Customer Experience News & Trends

7 ways sales, service and the experience can boost customer loyalty

Sales, service and customer experience professionals can build customer loyalty by constantly focusing on one critical factor: customer needs. Here’s how.

In sales and service the focus is often solving problems. But a “needs mentality” helps organizations and front-line employees to move the focus from the product, service or problem to what will help customers live or work better.

Even more important is this: If you don’t take steps to build and capture loyalty, your competitors will.

What to do

Here are seven tips to boost customer loyalty – whether you’re a salesperson, service rep or have a hand in the customer experience:

  1. Communicate regularly. When you stay in touch with customers you let them know you’re thinking about them and not taking them for granted. Send helpful information to them regularly, not just advertising material. Customers like valuable information – access to white papers, tip sheets, insider details, etc. – not just what you’re selling. Show them you care and tell them you’re glad they do business with you.
  2. Make realistic promises. It’s tempting to oversell or over-promise, particularly when there’s tough competition involved. Promises not kept are one of the leading reasons why customers walk. It’s better to be realistic and not make commitments you may not be able to keep.
  3. Respond promptly to customer questions or complaints. A prompt response tells customers you care; a delayed one delivers the wrong message. Respond as quickly as possible in the channel they request you respond.
  4. Be on the firing line and be prepared to deal with angry customers when things go wrong. Sales and service pros are often the first to have contact with a dissatisfied customer. They’re also often the first to know about a situation that might upset customers. You want to see complaints and uprising issues as opportunities because resolving them to the customers’ satisfaction is known to build customer loyalty.
  5. Assure quality. Getting feedback on your efforts, products, services and the experience – and following up – has big payoffs in terms of fostering customer loyalty. Bake it into your system that customers are contacted after they have an experience with you to determine all went as well as they wanted.
  6. Coordinate with others in the company in order to meet the customer’s needs. Even those who don’t think they touch the customer experience, need to maintain a positive, productive climate where customer needs are given top priority.
  7. Stay in touch with the customer after they request help or complain to make sure that what is supposed to get done has been done. Show you are genuinely concerned with the customer’s welfare.

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