Most people use Valentine’s Day to show their other half a little extra love, but businesses have another group they should be thinking of when Cupid comes calling: their customers. After all, the things that make great personal relationships can also help shape great customer relationships. Strong bonds are built by empathy, care and shared experiences (with your Valentine and your loyal customers!). This list provides nine ways to amp up your customer experience and show some real customer love.
1. Make it Facebook official.
Okay, maybe that’s a little too far, but giving new customers a shout out on social media is a great way to show them how much you appreciate their business. Remember: To your customers you’re a brand, not just a small team! The fact that you took the time to shoot them a tweet or Facebook message (even though it takes less than a minute) will make an impression customers remember. In fact, 83% of those surveyed said they liked—or even loved—when a company responded to them on social!
2. Treat them like they’re one of a kind.
Everyone loves it when their someone special remembers the little things. While you’re probably not collecting your customers’ favorite flowers or desserts, using marketing automation allows small teams to say thank you and suggest another product or service without dedicating a teammate to the job. Over 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated and these personal touches are the best way to turn an upsell into an experience!
3. Break the rules.
Occasionally, customers will have a less than stellar experience. Instead of being disappointed, use this as opportunity to win back a customer’s love – even if you have to break the rules. Let your employees know that it’s alright to give a refund or offer free shipping to customers who could use a customer experience pick-me-up. Just make sure you do it ASAP! More than 82% of consumers say the number one factor that leads to a great customer service experience is having their issues resolved quickly.
4. Loyalty is key.
Loyalty is important in any relationship, and the bond you have with your customer is no exception. In fact, loyalty is a key revenue driver for most small businesses. Why? Loyal customers are five times as likely to repurchase, seven times as likely to try a new offering, and four times as likely to refer. Looking for an easy way to foster loyalty? Try a rewards program. Since 63% of women and 53% of men say they will stay with a brand longer when earning rewards, it’s a great place to start!
5. Don’t forget about your friends.
It takes a village to create a great customer experience. That’s why it’s important to train your employees to offer the same great service you would provide yourself. Customers need 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience, so teaching your team the best way to treat complaints on Twitter or help customers through live chat is invaluable.
6. Send flowers.
Or at least some kind of thank you gift! This may not be a tactic your team can use all the time, but partnering with another complementary local business to send out little trinkets like stickers, gift cards or even company swag is an awesome loyalty-builder. Customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020 (that’s just four years away!), so little perks are a great way to go the extra mile.
7. Give them your digits.
Today’s customer wants to connect. On Twitter. On Instagram. Through chat. When a modern consumer becomes a fan of your business, they want to share their enthusiasm with everyone they’re connected to. Make it easy for loyal customers to give you some social love and clearly position your profile information on your website and in company emails. In addition to the benefit of referrals (referral marketing generates 3-5x higher conversion rates than any other channel!), Twitter found that 72% of social media followers are more likely to make a future purchase.
8. Show them the real you.
It’s natural to want your business to come off as professional with a clean website and corporate-looking “contact us” information, but you should create opportunities to show off your personality too! One of the best ways to connect with customers in a quick, informal way is live chat. With live chat on your website, leads and customers can get their questions answered ASAP – something that’s key if you want to reduce shopping cart abandonments from the industry average of 68%!
9. Make it exclusive.
When you’ve identified the customers who keep coming back, offer them exclusive deals and discounts. Over 60% of small businesses report that more than half of their revenue comes from repeat customers, rather than new business. Make sure these loyal shoppers are happy by letting them know how much the mean to your business!
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
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