Nothing can make your heart drop faster than feeling like you just lost a loyal customer. But just because a customer is unhappy, it does not mean they are gone for good. On the contrary, a company’s most loyal fans are often the ones that had a problem, and also had a stellar experience getting it solved. Customer loyalty is key — and here’s how to make it happen.
The simple fact that a customer is bringing their problem to you — instead of simply walking away angry — shows that if you play your customer success cards right, you have got a great chance of winning them over.
Here are a few simple tips to help turn even the crankiest customer into an awesome business opportunity.
Be as Personal as Possible
Always think twice before replying to customer complaints via email. Responding to complaints might be one of the few occasions that would warrant a personal phone call. An unhappy customer needs to feel heard. If you take the time to call them directly and really listen to their complaint — it’s the first crucial step in getting past the issue.
Remember that listening is not hearing. Showing genuine care over the phone might be difficult. Below, find some tips that will help you become a better listener and solve your customers’ problems faster:
- Do not interrupt. Let your customers talk. You can speak up when you need some clarification on what is being said.
- Paraphrase their points. Paraphrasing what is said shows a person you are actively listening to them and trying to understand their concerns.
- Ask questions. You want to make sure that you properly understand your customers’ needs and concerns. If you are missing information, do not be shy to ask more questions.
- Do not argue. If you are talking to an angry customer, it is important that you do not raise your tone at them. Be as calm and nice as you can. Remember — the customer is always right. Therefore, you need to learn how to empathize with them and help them solve their problems faster.
Show the Customer How to Fix It
Usually, what the customer really wants is way more simple than you realize. If you feel like you are just not making any headway in the conversation — ask them directly what you can do to make the situation right.
Then act on what they tell you and keep them updated at every step of the process. Let your customers see the step-by-step that you are actively fixing their problem. As a big cherry on top — asking the customer what they want is a great way to get amazing insights. Think of what your customer tells you as a study — because it is. Ask how you can improve your product or service? Ask how you can change and the way you market it?
However, this does not mean that you should fulfill any absurd desires that your customers might have. It is about finding a middle ground that will be beneficial to not only your customers but also your company.
Give a Little Something Extra
Go above and beyond the call of duty by offering a gift or discount to help with customer loyalty. Try to make it something that will really surprise or delight your customers. An offering of some kind will not only make them happy but also give them a reason to stay loyal to your brand. Look at the stats below to learn how great customer service will benefit your company in the long run:
- 73% of consumers say a good experience is essential in influencing their brand loyalties.
- 80% of customers say they are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized experiences.
- 83% of companies that prioritize making customers happy also experience growing revenue.
- American consumers will pay 17% more to purchase from a company with a reputation for great service.
An epic example of how customer service should be handled is from Warby Parker. If the customer has told you they want a refund, or are canceling their account — breathe, smile, then go ahead and send them a small gift with a personalized note to make it clear your door is wide open if they ever want to come back.
Another great customer service example is from Zappos. The company takes the extra time to personally reply to customer emails, even if they are addressed to the CEO. Additionally, Zappos lets the most loyal customers take a tour around the company’s headquarters to give them a peek behind the curtain.
Always Say Thanks
End the call with a heartfelt thank you for giving you the chance to do business better. Don’t be afraid to color outside the lines with how and when you say thanks. A follow-up phone call is a great way to really drive home the message that you care and will go out of your way to make sure their problem is completely solved. Moreover, it will encourage your customers to continue doing business with you.
There is always something you can learn from your customers.
Always kindly ask for their feedback and seek new ways to make your product or services more customer-centric. In exchange, show your gratitude through a gift or something else. Some companies even go as far as to share the experience on their social channels and offer a discount to all customers as a way of saying “thanks to Customer X for showing us how to do things better.”
No matter how upset your customer is, it is always your responsibility to stay calm and find the best ways to make them happy again.
The key to handling great customer service is genuinely caring about your purchasers and showing gratitude for trusting you and choosing your business out of hundreds. Your buyers want to feel valued and listened to; so, why not go the extra mile to ensure their satisfaction?
If he or she is experiencing a problem with your product or service, take the time to work through it together. You will be amazed by how much loyalty you can inspire. Remember, the best customers are often the ones most impressed not by your perfection, but by your desire to “make it right.”