How To Develop Customer Loyalty
Since the beginning of civilization human relations have played a crucial role in the development of our social, political and economic culture. We naturally want people to treat us the right way and by doing so we continue to develop a relationship with that person. There is really no surprise that we feel the exact same way not only about the people that we surround ourselves with, but also the companies that we associate with. When was the last time that you went back to a store where someone was rude to you? Or when did you do business with a company that treated you like just another body? There is nothing wrong with wanting to be treated special, we all want that, but the one question we need to address is what does a company need to do to get your Loyalty? Or in other words, what is good customer service?
We all know that good customer service is crucial, but when we try to define it, not everyone is in agreement. To some, good customer service is as simple as fixing someone’s problem and offering a solution. To others it means lots of smiles and politeness. The truth is there is not a right or wrong answer, because there are to many factors of what makes great customer service “great.” You may have to look at the company that is fighting for your loyalty and see how they define customer service and see if it’s the right fit for you.
Santi’s Guide to Customer Loyalty
I have had over 14 years of customer service experience and I want to take this opportunity to share some of the wisdom picked up over the years. Hopefully I can shed some light for the ones that are still baffled by the great mystery of creating loyalty.
- Stop trying to over butter your customers: A lot of companies will try to sell you this world and next, stop listening to so many pretty words and go to the core of the issue. Flattering customers wont create loyalty, helping to find a solution to their needs does.
- Don’t make your customer wait: You know they say that patience is a virtue, but not in this case with your customer. If you fail to respond properly and in a timely manner it WILL have a negative impact on your business you could lose potential clients. Word of mouth is one of the most important advertisements most companies have, if you fail to help someone or you made them unnecessarily wait for along time, people will find out about it.
- Be empathetic and not sympathetic: Chances are that you are going to be dealing with a lot of angry and sad customers. One big mistake I have learned over the years is learn the difference between sympathy and empathy. Sympathy is getting involved with the customer’s emotions, people will usually say “sorry” or “that’s too bad” but that is usually insufficient to solve a customers problems. Empathy not only communicates that you understand the problem, but also that you can relate to it. I can understand why you would feel that way, and you are not alone.” Show them that you care.
- Find a solution: Finding a solution is probably the most important step in my guide. Some people may argue that there is not always a solution but let me disagree with all of them and tell you that THERE IS ALWAYS A SOLUTION. It may not be the solution that they are expecting but you can guide them in the right direction and this will always be appreciated.
I’m lucky enough to be loyal to the company I work for. From day one they treated me like a real person, they never made me wait, they have understood my problems and limitations and have worked with me when difficult situations arise. They planted a small seed that first day with kind words and proficiency and that seed, with lots of care and empathy, has grown to loyalty.
Branch Manager | West Valley City, Utah
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