is the key to attaining heights in every business. If you have passion for your business then you won’t have problems getting your employees to get emotionally connected with customers when dealing with them. At all time your goal as a business owner would be to make sure passion runs deep in your employees and rampant throughout your company.
The good thing about having this feature yourself first of all is because your employees see you as the mirror which they look at every day of their in your business. Your actions should gear them into seeing how profitable good customer related services is to a business and also how it connects with their future in the company.
To get things done, you can make them become emotionally engaged or connected with your customers by developing a measurement of superb customer service or what I like to call customer relationship management. You can ignite the flames of fire in them by rewarding every single employee that sticks to the practice. One thing is certain, if you are genuinely committed to making your customers happy, getting emotionally connected with them will be a piece of cake.
Action Plan #3: Offer a Customer Loyalty Program
The question would be – what is the best customer loyalty program that works? Think of creating or writing a Customer Service Policy! Yes, it rocks and works like fire…
Zappos.com, an online shoe and clothing shop currently based in Las Vegas, Nevada made history today because they saw what loyalty customers will bring when they are offered something meaty. Zappos as a matter of policy or what I will like to call philosophy made things convenient for their customers by offering a 365 day return policy in their business. Now that is what I call “a great customer service!” The end result was 100 percent loyalty which has by far brought them repeat customers and referrals. Read below the Zappos Family Core Values:
10 Values Zappos Live With
- Deliver WOW Through Service
- Embrace and Drive Change
- Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
- Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
- Pursue Growth and Learning
- Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
- Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
- Do More With Less
- Be Passionate and Determined
- Be Humble
I have had the opportunity of shopping round some businesses and was shocked when I discovered that this very offer was not included in their customer service program. These companies simply focus more on their products and how much they realize from them and not the customer experience with their product.
If you must connect with your customers you must create a personal touch with them or better still create a memorable moment which they will gladly tweet about or share with their friends. Think of what good a return policy can do to your business in terms of connecting with customers and take necessary actions today!
Action Plan #4: Give a Listening Ear to Every Customer
I can vividly remember those days in college when we were told that a good listener makes a good decision. This is by no means different in the business of today. I have seen most businesses fail in their customer services because they felt they created the products and so should be the one talking or giving the speech while the customer listens. Now I am not saying this is bad, but it becomes bad when you make it mandatory or feel the customer is nobody to tell you what to do.
Giving a listening ear to your customer will open a dialogue session which for sure will bring about a positive ending. Also giving a listening ear to a customer will conform to the standard of good customer care service which in other words puts you in a corner of “helping” instead of “selling!”
Again I leave you with this – “a good listener makes good decisions, just as a good listening business will make a good and happy chains of customers.”
Action Plan #5: Show Off Dedication to Serve at all time
There are few “magic words” which you and your employees must learn to use in your business dealings with customers. These magic words are like wounds that take time to heal (meaning they hardly leave the customer’s head)
Some of them include:
- How may I help you Sir/Ma?
- Please stay with me while I find out
- I can solve that problem
- I appreciate your time
- I will take responsibility
- I don’t know, but I will find out
- I will keep you updated or posted
- Monday is definitely Monday nothing less
- I will deliver on time
- I will get the job completed
- What you ordered is what we will deliver
- Thank you for choosing us
- We appreciate your contribution
And so on…
Customers are always right and they are the air your business breath to stay alive. Putting them first in all you do will not only help you connect with them but will also bring about increased sales, increased profit, 100 percent repeat customers and recommendations. Take a bold step today to make things right in this New Year!
Alright it’s your turn to talk!
What other ways are you going to use to connect with your customers in this year? I will like to hear from you; so let’s get this discussion started right away!