In my previous article I discussed ‘customer on the phone service’. In this article, let’s take a look at ‘beyond the line of duty’.
You know what I’m talking about… it’s the experience that makes your day. You have some problem or question and although the person you approach may not be the correct one to solve the issue, they go way above and beyond the line of duty to ensure that you find your answer.
We all come across instances of where this highly effective client loyalty building mechanism can be applied virtually every day in every area where we interact with a business.
Think about the last time you were in a department store looking for something specific and you asked for help. Did the person you approached vaguely wave in a direction saying, “Ailse 10″ or did they stop what they were doing to lead you directly to the product?
Or how about the time you called a company with a customer service query? Were you treated as an interruption and run into a brick wall, or did the person you spoke to take responsibility for ensuring you received the answer you were looking for?
Businesses that focus on treating every customer as important, valuable and respected find their customer loyalty statistics improve significantly over time. People love to be treated well, and when they are, they love to reward the business by telling others how well customers are treated.
Finding ways to treat customers well in every transaction is vital. Some of the ways are pretty obvious, others more nebulous. But by adopting a corporate philosophy of “How can we improve your life today?” both staff and customers will quickly feel the effects of improved relationships.
If you have any doubt at all about the value of doing all you can to establish and maintain customer loyalty, take a few minutes to go through the following exercise.
Look at the top 10% of your customers and plot on a spreadsheet:
- frequency of purchases
- value of purchases
- length of their ‘lifetime’ with your company
Once you have these figures you can quickly see how much on average a customer is worth to you per month and year. Multiply this by the number of months or years that a customer stays with you and you have their lifetime value.
Chances are you’ll be amazed at just how much money your best customers spend with you and how long they stay with you. By treating all your customers well, you’ll find that the other 90% of customers tend to move closer to the top 10% in spending and longevity.
Much of the difficulty in adopting this strategy is removed by creating a series of behavior models which staff can practice in commonly encountered situations. Role playing can assist staff to become comfortable with these perhaps new behaviors, as can pre-written scripts based on real life examples. The scripts are useful to give examples of how to communicate more effectively and in line with the end goal of increased customer loyalty.