A simple “Thank You” can go a long way. 68 percent of customers leave a company due to feeling they have been treated indifferently by the company. Customer retention techniques vary far and wide—from building a complicated loyalty program to handing out freebies. But the science shows that customers prioritize authenticity above all else.
Why does sincere appreciation go a long way?
Our digital world means automated responses, electronic queuing, and a crowded world of excessive features and packages. Crowded digital experience means diminished customer experience. Which is odd, given consumers possess a myriad of choices. In fact, they are more likely to switch brand loyalty than they were 3 years ago. They have more purchasing channels, like Amazon and Instagram, more options with the rise of niche brands, and are looking for the best customer experience. Remember how e-commerce clothing stores started copying Asos’ model of free shipping? Asos made ordering clothing online less of a hassle by enclosing shipping label in the package, allowing customers to ship it to and from their homes for free.
To focus on offering meaningful customer service, kick off with creating a meaningful “Thank you” for customers.
1. Get personal
According to one study by TD Bank, 44 percent of customers said notes of appreciation should be personalized. It’s not the dizzy array of features a company can give a customer, it’s the way a “Thank You” is addressed to the individual.
- Enclose a handwritten note in the package
- Use the customer’s name
- Locate a particular part of the interaction (if it was a conflict or misunderstanding)
- Tell how you resolved it
- State how much you value them
- Sign off professionally, yet memorably
2. Showcase your customers
Depending on your industry, find ways you can showcase your customers. Leverage your social media presence to give special attention to a customer. Think of Instagram brands. They re-post regularly photos of customers who bought a dress or hair extensions. This shows customers you appreciate their purchase, their content, and builds a stronger connection.
- Create a brand hashtag that customers can use
- Ask permission before re-posting
- Use Instagram Stories to spotlight customers in the midst of being serviced
3. Add to your customer’s knowledge base
If you work with professionals like hair dressers or computer programmers, think of ways you can offer educational value. Customers need to often remain on the pulse of their industry or improve their professional skills or knowledge. Give selected customers access to seminars, a discount code to online courses, or host a Facebook Live stream with an industry professional.
- Send out a social media blast to ask customers what they would like to learn
- Stream on Facebook Live or Instagram Stories to gain feedback quickly on what they’re interested in
- Connect with local businesses to create a special “thank you” package for shared customers
4. Start an effective loyalty program
Be a business that implements an effective loyalty program. Most companies keep pouring money into loyalty programs without taking stock of what’s working and what isn’t. Invite your most loyal customers into an exclusive rewards program (like Sephora’s VIB Rouge program). Think of how Amazon Prime and Zappos Rewards remembers birthdays and offers special discounts. To begin, keep it simple and small.
5. Send a small gift
It doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive. Think of something special that relates to your company. If it’s a bike shop, it could be a company sticker. If you run a dog food business, it could be a drawing of their pet. Or send cookies when customer service interaction goes hay wire. Use companies like Help Scout that records every conversation you’ve had with a customer; this is a perfect place to gain gift inspiration.
Elevate your brand by showing gratitude to customers
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