It’s a busy world out there, and standing out from the crowd is becoming increasingly difficult—yet the voices of satisfied customers ring out ever louder. So how do we capture that love and turn it into business strength?
In a time when the business sphere is reimagining itself in a post-pandemic world, it’s critical that we focus on the fundamentals and build agile capabilities for the future. But actually accomplishing that isn’t so easy. For example, with hybrid working, companies are going to have to figure out how to maintain innovation and build a resilient culture. It’s critical not to get caught up in the functions and forget what’s most important: your customers.
Without them, you have no business. But with them as ambassadors and advocates for your business, you’ll not only create a relationship of trust and loyalty but also a connection—a loyalty that will strengthen your business. With customers as advocates, you’ll be more prepared to succeed in an ever-changing business landscape.
Here’s how to turn customers into loyal advocates.
1. PUT THEM AT THE CENTER OF ALL THAT YOU DO
It goes without saying that your product or service needs to be something worth shouting about. It needs to fill a gap for customers, and it needs to fill it well. The only way to produce something like that is to get to know your customers.
The first step is simple communication. Start by being a good listener—engaging and learning is the goal. Especially in trying times like a pandemic, ask how you can help them and offer genuine support. Find out what they need, then facilitate a solution. You may need to offer an innovative new product, remind them about a complementary service or speak to a trusted partner. Regardless, their business is your business and their success is your success.
The companies that can fully understand their customers and walk in their shoes are the ones that set themselves, and their customers, up for success.
2. PROVIDE EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE
By putting customers at the center of all that you do, you make customer experience part of the DNA of your business and truly integrate it throughout every element. This is about more than simply serving them—you have to check in regularly to understand their experience of your company.
Do this calmly, professionally, and with a smile. You can always learn from feedback, positive or negative. Be open and request their opinions and suggestions. That lets customers know that you value them, what they think, and what they expect of you.
It’s also important to think about the best way for you to deliver the information your customer needs. There are so many channels available to us today, and choosing the right one to effectively deliver the message is crucial. To analyze this, ask the customer, use your data, and make an informed decision.
In our experience, despite the boom in social media and bots to contact businesses, a phone call remains the most important way customers connect with companies. That said, offer your customers options, from social and bots to live chat, phone, and email, so that they can choose their preferred method of communication.
3. LITTLE THINGS ADD UP TO BIG THINGS
Never treat customers like a number or a one-off transaction. Care for them not with an agenda but with an officer of genuine support.
Remember your basic manners and show your gratitude. A simple “please” or “thank you” is a powerful thing. The little things add up to make exceptional customer service.
Businesses that show they care, innovate, and adapt to changing customer habits with ease will build the relationships that endure. It takes commitment to build that kind of culture, but by adding value to customers’ lives and businesses, you can turn loyal customers into brand ambassadors and steadfast supporters.