Good Customer Service – The stepping stone to Brand Loyalty

Last year for Christmas, a famous airliner company surprised all of their customers by asking them for a Christmas wish-list before they boarded the flight. And by the time the customers reached their destination, the airliner had arranged for all these gifts and had them ready for the passengers to pick them up. Needless to say, the customers pledged their loyalty to the airliner for life.

The reactions of joy on the faces of the customers is enough evidence that customer service is the stepping stone to brand loyalty.

 

A dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience. Around 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people.

– White House Office of Consumer Affairs

Loyalty is bred out of exemplary customer service. You as a company need to inculcate values of customer service to the organization, so that great customer service is delivered from every part of the organization to the customer.

 Be there when they need you

To build a strong emotional connect, you need to always be available for your customers to reach you. This also means via every channel of communication they prefer. Apart from the regular mail, you need to offer services via phone, live-chat and social media so that their concerns are addressed via every channel. Build a good customer relationship.

 Understand changing customer experience trends

Customers are increasingly doing business with brands that deliver the best customer experience along with a great product. Loyalty can easily take a hit with even a single bad experience. Harris Interactive’s latest study shows consumers seem to not prefer loyalty that much but have a lot more affinity for a product/company that offers a great customer experience.

 Engage but not enrage

For many years corporates have believed that engaging your customer a lot is a sign of good customer service. But customers do not have all the time in the world for them to engage in all of your requested activities. Just the right amount of contact with your customer for him to always keep his loyalty in mind, but not too much for him to feel nagged by you – That is the best approach for customer service.

 Be crisp and succinct

Whenever you speak with a customer, it important that you understand the agenda and stick to resolving their problem first. Never get personal either with the customer or by speaking ill of competitors. It shows you in bad taste. Communicate any progress in the ticket clearly to the customer and never leave a customer uninformed.

 Personalize the customer experience

A simple birthday wish or a Happy Anniversary card in your customer’s mailbox will go a long way in building brand loyalty with your customer. Collect the necessary information from your customer and a simple birthday wish will make your customers understand that they are being cared for.

 Informed support staff. Comprehensive Knowledge base.

Constantly educate support staff about all the current and new functional activities about your product so that customers never have to wait for a long time for support staff to answer queries. Also, have a good KB and self-help service, so that customers can gather resolutions for those issues without having to contact your support team.

Track metrics and show improvement. Take ownership.

Whenever there is a mistake from your side, take ownership and apologize for the issue. Irate customers can be difficult to handle and apologies normally do the trick. Follow it up with good and personalized customer service for that specific customer to ensure his loyalty.

Further, you can track your customer support metrics and find out what areas you are not at your optimum.  This also provides insight on support staff performance and helps improve your overall functioning.

Encourage your support staff to provide stellar customer service.

* Polite and clear communication over email, phone and chat

* Understand issues clearly from the customer before proceeding

* Be fully educated about the product and services

* Continuous and periodic communication about resolution status

* Close issues well ahead of time and build relationships

Murali Satagopan

Customer service blogger, HappyFox enthusiast.