What makes a customer stay with a supplier in the long term, especially when quality and price are similar in the market?
There are many aspects that contribute to the company having loyal customers. By having a positive emotional experience, physical & psychic attribute-based satisfaction and perceived value of an experience, customers will appreciate the company. However, is that all?… well, the answer is no.
So what else could we do?
Add value on top of the money you receive for the product or service you provide: Companies need to make profit, this is not a secret. However, adding value on top of what you are being paid is essential. Great customer service programs should not only focus on treating customers well, but also answering questions and anticipating customer’s needs and market trends. It is not only about selling a product or a service, it is about knowing our customer’s business, engaging customers and building strong relationships.
Share the knowledge: What is wrong with sharing knowledge and experience? “The question is not whether your company’s employees and leaders have the right skills; it is whether they have the potential to learn new ones” the same applies to customers. Technology goes very fast and if we expect customers to use and understand the advantages of our products, we need to teach them…. or learn from them to adapt our business.
Moreover, sharing knowledge helps customers and employees to stay motivated and to be on the same page. Sharing knowledge is great to generate new ideas or improve products.
Provide references: People often make purchasing decisions based on recommendations from family and friends, rather than advertising. Similar situations happens with companies.
Therefore, there is nothing wrong referring other companies to our customers, if this will add value to our customer. Sometimes customers require services or products we cannot provide, however this doesn’t mean we should leave our customer alone in their search. Remember: add value, customers will appreciate it!
Loyal customers provide positive endorsements and online reviews that can help a business strengthen its brand.
Listen to your customers: Do not listen to answer, listen to understand. Good customer service prevents business failure. Buyers become frustrated over small problems that are not addressed, such as unclear communication, slow follow up to questions, or ignored requests.
On the top of that, customers will provide you the best feedback: In which area the company needs to improve? How this product could be better? Does the company communication align with its performance?
Listen to your employees: Although the internal communication is an extend subject, we will briefly mention from the customer service point of view. People want to work for businesses that appreciate employee’s contributions, encourage new ideas and treat customers fairly. When people work for an employer that provides excellent customer service, they are more engaged in their work and become an advocate for the business. They are more willing to stick with the company through business challenges and economic changes.
Retain customers: Keeping loyal customers is way less expensive than getting new ones. “Research shows that it costs about six to seven times more to attract new customers than to retain existing business”. Therefore satisfied customers become devoted buyers when a business is trustworthy.
Customer service programs are important in every business industry and although the key are the employees, the previous advises might give you a hint. However, is that all?… well, the answer is no.