When consumers interact with a company representative, they have certain expectations. They expect the associate to…
- Answer their question or respond to their concern
- Be knowledgeable, respectful and professional
- Extend appreciation to them for being a customer
In most cases, companies do a good job of meeting these basic goals.
However, while meeting the above objectives might achieve high customer satisfaction, it most cases, customer loyalty will not be affected. If companies achieve the following eight goals, they will be able to positively impact the consumers’ purchasing behavior. These goals are:
1. Make customers feel welcomed, important and comfortable: It’s important that customers are immediately given the feeling that the company associate is happy to help them and welcomes them as if they were welcoming them into their home. After all, in effect, any contact center or even store location is the “home” of the company.
2. Build a connection: One of the key ingredients to achieving customer loyalty is to build a personal connection, whether it’s by talking about the weather, the past or upcoming weekend, etc. These are various ways to find some common areas to connect on a personal level.
3. Actively listen: Every consumer has an underlying emotion. They could be happy, disappointed, upset, frustrated, elated, etc. Listening to and acknowledging that emotion early on in the conversation sets the stage for a more meaningful dialog.
4. Further educate: Don’t just answer the consumer’s question. Provide further information over and above what the consumer might expect. When consumers receive supplemental data that is useful and relevant, their satisfaction with the overall transaction can dramatically improve. It also makes the customer think how nice it is that the representative is spending that extra time with them to ensure they fully understand what information is at hand or other potential resources that might be available.
5. Personalize the encounter: Listen to something personal the customer may have relayed during the initial dialog or email. For instance, they have a question about an ingredient because they just found out their child is allergic, or they just had a baby and have a question about which type of shampoo would be best. Mentioning something like…”it’s good you found out early that your child has an allergy” or “congratulations on the new baby” helps to personalize the dialog and gives the feeling to the customer that the representative sees them as a person first, a customer second.
6. Tailor the scripting to the appropriate loyalty type: Most customers fall into one of four loyalty groups. They could be a prospective customer who heard about a new product, a first time user who has a question about its usage, an exclusive purchaser of your brand or someone who buys your product and your competitor’s on impulse or based on a promotion. Tailoring your messaging to the loyalty classification will make the customer feel more welcomed and will generate a higher percentage of repeat and loyal patrons.
7. Make the experience memorable: While it might be one of the more difficult goals to meet, these days customers do crave human interaction that leaves them with the feeling that the associates really does care about them. When the representative is patient, caring and provides detailed explanations with the opportunity for the customer to ask questions, customers remember and want to do business with your company again.
8. Invite the customer to “return”: It’s critical to leave the customer with the impression that your call or email was not a bother or an interruption, but that the representative thoroughly enjoyed helping the customer. Communicating to the customer that “you were so happy to help them today, and that you would love to help them in the future”, will leave them with the impression that the company wants them to return…and they will.
Trying to meet the above objectives will significantly impact the purchasing behavior of your potential or existing consumers. And while it’s true that some of these actions may increase the length of the transaction, it will be time well spent.
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