Gartner (as quoted in Forbes) once famously said that “80% of a company’s future revenues will come from just 20% of its existing customers”. And according to the book Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, but only 5-20% to a new prospect.
Clearly, your existing customers are as valuable as gold. But are you doing everything you can to nurture your relationships with them?
Are you an average brand that simply delivers what’s expected?
Or are you a customer-focused brand that makes an extra effort to convert passive bystanders into happy and loyal long-term fans?
Here are 5 proven ideas to get started.
Go Beyond Customer Service, Think Customer Experience
Customer service (inbound or outbound) usually refers to a single touchpoint between the customer and your brand. Customer experience encompasses the entire customer journey, not just one-off interactions. It also considers their feelings and emotions at every step.
To create great customer experiences, get to know them better. Where do they live? What kind of work do they do? How did they interact with your brand in the past? Today, 72% of customers expect companies to know their purchase history. Leverage your CRM or customer service platform to understand customers, as well as their preferences, pain points, and challenges. Connect your CRM with WhatsApp Business API and use your customers’ favorite messaging app as a ticketing system. Convert the app into a WhatsApp customer service software application and stay connected with your customers whenever they want you to be. Explore the context of each past transaction to tailor future communication strategies for every customer through every channel. This will empower you to deepen your relationships with them and leave a lasting impression on the quality of your offerings and the care you show them.
Offer Self-Service and Automation
If you don’t yet offer AI-powered customer service, now is a great time to start. AI-based conversational platforms like chatbots and IVRs provide customers with more self-service options, so they can proactively and quickly resolve issues on their own.
AI automated systems can also take care of repetitive requests or simple tasks to deliver high-speed, personalized customer service. And when a customer needs to communicate with a human customer service agent, such systems can seamlessly transfer conversations to ensure that the customer resolves their issue fast and without hassle. Together, these “extra mile” capabilities improve the overall customer experience and keep them coming back for more.
Focus on Personalization
We live in a hyper-connected, hyper-noisy world. In such a scenario, your brand must go above and beyond to stand out, and make a lasting impression on your audience. And one of the most powerful ways to do this is by focusing on personalization.
Show them that you see them as an “audience of one” via every email, call or chat conversation. Set up a loyalty program to reward loyal customers with freebies, send engagement emails with special discounts, recommendations or offers to stay connected, and offer their preferred customer service channels.
Another simple way to include personalization in your customer service strategy – use their names! A tailored, well-crafted email sent to “Dear Jack” from email@example.com is a lot more personalized – and therefore more appreciated by customers – than a generic message sent to “Dear Valued Customer” from Service@business.com.
Also ask them for honest feedback, and use it to improve your customer service (outsource/in-house) processes.
Own Up to Mistakes
Even the most customer-focused brand can make mistakes. And even a mistake or problem that technically wasn’t your fault can be your responsibility. For example, your outsourced call center may have promised a customer that an item they ordered will reach them in 2 business days. However, a natural disaster at one of the intermediate transports hubs might delay shipping and ultimately, delivery. Is this your fault? No. But is it your responsibility? Definitely.
Instead of passing the buck to the service center (or vendor, supplier, courier service, etc), apologize sincerely to the customer. Most customers appreciate brands that take accountability for mistakes, are transparent about their weaknesses and show a willingness to improve.
You can also go the extra mile by taking steps to mitigate their inconvenience or below-par customer experience. Send a free gift, cancel their shipping charges, or provide a special discount on their next purchase.
It’s human nature to want to feel special valued and heard. This is why it’s crucial to go the extra mile with your customer service. Focus on the things that help you deliver world-class customer service, nurture trust-based and strong customer relationships, and build a loyal customer base. Whether you personalize their experiences, send occasional freebies, or leverage the power of AI customer support, you will find that when you go the extra mile, the rewards will come pouring in.
For more insights on how to up your customer service game with contact center outsourcing and AI-powered customer service, explore our blog here.