The holidays may seem pretty far away, but stores are already putting decorations on the walls and wrapping paper on the shelves. Although it’s not even Halloween yet, families are gathering wish lists and checking out the shops.
With the holidays upon us already (whether you like it or not) it’s a great time for a little reminder about creating customer loyalty. Consumers today have almost endless options for most of the goods and services they want and need, so what sets you apart? Why do they come to your store for that special gift or call your company when they need a new roof? It’s all creating an excellent customer experience and building client loyalty. The art of premiere customer service is often lost in a world of online shopping, but it’s important to go out of your way to create an excellent experience whenever possible. That may seem obvious, but taking your service to the next level takes concerted effort from everyone on your team.
Business owners are also dealing with a whole new animal when it comes to customer service – social media. There’s an old saying that someone who has a bad experience will tell twice as many people as someone who has a great experience. In a world ruled by Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and other social sites, this is especially true and someone business owners have to embrace and handle bad AND good experiences appropriately.
When someone has a great experience…
Ask them to help you spread the word about your business! Consider asking them to fill out a quick survey, post a review on your favorite reviewing site, tell their friends (and TAG your business on social media), refer someone they know, join your enews list, etc. If they ARE willing to do at least one of those things, be sure to send a thank you.
When someone has a bad experience…
Fix it! When someone has a bad experience – especially when it’s an issue of time wasted or service ignored – they are going to tell their friends. If they’re really upset, they’re also going to take the time to post a bad review online. Bad reviews can haunt you for years! If someone has a bad experience, even when you disagree with the issue, you need to step in and make it right if at all possible.
When someone contacts you…
It’s more common than ever for potential or current customers to reach out to you socially. Whether they’re asking a question or requesting something special, it’s important to respond as quickly as possible. It’s OK if you can’t accommodate the request, but the fact that you took the time to reply in a timely matter shows that you care. Of course responding quickly and being understanding is just as important if they call or email you! Check out this great example: http://jackiehuba.com/2015/01/gaining-loyalty-sometimes-its-as-simple-as-responding-when-a-customer-reaches-out.html.
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