Customer service has been important since businesses first sought customers. But in the social age, what passed as good customer service in the past isn’t always enough. Customers are extremely savvy, and they know that online reviews through review sites and social media are powerful.
Additionally, consumers aren’t loyal to brands as much as they are loyal to how particular brands treat them. If you want to snag and retain loyal customers – and their friends and families – you need to focus on exceptional customer satisfaction.
Why Customer Experience Matters
Up to half of the customers will share their negative experiences with others by leaving reviews on sites like PissedConsumer.com or on social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook. Customers will likely contact the company if they have issues, but 53 percent of those customers don’t feel like their feedback will ever be heard by someone who can take action on it, like the CEO or top management.
Knowing how to leverage consumer reviews can be powerful, however. If customers have a good experience with a small business, 94 percent of them will recommend that company to others. That same 94 percent is likely to purchase from your company again if you can generate customer happiness.
The same study shows that 90 percent of Americans consider customer service as a factor when deciding to do business with a company. You know that your customers are leaving and reading customer complaints online. You know that they are using customer feedback from others to guide their own shopping and purchasing decisions.
PissedConsumer Tips for Business Leaders
So how do you make your customers happy? How do you leave them so satisfied with their experiences that they come back time and time again to make more purchases? Pissed Consumer, a review website that witnesses how many businesses manage to resolve customers’ issues, has answers to that.
Personalize customer service experiences.
Consumers want to feel seen and heard. They know that businesses are busy and that mistakes happen. In fact, 78 percent of customers are willing to continue doing business with a company after a mistake has been made, provided the customer service experience addresses their concern.
Make it a point to learn a customer’s name when they call. Meet customers where they are, be it by phone or on social media platforms. Don’t pawn customers off on bots or rote calls. Customers want to be heard, so be respectful and listen to them.
You can listen to customers and address their concerns privately by phone, or publicly through social media channels like this post on Instagram. When a CVS customer complained by commenting on an Instagram post, the company responded almost immediately with action and was publicly thanked by the original poster. That’s a powerful display of customer service responsiveness.
Focus on customer emotion.
Сustomer’s experience is based on how they feel they have been treated. If a customer feels disrespected, they are as likely as not to take to a review website or social media platform and tell others about the experience as these customers did through comments on a branding post on the DoorDash Facebook account. In fact, every cheerful post created by the company on the account has dozens of negative comments and full conversations from frustrated customers, all unaddressed by DoorDash.
Addressing customer concerns isn’t enough. Customers want companies to acknowledge the problem quickly and to help them find a solution. Training customer service representatives in how to find solutions, not just attempting to pacify a customer enough to get off the phone can be powerful in terms of repeat customers.
Be prompt in addressing customers.
Customers hate waiting for answers. Sixty percent of customers feel that long holds are the most frustrating part of the customer service experience. You can avoid long holds by having a robust customer care department, by offering multiple avenues to address customer concerns, like online chat features, email options (provided you answer promptly), and call-back features.
As one Expedia consumer learned, there is no time better to leave a negative review online than when you’ve been stuck on hold with the company for more than an hour after feeling like you’ve gotten the runaround with transfers.
Customer experience is the cornerstone of effective business practices in our modern marketplace. Customers want their experiences to feel as bespoke as possible, and business owners who are working to find ways to personalize and show respect to their customers are reaping the rewards. Customers have more ways than ever to interact with your business. Do what you can to keep those interactions as rewarding for both of you as possible.