The following article is written by Craig Lennon, Director of Business Development at FCBCO Validated partner Ship-Right Solutions, which has been providing Fulfillment, Final Mile Delivery and Customer Engagement solutions to Direct Response and eCommerce Marketers for nearly 20 years.
We all know that customers are the lifeblood of every business. Many companies spend the majority of their time, effort and money on customer acquisition while leaving customer retention and loyalty towards the bottom of their priority list.
Never forget that without customers, you don’t have a business.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that incremental improvements in customer retention lead to substantial increases in lifetime customer value and thus exponential differences to the bottom line. It does however take a real commitment and often a change in mindset to implement a solid strategy.
Today’s consumer behavior is more discriminating and potentially impactful to your business or brand than ever. Before deciding to buy a product or service they are researching online, comparing prices, checking reviews and asking others about their experiences. So don’t just sell products or services, sell experiences.
Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos once said that his business wasn’t designed primarily for delivering shoes or clothing, but for delivering happiness.
The numbers are in:
- 58% of consumers are willing to spend more on companies that provide excellent customer service. (American Express)
- 82% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company because of bad customer service. (Zendesk)
- 95% of customers share bad experiences with others. (Zendesk)
Here are 3 ways to improve your customer’s experience
- Implement a Customer Engagement Strategy
- Measure Results
- Consider Outsourcing
Providing some level of customer service is certainly not new in any industry, however the concept of engaging customers is. As defined by Wikipedia, “Customer Engagement is a business communication between a consumer and a company or brand through various channels of correspondence”.
Today’s customers expect to engage and connect with the companies they do business with in any number of ways but most importantly in ways that are convenient to them. Whether by Phone, Social Media, Email or Chat you must get connected and stay connected to your customers from the very beginning of your relationship. Gone are the days of simply providing the customer with a “welcome letter”. When executed well, a strong customer engagement strategy will foster growth, brand loyalty and sales.
- Publish and promote various ways to contact you
- Implement a Live Chat option on your website
- Create Social Media profiles for your product or brand
- Encourage customers to post reviews
- Send surveys to your customers
- Average length of wait time for Phone Calls
- Average response time for Emails and Chats
- Average review scores on Google and Facebook
- Number of Likes and Followers on Social Media
Whether using an outsource provider or your own in-house Customer Engagement solution, it is important to accept that the impact of improving your customers experience is not easily quantified. There are however some Key Performance Indicators ( KPIs ) that can be monitored regularly with an eye toward constant improvement.
More than ever before, customers need to know that there is a professional and committed organization behind the products or services they buy. Managing this critical piece of a business is often challenging for small to mid-sized companies therefore choosing to use an outsourced solution should be considered for 3 critical reasons.
- Avoid the costs of building and maintaining technology and infrastructure
- Gain efficiency by utilizing an existing resource that is trained and ready to go
- Allow for scalability to accommodate sudden or gradual growth of your customer base
So ask yourself if you are treating your customers overall experience as the most important part of your business or brand. If not, consider asking your customers about their journey with an email survey or an outbound calling campaign. The feedback you get whether good or bad will be incredibly valuable and may help your business in ways you never considered.