Competition is fiercer than ever in today’s hyper-connected online marketplace. Not only do you have local competitors to worry about, but there are also major national and global organizations actively drawing customers away from the products and services you offer.
When it comes to dealing with huge, multinational competitors – the Amazons and Walmarts of the world – you simply can’t win on a level playing field. The economies of scale that their size provides them makes undercutting prices an impossible effort.
Every industry has large, established players of this sort. The only way to maintain your relevance and keep your business running is to convince customers to actively choose you over the easy option. This means developing customer loyalty.
Customer loyalty is a powerful motivator. It is also notoriously difficult to measure. However, there are methods for interpreting real data to find ways to convince customers to keep coming back to you even when there are cheaper or more convenient alternatives out there.
Customer Loyalty is Built Out of Superior Service
Small and mid-sized business owners know that they need to offer premium services in order to counterbalance the inexpensive, ultra-accessible options offered by global competitors. This is where superior service steps in and creates a clear distinction between what major enterprises can and cannot provide.
Best-in-class service is the distinguishing feature that builds customer loyalty from consumers of premium products and services. A smaller company is better able to provide higher quality customer service than a large enterprise competitor.
According to the Right Now Customer Experience Impact report, 90% of Americans are willing to spend more on companies they believe will provide them with excellent customer service. Great customer service will improve loyalty and create additional returns through word-of-mouth.
The best metric for measuring this word-of-mouth capability is the Net Promoter Score. It uses a single-question survey to determine how likely a customer is to recommend products or services to a friend or family member.
Great customer service is key to maintaining a high Net Promoter Score. Without it, passive customers and detractors will pull back any potential gains you may get on the merits of your products or solutions alone. But great customer service will deliver every time a customer comes to you with a problem that you can solve.
Clear Corporate Values Are Key to Building Loyalty
It’s clear that superior customer service is the first critical component of customer loyalty. But this is not likely to surprise anyone. However, the second critical component might be surprising: Clear corporate values.
Customers are not naturally loyal. In a free market economy, they have no reason to be. But customers develop loyalty for brands who share beliefs that they do. If a brand exhibits a company culture that places importance on a certain set of beliefs, customers who already share those beliefs will be attracted to the story that company tells.
This means expressing to customers that your organization is something greater than a money-making enterprise. It tells them that while making profit is important, it is important for a particular reason. That reason is what becomes their motivation to choose you over your competitors.
But simply attaching your company to a random cause won’t do. Neither will generating “awareness” or a cause if it isn’t matched with real action that addresses genuine needs. This is because corporate values need to be authentic if they are to deliver results. When it comes to building customer loyalty through corporate values, authenticity is worth its weight in gold.
Customer Service Training Puts Value into Practice
A reasonable small to mid-sized business executive will wonder how shifting corporate values can generate customer loyalty. Without pouring money into a huge, expensive marketing campaign to demonstrate your newfound commitment to a social cause, how will customers know about it?
Your customer service team is your first and most important touch point with customers. This is where superior service can demonstrate corporate values in a way that generates returns.
If your customer service team understands how to align its messaging with your company culture and the values it wants to express, every customer service call is a perfect opportunity to develop customer loyalty. Doing this requires training – both to instill these values in your team and to explain how best to communicate them authentically.
Train Your Customer Service Team to Build Loyalty
Proper training includes showing your representatives how to put your corporate values into practice through customer service interactions. This can produce immediate results towards improving customer retention while giving your customer service agents better tools and techniques for handling customer issues.
Clover Services can help you find innovative ways to improve customer service. TechLink training can be the key you need to cultivate customer loyalty.