It’s difficult to create a standard set of business objectives for everyone because each company is unique. But some goals are universal, such as creating happy customers.
Satisfied loyal customers make all the difference in business, especially in a competitive industry.
NTT’s 2020 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report tells us that most organizations (81.6%) understand that customer experience (CX) provides a competitive edge. But only 26.2% of organizations fully grasp what CX means and how to track it.
Knowing the value of CX isn’t enough. You have to act on it.
Keep reading to discover the true impact of happy customers and seven strategies you can use to create a customer experience worthy of giving you a competitive edge.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- The importance of happy customers
- How to keep customers happy and loyal
- How your employee experience affects customer satisfaction
- Wrapping it up: 7 strategies to create happy customers and boost loyalty
The importance of happy customers
With customers, your business survives. And with happy customers, your business thrives.
Customer satisfaction can serve as the fuel that drives your business. Specifically, satisfied customers provide brand loyalty, regular revenue, and word-of-mouth marketing.
Let’s look at how these benefits impact your business.
Rob Markey, a writer for Harvard Business Review, found that loyalty-leading companies earn revenue 2.5 times as fast as their counterparts.
With technology to help measure and facilitate customer experience, Markey looks at brand loyalty as a “proven source of profitable growth” that all leaders should prioritize.
To grow your business, you need to find new customers, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of keeping your existing customers happy. Both types of customers provide revenue, and it turns out it’s more efficient to sell to current customers. One effective way to sell to your current customers and also attract new ones is through social selling, which involves leveraging social media platforms to build relationships and trust with potential and existing customers
When you approach a new customer, the probability of converting them is between 5-20%. Your chances of converting an existing customer, on the other hand, are between 60-70%. It costs less to market to your existing customers. And they’re more likely to buy again, which makes them an essential revenue stream.
Todd Meleney, chief marketing officer at NOBULL — a footwear and apparel brand — claims that “Word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing.”
Its effectiveness boils down to trust. People are more likely to trust friends and peers compared to brands.
You get more revenue and reach more potential customers than before when you have happy customers sharing their positive experiences with your brand through referrals and testimonials. And you don’t have to pay for ad space or clicks.
How to keep customers happy and loyal
1. Create customer experience goals
Happy customers don’t happen by accident. Besides revenue and acquisition goals, you should also set specific objectives related to the customer journey and overall satisfaction.
Setting goals related to repeat purchases, subscription renewals, and customer satisfaction measurements will set you on the right track to building a competitive customer experience.
Choose goals you can measure, such as driving 10% more revenue from existing customers or lowering your average customer service response time to 5 minutes. Measurable goals are easier to track and work towards because you have a clear definition of success.
Finally, everyone on your team should know what you want to achieve and why. Using internal communications to share your goals gets all your employees on the same page, especially those who facilitate the customer experience.
2. Go the extra mile with customer support
If you think your customers only compare you to your direct competition, think again. Forbes contributor Dan Gingiss explains in the CMO Network that “Your competition is everyone with whom your customers are interacting.”
In other words, if your customer had a fantastic experience at a local boutique store yesterday, they’ll hold you to the same standards.
It’s not enough to meet the standards for your industry. Instead, you need to make it your default practice to go the extra mile and always provide great customer service.
For instance, you can follow the “never say no without a yes” practice, which means you always offer your customers a solution, even if you can’t grant every request.
3. Treat each customer as an individual
The human connection lies at the center of the customer experience. When your customer feels like a person and not another number, you’ve done your job.
Adding personal touches, like using first names and having a friendly conversation, can go a long way in creating a better experience. If you use email or chat, ask for the customer’s name and have your representatives update their email signature and sign off with their first name instead of “support team.” Another trend is adding digital business cards to email signatures to allow customers to access and save your contact information in a single click
These tactics might seem minor, but PwC found that 42% of customers would pay more for a friendly and welcoming experience.
4. Provide multiple touchpoints
In the same PwC study, almost 80% of customers listed speed and convenience as the top two drivers of a pleasant customer experience.
But convenience can have a different meaning for each customer.
Emails may seem fast for one person, while another may prefer instant chat responses. So your best bet is to provide multiple customer service channels.
The good news is that you don’t need to provide every single option. Look at the demographics of your customer base and focus only on the most relevant channels – email, social media, or even VoIP.
5. Invest in the voice of the customer research
NTT’s 2021 Customer Experience Benchmarking Report revealed that 65% of customers believe businesses should seek feedback about their customer service experience.
You can’t deliver an exceptional experience if you don’t understand what your customers want. That’s where the voice of the customer programs can help.
Voice of the customer (VoC) refers to the process of collecting and analyzing customer feedback to better understand their experience with you and your products.
Tools such as surveys, call transcripts, and social listening will help you better understand what you must provide to create satisfaction and customer loyalty. Even negative reviews can help by showing you what factors lead to unhappy customers.
6. Use your CRM to measure satisfaction and retention
Creating more happy customers than before happens over time. It’s not something you can do once and check off your list.
That’s why it’s important to monitor your performance over time, and technology can help you.
Use your customer relationship management (CRM) software to track satisfaction and retention metrics such as renewal rates, revenue from retention, and net promoter score (NPS).
You can also track your service team’s performance with metrics like average ticket resolution time or average reply time.
Following the right KPIs helps you make improvements and identify gaps in your customer service before they begin to erode customer happiness.
7. Leverage automation
Timeliness is a major contributor to customer satisfaction. Support your service teams with automation technology to help improve your reply and resolution times.
Tools such as self-service knowledge bases and chatbots can help boost productivity without completely replacing the human touch.
Set up a VoIP number with an auto-attendant feature that can take voice inputs and solve customer questions on autopilot. You can use an automated chatbot to identify a customer’s problem and route them to the right service representative. This frees up time for your service team members and still gives your customers a human interaction.
How your employee experience affects customer satisfaction
Although technology plays a more prominent role in CX, the customer experience still depends on human interactions. In other words, your ability to create a successful CX program depends on the employees responsible for customer interactions.
Ultimately, engaged and happy employees who feel supported will be better set up to deliver an exceptional experience.
For example, if you keep your frontline workers engaged and supported through employee engagement software, they can extend that experience to your customers.
Wrapping it up: 7 strategies to create happy customers and boost loyalty
Business leaders understand the value of customer satisfaction and loyalty. The challenging part is taking that understanding and turning it into an actionable plan. Together these seven strategies can put you on the right track and turn your customer experience into a competitive advantage.
But it’s important to remember that your ability to support your customer-facing employees is the make or break factor, no matter what strategies you use.
To learn more about organizational communication tools that empower your team members no matter where they are, explore Blink today.