When I am doing research about digitalization, there is one significant “buzzword: Customer Service. Although the world, our society and therefore we are getting more and more digital, it seems that humans and their expectations are getting more and more important.
I’ve written some articles already about this subject, and therefore I won’t repeat myself here.
Taking good care of your customer can transform them into real fans. I’m not (only) talking about collecting fans @Facebook but about real fans like we know them when looking at the audience during a football match.
But people who love your company, their products and the way you treat your precious consumers. And this is meant in an emotional way.
In these days, customers expect personalization (read more about it here). This demands commitment towards customers by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and his team.
What must be done, to evolve a customer into a fan?
Your company image
Determine how you want your customers to experience your business. Create a clear image and present your business by instilling it into your public presence through all communication channels (social media) and by transporting your visions and ideas to your employees.
Start with writing down (storyboard) every single aspect. That makes it easier to “see” the complete image. Do this several times by deleting parts and adding new or improving existing parts.
Go through this process together with your team. By doing this, you show your employees that you appreciate their opinion and their cooperation.
It also enhances the employee experience (EX) and creates a happier team, which is motivated to do extra work and identifies more with your company.
Do a bit extra for your valued customers
Customers are very sensitive and the really value signs of appreciation when they purchase or make use of services.
I live in Berlin and this city is not famous for its service. Sales assistants are unfriendly, uninterested and often blasé. It often happens, that they won’t greet you back, when you are in a shop and say “Good afternoon, would you be so kind to help me?”. Often they just look at you, without greeting back or even say a single word.
This is a very unpleasant customer experience and I ‘m always annoyed and sometimes I even make a sharp remark about this rude, unfriendly and respectless behaviour and attitude.
When a sales assistant is friendly and even smiles at me, I feel respected and appreciated. It is so important, that a customer feels welcome and that the assistants are glad to help.
This is not only important for brick-and-mortar shops, but also online. If a customer is faithful to your business, show your gratitude by sending a voucher. Or write a personalized email. Maybe even a little present when sending the next order.
it doesn’t have to be something expensive. It should be a sign, that you are happy to have him or her as a customer.
I still remember, that I bought two pair of shoes and two matching belts from quite an upmarket brand. I also bought two shoe stretchers and two pair of socks.
When paying, the lady gave me a key ring, which showed an elegant brogue. The normal price was about €15. Of course, I could easily have bought one, but I was really happy by getting this little present as an appreciation for being a customer.
Anther example is a deli in a local department store. They approach passers-by actively by offering small bites of their products. For being a gourmet, it’s always hard to say “No thank you”.
When buying several salads and fine antipasti, they always add two extra products for free. Yes, they’re expensive, but it is still a nice geste to get some goodie.
Reward your customers
As I mentioned before, the easiest and the cheapest method of increasing your profits is to sell more to your existing customers. The best way to do that is to reward your customers with loyalty programs. Collect information about your customers and provide them with discounts and special offers. Make them feel special and show them you heartily appreciate the fact that they are always returning to your business.
If you’re running a business-to-business service, use special occasions such as Christmas parties and anniversaries to send your clients greeting cards and gifts. This will show them that you value your relationship and consider them important.
Get feedback and learn
Asking your customer’s to tell you their opinion about your business, also gives them the feeling that you appreciate clientele and that you place value on their view.
Give them an opportunity to express their opinion through online surveys, comments on social media, contact forms on your website, in personal communication, etc.
This information, will help you to improve your service by integrating it and create a tailored service.