Top Stories of the Week: Why Customer Loyalty is So Important and more

Glad to see you back here at Friday Five, let’s look at some more interesting stories from the world of CX, the customer experience:

Why Customer Loyalty is So Important.

According to Debra Carpenter, good service isn’t enough to keep customers anymore. You can win loyal customers with great service – but what’s the value of that?

Carpenter gives five reasons:

  • They spread the word about your business. Word of mouth is real and it works. Loyal customers like to tell others about the businesses they’re loyal to. And friend to friend is the best advertising possible.

  • They stick with you a long time. It’s possible to drive them away, but you really have to work at it. They overlook the small mistakes that put off casual customers.

  • They come back more often. If they can buy it from you, they do.

  • They give you feedback. As Carpenter puts it, “Loyal customers can act as your focus group.” They tend to answer surveys, respond to social media posts asking for opinions and try to keep you on your toes with honest feedback.

  • They take your side. They don’t talk up your competition on social media, and they put in a good word for you when they can.

Customer Service Requires Constant Polishing.

It’s one thing to capture customers with good service. If you want to keep them, you have to keep polishing your service. As Sonja Carberry writes, “a superb customer experience is worth obsessing over.”

She offers some tips in doing so:

  • Wake up. “Cruise control won’t keep you on top.”

  • Get hands on. Mercedes-Benz makes sure all employees have driven a Mercedes – more than once.

  • Get it right. Getting it right the first time is the best way to please customers.

  • Go all in. Anything you can do to immerse your employees in your brand experience and the customer service you expect will pay dividends.

  • Build a winner. Customer service gets a lot easier when you have a carefully-built product in the first place.

Close the Customer Experience Feedback Loop.

George Jacob writes in B2C that there are two thoughts key to improving the customer experience when you’re not sure what to do:

“If you feel frozen, act small to improve the customer experience.”

When a customer provides feedback they’ve opened a line of communication. You need to follow up on that with the customer, closing the feedback loop.

“To an individual customer, every personal interaction is the customer experience.”

What’s the customer experience your company offers, a brand? A promise? The customer thinks it’s their unique interactions with your company. To them, that is the Customer Experience. Maintain the small things, keep all the moving parts in good order, and the machine will keep running smoothly.

Back of House: Your Customer Experience Superheroes.

FastCasual gives five training tips for back of house employees in restaurants, the real “customer experience superheroes,” but they’re applicable to any business:

  • Throw out the book. Rules and guidelines need to be in writing, yes. The actual training should happen at least on video, preferably face to face – especially for back of house employees, who don’t encounter customers face to face often.

  • Communicate – with everyone. Back of house, who don’t experience customers first hand, need to know how they’re making a difference. Eliminate as much as possible the front-back of house divide.

  • Win over your employees. Do that and they’ll win over your customers. Keep your back of house people engaged and happy.

  • Put as much thought and care into the back of house as you do the front. Investing in non-customer facing systems and tools that make back of house’s life easier go a long way to improving morale.

  • Practice good timing. Train employees on new equipment when it’s installed, not before.

Why You Need a Customer Survey Strategy: Four Reasons (With Numbers).

CustomerThink offers four quantifiable reasons why your company needs a customer survey strategy:

  • It increases customer retention. Want the numbers? “89 percent of consumers start doing business with another company after a poor customer service experience.”

  • It builds your brand. “According to the Harvard Business Review, 48 percent of people who had a negative experience with a brand will tell 10 or more people about it.” On the other hand, software development firm Zendesk says that “87 percent of customers will share good experiences with other people.”

  • It’s the best way to measure customer satisfaction. “86 percent of buyers will pay more as long as they are satisfied with the service or product offered by a company.”

  • Tangible data informs business decisions. The inputs you gather from customer surveys should be fed back in to improve the customer experience at every step of the journey.

Have a great week!

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