Advancements in technology means there will always be new and improved products and services. Change is always constant. If there wasn’t change, we would still be using horses and carts as a means to transportation. This is why Fred Reichheld, from Bain claims that your customers aren’t necessarily yours. Businesses are being challenged and put out by newer and more advanced ways of dealing with a service or product. Therefore, customer loyalty is becoming increasingly important. Getting to know your customers through their feedback and open communication will teach you ways that you can earn loyalty from them. That way, you avoid potential detractors from planting the seed of negativity which will in turn spread among the people they know, the internet and demoralise your employees. When inevitable change occurs (such as improved technology etc), prepare yourself by getting know your customers because as mentioned earlier, your customers aren’t yours.
A 1to1media article delves into calculating customer’s true loyalty score and reveals the two sides of loyalty. This is described as Behavioural Loyalty and Attitudinal Loyalty.
Behavioural loyalty refers to customers who are loyal out of habit. Sometimes switching from one brand to another causes more of a problem for the customer so they struggle with leaving a brand for another and/or are too lazy to transfer so they stay with a brand despite how unsatisfied they are with the customer experience. Attitudinal loyalty is loyalty due to the customer’s attitude towards the brand. When customers trust and depend on the brand, and there is no substitute for that brand they are happy to continue in their relationship with the company.
Are your customers loyal to you out of their habit or out of their love for your brand?
Seth Godin blogged a short post on the importance of putting your customers first before your product or service. By this he means that your product/service, its features, how its advertised and so on should all made specifically for your customer. Seth explains, that “the bowling alley investor ought to pick whether he’s hoping for serious league players or girls-night-out partiers before he buys a building or uniforms.” The brand should be consistent throughout and every aspect of the product/service experience must be made specifically for your customer.
Call centres and customers calling up have to deal with a lot of technical difficulties. As listed in a B2C article, these can commonly include hold times, charges for calls, hold music, complicated menus and disconnected calls. Other issues customers have to deal with are patronizing staff members, language barriers and poorly logged calls. The best way to identify areas for improvement considering your call centre is to immerse within the centre, listen to calls, talk to your staff and map out the customer touchpoints. A simple (one-size-fits-all) guide by B2C shows how bad experiences with call centres can be avoided in 6 steps:
- Be prepared and make sure you have numerous options available to you to offer to the customer.
- Introduce yourself so that the customer can refer back to you along with reference numbers etc.
- Promise to deliver a solution quickly.
- Ask the customer for what they would like you to do and respond clearly.
- Clarify everything and make sure you are fully aware of the situation and can understand the customers request.
- Stay connected with other departments making the process seamless for the customer.
Giving customers the option to reserve an item online and collect it at a more convenient time is a great way of driving customers in store but also creates an effortless way for customers to search and decide on their purchases. If relevant, this feature can make a great sales driver and could help in making a great customer experience. An econsultancy article lists the tips of the trade for this “Click and Collect” feature.
- Promote it: There are many benefits for you and the customer in the use of “Click and Collect”. Make it clear to customers that the option is available.
- Local stock: Allow customers to check the availability of stock in local stores to avoid frustrations with not being able to purchase an item they desire.
- Explain: Clearly explain how your “Click and Collect” system works, make it easily understandable and appealing to your customers.
- ASAP pickup: Give customers the option to collect their purchases ASAP. Customers shouldn’t have to deal with wait times. After all, “Click and Collect” is meant to be quick and easy.
Innovate, co-create and bounce ideas off strangers to reach a common goal at the Service Design Jam. “Can you prototype and plan it in a way that someone could go out and make it real, knowing what resources they would need, what they should do, and who they should talk to? That’s the challenge of the Jam.”
Join the Jam at http://sydneyservicedesignjam.eventbrite.com.au/#
Without customers, what is your brand?
In an article from MediaPost, Ingrid Froelich emphasizes that “brand experience is defined by your customers’ perceptions of their interaction with you.” The way that your customers experience your brand across channels whether they are active or passive in this, all affect the way they see your brand. This can make your break your brand experience.
“To stand out, organisations now need to meet and exceed customer expectations.”
So how is this done? First, you need to know your customers and what exactly are their expectations.
- Know your customers. The easiest way of doing this is not by assuming what they know but by simply listening to your customers. Take an ‘Outside In’ perspective to help you to understand and emphasize with your customers because the customer voice can strongly affect the way your brand is perceived. “By hearing the customer voice, the organisation can prioritize change and support…
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