Customer loyalty is not easy to achieve. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of competition.
Merely satisfying customers is not sufficient to generate loyalty. The world is full of perfectly functional companies like yours that are every bit as capable of providing satisfaction.
Loyalty is not highly correlated with satisfaction. Whereas, Disloyalty is very highly correlated with dissatisfaction. You should remove every shred of friction from the customer experience. Then only you can delight your loyal customers enough to turn them into the advocates you want them to be.
You concentrate on turning loyal customers into genuine advocates on your behalf – customers who enthusiastically promote your product or service to their friends.
Always try to see the problem through their eyes. You should know how to think like the customer, how it feels to be that particular customer.
Empathy involves always acting in the customer’s interest. Treat each customer the way you’d want to be treated yourself if you were that customer. You know, this is how you’d treat a friend, right? You want a customer advocate to feel they’re helping their friends simply by recommending you.
Empathy and trust are related. However, to earn someone’s trust you have to demonstrate that you are empathetic, and that your intentions are good.
You need to prove by your actions that you want to meet their need, rather than simply using them as instruments to boost your company’s financial performance.
Remember, demonstrating proactive honesty is not the same as advertising it. As a matter of fact, a company usually cannot be trusted when it has to advertise it.
Be frank and open for cultivating genuine customer advocates
- Pre-warn a customer when they’re about to incur a late fee
- Let them know if they’re paying a higher price than required
- Caution them that they might be buying more than they need
- Show them a credit already available (for them)
- Recommend even a competitor’s product, when appropriate
Demonstrate that you can always be trusted to act in the customer’s interest, even when it costs you money to do so. Do not worry, because that cost is an investment. Rather you will earn a lifetime of advocacy, that is produced with all the shareholder value – ask Amazon. Or Amex. Or USAA.
Sometimes, customers choose to personally engaging or interacting with a company. What they want most is simply empathy or understanding.
Maybe, some hand-holding or commiseration.
You can make human connection for achieving it. You should maximize the effectiveness of the human-to-human element, for creating customer advocacy.
You have to seek out, hire, and develop talented people who can make interactions and experiences emotionally engaging and memorable for the customer, from the customer’s own perspective. Augment their capabilities with the right automation, tools, and support to be able to deliver your humanity at scale.
- Focus on the success of your employees, especially your frontline workers
- Demonstrate the same care and empathy for them you want them to show for your customers
- Take pains to make sure they aren’t unnecessarily distracted by their own problems
For a customer, the frontline employee they talk to or chat with – that frontline employee is your company.
Inspired by the write from Don Peppers