Loyal customers are the prerequisite for sustainable growth and stable profits. Numerous studies have proven the cost of customer churn. In addition to fluctuating revenues, the costs involved in acquiring new customers are thwarting the company’s balance sheet.
It is up to five times more expensive to win a new customer than to keep an existing one. This leaves every company with a lot of financial leeway to invest in brand loyalty. You guessed it! One of these measures is having an excellent after-sales service. Let’s take a look at five strategies that increase brand loyalty through customer service.
1. Only Make Promises You Can Keep
A self-confident brand image is part and parcel of business. Your customers buy your brand because it shines and glistens, and because you sometimes go out on a limb. That’s OK, as long as full-bodied claims are limited to your advertising. Your after-sales service is not the right area to impress your customers with bold promises.
Here it is paramount to promise only what you can really deliver. Great promises result in high expectations – and you wouldn’t be the first company to fail in this area. Customers contact your customer service because they have a question or a problem. In order to restore brand loyalty, you will need to remain humble, listen precisely and be able to provide competent answers. Let your marketing department take care of the clever slogans.
2. Always Be Available for Your Customers
If a smartphone display breaks or a washing machine stops working, then your customers expect quick help, but above all, they expect an even faster response to their service request. Thanks to digital communication channels, you as a brand can theoretically be reached around the clock from anywhere in the world. However, a customer service channel is not a one-way street for your customers.
For example, 42 percent of your customers who contact you via social media expect to receive a response within 60 minutes. Therefore, if you offer this channel, you have to keep up to speed. By the way, do not hide behind digital channels that are controlled by chatbots. Brand loyalty in customer service is not fostered by simple solutions, but by providing outstanding support – and in many cases, this can only be achieved through personal dialog with your customers.
3. Focus on the Details
Your customers do not just buy a product or service. Behind your brand lies the promise of an experience – and that is exactly what your customers anticipate. The new smartphone, cool wearables or the high-quality smart TV don’t simply exist to provide mobile access to the internet, to measure your heart rate or to watch Netflix in the best possible resolution. Many of your customers have an emotional relationship with your brand.
Do not disappoint them by neglecting the smaller details. Every customer experience consists of many small individual touchpoints with your brand. Loyalty to your brand only emerges when the overall experience is consistent and convincing. Customer service as a link between your customers and your brand after the actual purchase of a product plays a crucial role in the quality of the relationship throughout the life cycle.
4. Be Where Your Customers Are
Digital transformation has created a variety of new communication channels that your customers use. An average smartphone owner uses a total of nine apps every day to communicate with friends, family and work colleagues. You should assume that many of your customers expect this diversity when it comes to accessing your customer service: You should be present wherever your customers prefer to spend their time.
We currently find ourselves in an exciting transitional phase that poses great challenges to after-sales organizations. While older generations want to initially talk to a call center employee, Millennials prefer do-it-yourself tools – from relevant FAQ pages to repair kits for fixing cracked smartphone displays. If you want to build brand loyalty through customer service, you need to satisfy all needs.
5. Rely on a Competent Service Team
The days when call center employees primarily answer banal customer inquiries are numbered. Artificial intelligence will soon take over the automatic answering of simple customer requests. This will fundamentally change the competence profile of your service employees: Customers who turn to your service experts in a call center or retail store expect competent help at the highest level. Simple requests can be answered on other service channels.
For your after-sales organization, this means the following: Offshoring support hotlines to large BPO providers is certainly not a solution. Only a few outsourcing providers meet the growing demands of customer service. Rather, you should rely on specialized partners who focus primarily on fostering brand loyalty rather than worrying about savings potentials down to the last cent. As mentioned above, it is five times more expensive to win a new customer than it is to keep one. There is plenty of scope for investing in competent employees and partners. Take a look at how Samsung has adopted this strategy and is enjoying great success.
Which after-sales strategies to increase brand loyalty have stood the test in your company? Write to me – I look forward to hearing from you.