Did you know that loyal, repeat customers tend to be far more financially advantageous to businesses than new ones? This is not to say that leaders should completely abandon marketing procedures and instead focus solely on retention, but rather that companies that do not have any plans in place to optimize customer service and hang on to the most valuable clientele will struggle to grow and excel in their respective industries.
Customer service is even more important today than virtually any other time, as modern consumers are quick to hop on social media to make their qualms with brands known to the world. If you do not ace these responsibilities, chances are you will not have much of a positive presence on the Internet, meaning your marketing efforts can be undermined by a lack of performance in the customer service category, and the excuses for these failures are not voluminous today.
Best practices, customer relationship management software, loyalty programs and other options are readily available, and all can be used to craft an exceptional client services policy that will help to bolster the value of a brand in the eyes of your target market. Regardless of how much investment you put into email marketing, social media advertising and general branding programs, you will need to shore up your customer service policies to really see comprehensive improvements to revenue and profit performances.
With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the steps you can take today to nail the customer service aspects of brand management, thus setting yourself up for success in marketing and other ventures. The economy is growing and opportunities to expand are building more rapidly today than any other time since the Great Recession, so reviewing, refining and optimizing customer service is a worthy task for all small business owners.
Before diving into the modern factors involved in customer service, it might be helpful to take a look at the traditional requirements of pleasing and retaining valuable clientele. Here are a few matters to consider:
Businesses have had loyalty programs – in one form or another – for decades, but those that do not will be especially challenged to maximize customer retention. Make sure that your loyalty programs are crafted and executed in such a way that boosts the image of the brand among your clientele and incentivizes repeat business.
Simply put, if you do not show your customers care, they are not going to show you any love for long. By focusing on the ways in which communications are handled and going the extra mile to show your clientele that you do indeed care, such as offering access to enhanced support for services and products purchased, you will boost your brand image.
These basic ideals will be similarly critical in the modern era, but the channels through which they take place have certainly progressed in the past few years thanks to the evolution of technology.
Modern winning methods
Customers are likely to expect instant responses to complaints, constant access to support and total control over their own experiences with the brand. You would do well to serve them in such a way that touches upon each of these factors, but the rules of engagement will be a bit different depending upon what type of channel the customer service is being delivered through.
Here are a few medium-specific recommendations for your customer service program:
Dedicating an employee to handling client communications through social media is a good idea today. Though this environment has yet to show signs of excellence in the marketing realm, it has become one of the more powerful tools for customer service. Make sure your clients’ communications are swiftly fielded by customer service professionals.
If your customers are reaching out through email, consider having an automatic response in place that will give them that instant indication that they are being heard. Then, swift responses from a representative will be necessary to give the client a strong experience.
Whether it is Yelp or your own website, many customers will likely post commentary regarding your products and services on the Internet. Have a plan in place to field these communications in stride and make sure you are monitoring any and all pages that activity might be seen within.
With the right approach to customer service, your business will be better positioned to grow in the coming years. Contact a marketing consultant for a FREE evaluation of your digital marketing strategy by our talented team of experts.