Businesses spend far too much time trying to win new customers. They study their target demographics and create marketing campaigns they hope will convince consumers to buy. But with all of that effort, they tend to overlook the importance of their returning customers. When someone chooses to return to buy from you after making an initial purchase, that means your brand made a good impression. When someone continues to buy from you well into the future, that means you have a loyal customer, and loyal customers should not be treated the same way you treat first-timers.
If your business has a customer service desk, it’s important that they’re trained to recognize and acknowledge your most loyal customers. Here are a few things you can do to make sure that loyalty is rewarded.
“We’re happy to hear from you again”
Customer service training usually emphasizes product knowledge and conflict de-escalation. However, the most important aspect of interacting with customers often escapes mention. Interpersonal skills are assumed to be natural-born talents, but they can be learned. Instead of being all business, all the time, your customer service representatives should be trained to interact with customers on a personal basis. There are small things each employee can say that will endear your customers to your business, but the most important of them involve caring about the person on the other end of the phone line. For loyal customers, simply mentioning that your company is happy to hear from them again can be a great start toward acknowledging that they’ve contacted you before.
“I See You’re a Loyal Customer…”
Before you can recognize a customer’s loyalty, you must first be aware of it. This demonstrates the importance of the notes section of your CMS. Every call should be logged and when an associate notices that a customer has exhibited loyalty, it should be noted in a bold way toward the top of that customer’s profile. Representatives should be trained to quickly review each customer’s notes at the beginning of a call and tailor their assistance accordingly. If someone has been a longtime brand loyalist, your business should be willing to go above and beyond for that person to ensure that loyalty continues.
“Thank you for being a loyal customer”
Once you’ve acknowledged the customer’s previous interactions, a simple “thank you” can go a long way toward showing customers you care. “Thank you” should be part of your vocabulary with every customer, but it’s especially important to let your loyal customers know that you’re happy about their support. When your representatives can comment about a customer’s history with your company, it personalizes the customer experience, which is tightly connected to today’s buying decisions. In fact, 68 percent of consumers said they’d be willing to pay more for a good customer experience, with 74 percent saying they’ve already spent more with businesses that offer great service. Even the small things you do will help boost your business.
“If you refer a friend…”
Your loyal customers are your best brand ambassadors, so it’s important to incentivize them to send others your way. This is one area where you shouldn’t be stingy. On each call, take a brief moment to remind loyal customers that if they refer a friend or family member, they’ll get a generous prize. Whether it’s a free product or a cash award, the value should take into account the amount of money a potential new loyal customer could bring to your business.
Loyal customers form the foundation of a successful business. It’s important to find ways to acknowledge them and reward their loyalty. Since your service representatives often serve as the voice of your company, a good experience starts with training them to personalize each interaction based on a customer’s past history.