What Is the Relationship Between Customer Service & Customer Loyalty?
You know that loyalty drives positive recommendations for your business. But what drives loyalty? You have a deep comprehension of statistics like:
Cost per acquisition
Customer acquisition costs
Average order value
Yet, it is the softer skills involved in customer service that produce better numbers and revenue. Your competition can match your stats, but they will have a harder time matching excellent customer service, which in turn produces greater customer loyalty.
Consistently excellent customer service will build loyalty, and every point in the customer journey is an opportunity to solidify that loyalty. Every step counts, including marketing activities, website navigation, pricing, product, delivery, and contact with customer service. Each moment builds up or tears down the promise. It may seem unfair, but one bad experience along the way can turn a loyal customer into a former client who spreads bad word of mouth about your business.
The customer service interactions your business provides can make or break loyalty. Your product may be the best, but if your service representative is inattentive or edgy with a customer question, nothing else will matter. Creating and maintaining a culture of superior service at all times takes some effort, but you can start with these four building blocks.
Your customer may have just spent time listening to 15 options to choose from to be transferred to a service representative. She may have been transferred to a department unable to respond to her specific problem. However, the representative she reached has an opportunity to listen carefully, acknowledge her frustrations, and then find the right people to provide the solution. With so many potential pitfalls, having the right support systems is also crucial to ensure superior service. Nothing can destroy loyalty quicker than making a customer repeat the problem to multiple agents.
This concept is simple. Whatever the customer needs, add something of value. If a product is faulty, send a freebie with an apology for the inconvenience or offer free shipping for a first-time customer. Quick, efficient service is great, but giving something that adds value to the relationship will build loyalty.
Do your agents have the ability to make decisions that will delight the customer. Rigidly following policies can be a rapid loyalty killer. While you do not want your employees giving away the company, you can provide them with tools to use. This may be the ability to add loyalty points to a customer account or other options.
Your agents may hear multiple complaints every day, but these complaints are a goldmine. Your customers are telling you directly what obstacles they face to being completely satisfied. They are doing you a favor by telling you rather than abandoning you and telling their friends about the bad experience. Listen carefully to your customers, act to remove the obstacles, and watch their loyalty grow.
Investing in service is an investment in customer loyalty, and customer loyalty is the quality that improves your statistics and profits.