Customer Focus: 5 Steps to Keep Your Customers Loyal

Customers are fickle, demanding, and opinionated. That's why keeping your customers loyal, satisfied, and saying positive things about you is crucial. There are plenty of things that must be done via your technology, people, and processes to make your culture customer focused. Here are five strategies that need to be incorporated into your daily efforts.

  1. Be nice. Sounds easy but we all know from recent service experiences that "nice" does not always happen. When it does, we remember it. Jaume Tapies, chairman of the luxury group Relais and Chateaux, says, "The difference between a good hotel and a bad one is one word: care. Find people who care and you will have a great experience." It is time to check your niceness factor.
  2. Be easy. Reduce the hassle factor. No one wants to repeat the same information twice. Customers want to talk to one person. Disney has reduced the hassle of the waiting in line experience with advanced technology. Ask your teams - what barriers and boundaries keep them from delivering an easy customer experience?
  3. Say thank you. Customers want to feel special. Customers don't want to be one of many. Instead they want to feel connected to you and the brand. Apple store employees use a process called The Five Steps of Service and the fifth step is a fond farewell and an invitation to return. How do you end the contact with the customer and do they feel appreciated? The lasting impression makes a difference in the customer's decision to return.
  4. Do something extra. Call your customers within 30 days of a purchase to check on satisfaction or tell of a new offer. Write a handwritten thank you note. Send an extra item with an order. It is pretty easy to wow the customer with simple acts.
  5. Connect 24/7. A Sitel Study shows 57 percent of customers search online first for a solution when experiencing a problem. Customers want you to know where they've been, what they've done, and what they need. Working in silos will cause your customers to flee fast and be vocal about it as they leave. How well are you managing all the touch points?

Customers want to be loyal. It is easier and saves them time. These five strategies will help create the experience that will keep them returning.

Lisa Ford is a speaker with over 20 years of experience presenting to businesses, associations, and government. She speaks throughout the United States and internationally on topics of customer service, leadership, team issues, and change. Lisa is best known for her work in the areas of customer service. She is the author of the video series "How to Give Exceptional Customer Service."

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