Customer Loyalty. In any business, there are customers that swear by the brand and those that swear against it. This will always be the case, but the goal is to find more die-hard customers and try to minimize the latter. Customer service is paramount to any business today. As opposed to the traditional setting where customer service and the marketing department were regarded as separate entities, the two are now inseparable. If you create more customers and are able to retain them, that means more buyers. But how hard is it to create loyal customers? Well, the jury is still out on that, but let’s look at the case of Apple Inc.
Apple has some of the best stores in the world, no contest. However, that alone is not enough to get them customer loyalty. The freedom they allow their customers in store is amazing, and it works, since they keep coming back for more. Apple shoppers may not buy anything the first time, but the treatment they get brings them back again and again.
Apple customer service is unrivaled. Anytime day or night, with any question about their products, you can call Apple customer service and a knowledgeable, courteous person will be there to help solve your problem. This representative won’t let you go until the problem is solved. Apple customer service representatives are highly educated and trained on Apple products, and can handle any problem you throw their way. For me, the quality of this experience with Apple makes me want to work with them all the time. It even seems to me that at times Apple focuses their power on customer service more than their R&D efforts.
Why is it so important?
In our world today there aren’t huge differences amongst the products available in the market. Just look at the smart phone market as an example: there is the iPhone, which is the first and the leader, but there are lots of other options out there. They all offer essentially the same technology, yet the iPhone has an incredibly loyal customer base.
The main key in making your company or service special and different from all the others in the market is CUSTOMER SERVICE. I mean the way you treat your customers and the way you make them feel. Feeling and an emotional response to the product is the best thing you can give your customers, and creates brand loyalty.
“People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” Dr. Thomas L. Garthwaite
Good customer service means that your customers will know and feel that no matter what, you are there for them. This includes three vital “how to’s.”
1. Build a trusting relationship – One of the keys that will bring your customers back again and again is your customer service. That includes your honesty and their trust. Good customer service will make your customer trust you and believe in you.
2. Understand your customer’s needs – It is important that the customer knows that you understand what he wants and what he really needs. Understanding the customer is crucial to great customer service.
3. Be available and kind – Your customer must know that you are there for him when he needs you. But it’s not enough to be there; you must be kind and responsive as well.
Great customer service is a methodology, and it must permeate every level and division of a company. It’s a way of running the company. Although customer service is the best way to create customer loyalty, it is just part of the bigger picture of business and brand success. Many other factors help create loyal customers, but this is the place to start. Improve your customer service, and set your company apart.