In today’s economy, customers no longer settle for second-best service. In fact, although 80% of companies feel they excel at customer service, only 8% of customers agree. Yikes! That’s quite a gap. How can so many company leaders be so wrong about what type of service they’re providing? Read on to find out how to engage customers the right way, build brand loyalty and nail customer retention.
- Listen: The first problem is often simply not listening, or worse, ignoring complaints. Statistically, only one out of 26 angry customers will ever voice a complaint. Instead, they will just stop doing business with you, leading companies to question why their customers have dropped them. The solution? Listen, reply and act on complaints. Make sure you are providing multi-channel support, and timely responses, across phone, social, email and chat.
- Ask for Feedback: For many businesses, the goal is to never get a complaint. The problem with this approach is that by NOT receiving complaints, you lose out on a goldmine of information. Perhaps your customers have an issue with your product or service that you have never considered. Or maybe, your customer service team isn’t treating callers with the respect you thought. Either way, asking for complaints will give you the chance to fix whatever is wrong and causing your customers to silently slip away.
- Exceed Expectations: When customers expect a substandard interaction and get something above and beyond that, they are surprised (and often ecstatic). Most customers expect a drab response to a complaint or in fact, no response at all. In a recent survey, 55% of customer complaints via social media go unacknowledged. By actually responding and attempting to make it right, you’ll turn a naysayer into a true fan. Those who were complainers and are taken care of actually end up being more loyal customers than if they never had an issue in the first place.
- Engage Emotionally: Address customer concerns with emotion first, reaching them on a human level before trying to respond with information. Information-only can come off as cold and unfeeling, only infuriating customers more. Starting with emotion and using your response as an opportunity to show your values or share your brand story is sure to diffuse the situation. Remember, empathy always wins.
How important is customer service? According to HuffPost, 66% of customers who have left companies behind have done so due to bad service. If you’re looking for some help engaging customers, find out about our outsourced customer engagement solutions.