What’s in this article:
- If you’re struggling to retain customers after the initial acquisition, it might be time to examine your customer service policies and find areas for improvement
- Take these customer service tips to get back on track and win long-term loyalty from your customers
There are many ways to improve retention, but customer service is a big part of the formula. Companies that go above and beyond to reach consumers and fix issues generally have an easier time getting repeat business. While this has always been true, it’s more critical than ever: Consumers have myriad channels for sharing their brand experiences, positive and negative, and modern shoppers have high expectations. What worked in customer service a decade ago isn’t enough in 2021 and beyond.
If you’ve analyzed your customer service efforts and found that they aren’t making the grade, these tips can help you get back on track and win long-term loyalty from your customers.
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Be easy to reach
Websites. Mobile apps. Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Consumers use all of these channels — and more — to stay up to date with their favorite brands, and those brands need to reciprocate by keeping the lines of communication open. Make it intuitive and straightforward to get in touch across all mediums, and make sure you’re responding too; no one wants to shout into a void. Customers appreciate feeling like their voices matter, so even something as simple as confirmation of a received message can go a long way towards building trust.
Here are just a few ways to stay in touch:
- Twitter: Monitor when Twitter users tag your brand and keep your DMs open.
- Facebook: Many companies now use Facebook Messenger to provide seamless support with instant responses.
- Website/app: Create a “Contact Us” section that’s easy to find. This should have relevant links to social media channels, email, contact forms, and so forth.
Make customers feel special
We all want to feel seen and appreciated. Brands can fulfill this basic human need by making their customers feel like rock stars. This technique can start with simple efforts, like personalizing email responses to use customers’ names. Any time you can add a personalized touch to your customer service efforts, it’s bound to get more attention than a generic response or form email.
Beyond that, rewarding repeat customers is always an effective tactic. Brands like Sephora, Starbucks, and Nike are well-known for their customer loyalty programs, and that’s a significant factor in why they consistently rank for customer loyalty. In all your marketing efforts, find ways to focus on customer appreciation, and they’ll keep coming back for more.
When things go wrong, make it right
Let’s be honest: everything is not going to be perfect all the time. Things go wrong. Shipments get delayed. Products don’t arrive in their intended form. Modern consumers are generally willing to forgive these issues, but whether you retain them or lose them forever depends largely on your response. Your brand needs to go above and beyond to make things right, giving customers the benefit of the doubt every step of the way.
Start with having easy-to-understand refund and return policies that customers can easily find via the appropriate channels. This approach lets them know what steps to take if they need to make a return or raise concerns about the quality of a service, reducing confusion and frustration. Policies should be consumer-friendly and transparent; don’t make people jump through hoops. Finally, consider offering deals on future purchases to ensure that these customers return. A small discount is well worth the investment if it leads to customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth marketing.
Customer service is intrinsically linked to retention and loyalty. If you’re struggling to retain customers after the initial acquisition, it might be time to examine your customer service policies and find areas for improvement. Remember, mistakes are forgivable — making your customers feel ignored and unappreciated is not.
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