Focusing on Customer Service
Since the beginning of modern retail, companies have relied on excellent customer service stories to help promote their business. In recent years, great customer service accounts have gone viral, such as the man who tried to return car tires to Nordstrom and was honored with a refund even though they are a department store and have never sold tires. Another example is Morton Steakhouse bringing people food after receiving a tweet about a fan craving steak. On a smaller level, one can look to the local stores that remember their customers' names and favorite orders or wrap a special gift for no extra charge. Customer service stories are endless, but the real question is, why should your company focus on customer service?
All Companies Should Be Customer-Centric
A customer-centric company is a company that has high customer retention. Residual revenue is how you build a business and build up your residual income by having high customer retention. Companies that focus on customer acquisition spend 6-7x more money acquiring a new one than retaining an old one. On top of that, customer-centric companies are more profitable. Deloitte and Touche found that companies with a customer-centric focus are 60% more profitable than the other guys. Another study by Xerox found that customers who rated a company 6/6 were six times more likely to buy more products than those who placed the brand with a five out of six. On top of this, Ameritas found that 97% of consumers will share an excellent customer service experience. Ameritas also found that 70% of people will spend more money with a company with excellent customer service. Customer-Centric companies have found that 49% of buyers have made impulse purchases after receiving a customer-centric and personal experience. Finally, if all the rest of these statistics didn't seal the deal, 86% of buyers say they will pay more for a better customer experience. No matter which way you spin it, customer-centric companies make more money and retain more customers. Now, how do you become a customer service-focused company?
Here are five ways you can focus on becoming a customer-centric company:
Collect Regular Feedback
It is important to spend time and money on your customers. That means surveying, listening to, and collecting information for your current and past customers. However, your customers are likely already loyal and active, so it's hard to get real data from loyal customers. The best practice to receive honest data is to work with independent companies that are professional surveyists. They will get honest and unbiased research. Once your customer base grows, you can start researching your customers to get a genuine account of what your base wants to see. Make sure when you use external surveyors, they are surveying a similar target market.
Customers want a personalized experience. 83% of consumers are willing to share their data to create a more personalized experience. 64% of consumers are okay with retailers saving their purchase history and preferences if they offer a more customized experience. 98% of marketers say personalization advances customer relationships. Personalization is key! Personalization shows that you care about the customer's experience and want to see them solve their problems. Personalization for an e-commerce company is a massive part of a customer-centric strategy.
Part of Company Culture
Having an outward-facing customer-centric strategy is excellent, but it also is less effective than an internal strategy. Having the whole company on the same page is what makes a customer-centric strategy count. When the entire company is on the same page, including being hired with the idea and expectation that the customer comes first, it helps build a complete customer-centric message. It allows for values to be complete throughout the whole organization.
Follow Through on Company Values + Mission
You have decided there is a great benefit to becoming a customer-centric company; fantastic! Now it's time to write it into your company's values and follow through. Following through does not mean that the customer is always right. Honestly, that method of customer service is not the way to do it. A customer-centric value statement doesn't have to mean "the customer is always right," but is one that sets clear expectations about what the customer should expect from you, such as shipping and return policies.
Think Outside the Box
Being customer-centric is where your data comes into play. Maybe your customer base loves special coupons in the mail, or you find out that customers spend more money when they get loyalty points. Remember the beginning example where Morton Steakhouse brought customers steaks after fun and engaging tweets? It's about listening specifically to your customers and making sure you meet their needs.
Being customer-centric is all about listening to your customers and your target market. It does not mean pleasing everyone. Being customer-centric is about being customer-specific. Instead of casting a wide net, you want to catch the fish that will spend the most money with your company.