It’s not enough to convince current customers to return to your website or purchase more products from you. To scale your business, you must leverage customer service to transform customers into loyal fans. Because ultimately, for small businesses, those raving fans are the best marketing tool at the initial stages of your business and even later stages. Loyal fans beget more fans, driving profitable revenue. Fans are the key to scaling a new company.
Thus, offering fantastic product experiences and excellent customer service is a relatively obvious goal to convert customers to fans. However, it’s not always as simple as you may think. Obstacles can pop up along the way, creating barriers between your customers and the exceptional customer service you wish to deliver. However, if you don’t overcome those roadblocks, you’ll never convert your customers into raving fans.
Dimensional Research reports that nearly 52% of customers have made an additional purchase from a business following a fantastic customer service experience. Indeed, one positive customer experience can go a long way because the same research found that 90% of consumers are influenced by positive online reviews when purchasing products. On the other hand, a poor customer service experience is damaging because the average American tells over 15 people when they’ve had a negative customer service experience, which can damage your brand credibility.
In today’s digital world, one negative customer experience can cause more damage than ever before. Thus, if you want to turn customers into loyal fans, you must deliver an exceptional customer service experience.
Here are five proven ways to leverage exceptional customer service to deliver a positive impression and transform shoppers into lifelong fans:
1. Give Customers Something to Talk About
Sharing exclusive sneak-peeks, exciting news, and one-time-only discounts with customers can help you convert them into raving fans. First, organize special “fans only” events that give your loyal customers unique access to products and services. Then, encourage them to spread the news to their family and friends so their networks can get in on the fun.
Another way to get customers excited and transform them into avid fans is to offer referral rewards for customers who successfully encourage their friends and family to buy your product or service. The rewards could be a discount, free product, or cash they can use to make their next purchase.
2. Reward Loyal Customers
Don’t forget that attracting new customers is an expensive investment for any business. This takes up most of their energy, time, and money for many companies. An easier way to improve your immediate rate of return is to consistently provide high-quality customer service, ultimately creating avid fans who will then refer more customers to your brand, and your revenue will soar.
Use your customer profile to identify customers who frequent your business, spend more, and encourage others to shop with your business; these are your up-and-coming avid fans. First, tell them how special they’re to your business. Then, offer them special offers, exclusive discounts, and first-priority status to avoid losing them to your competitors. Also, your loyal customers deserve to receive personalized communication and the best offers, so add special perks into your customer reward program.
3. Be Proactively Helpful
Going the extra mile is one of the most effective ways to deliver outstanding customer service and build a pool of loyal fans. This happens when you tick all the boxes, and you still want to do more to make your customers happy.
Sometimes being helpful involves anticipating what your customers need before they even ask for help. Often, a customer may ask for one thing without recognizing they need help with another issue. So, you must anticipate their needs and serve them better.
When customers feel you appreciate them and they’re special to your brand–they’ll become repeat customers, and, ultimately, they’ll become lifelong fans. This is linked to the phenomenon of reciprocity in social psychology. If you do something nice for a customer, they’ll want to repay you by doing something nice in return–like buying your products in the future.
4. Build Relationships Based Trust With Your Customers
Authenticity is the latest buzzword for companies seeking to build lasting relationships with their customers. Younger generations, especially Millennials, want transparent and authentic connections with brands they choose to do business with. Today, most consumers prefer to do business with brands they trust, whether it’s buying a sandwich or a phone. So, as a business owner, building relationships of trust with your customers is crucial to standing out from your competitors and ultimately transforming your customers into loyal fans.
To improve customer trust and loyalty:
- Keep your promises. Keeping the lines of communication between your brand and your customers open is crucial. Because once you understand what your customers want and can convey what you can deliver, you can keep your promises. That’s because making promises you can’t keep to customers only sets them up for disappointment. Also, it sets your business for failure, deterring you from improving customer loyalty and converting current customers to raving fans.
- Deliver consistent quality. If you don’t deliver high-quality products or services consistently, you won’t gain loyal fans who are the lifeblood of a successful business. Likewise, to gain and maintain a thriving customer base, you must deliver quality customer service consistently. Consumers trust your brand when they know they’ll get high-quality products or services each time they do business with you. This encourages them to become repeat customers and ultimately lifelong fans.
5. Be Empathetic When Solving Their Problems
Chad Horenfeldt notes, “When it comes to challenging customer conversations… don’t go to solution mode until you have demonstrated that you are truly hearing their concerns.”
Providing genuine empathy in customer service can set you apart from your competitors. It results in excellent customer service experiences that drive customer loyalty, positive reviews, and ultimately, lifelong fans and repeat sales. Research shows that 73% of customers feel that friendly and empathetic customer service agents make a memorable experience that causes customers to stick with a brand.
The importance of being empathetic when solving customer problems has been quite apparent in the last two years. That’s because COVID-19 has heightened the feelings of powerlessness and stress among many people. In fact, across the globe, 59% of consumers say they look for top-notch quality in customer service than they did before.
However, even in these difficult times, some customer service teams will thrive while others fail. Why? Because those who are succeeding are harnessing the power of being empathetic.
The difference between satisfactory and excellent customer service is reps who go the extra mile to provide a positive customer experience.
To express empathy as you serve your customers:
- Listen actively.
- Give customers the gift of doubt.
- Make your customers part of the solution.
- Be curious about what caused the problem a customer is experiencing.
- Always be respectful, and
- Assume nothing; always ask.
As a business, you have the power to make a positive impact on your customer’s day, and ultimately, create loyal fans for life. Don’t forget that one slight gesture of goodwill can start a movement. And all you have to do is show a little empathy.
Scale Your Company by Delivering Excellent Customer Service
All the above strategies combine to produce outstanding customer service. It’s exceptional customer service that can help you gain a pool of brand advocates and raving fans–and this can help you build a reputation of being helpful and a delight to work with.
Consumers want to be treated like human beings, not a number in the customer service ticket queue. So, humanize your customers and your brand to drive customer service-driven growth.
Customer support software, such as Zight (formerly CloudApp), can help you provide better customer experiences and ultimately convert your customers into raving fans. For example, Gainsight improved customer satisfaction and saved over $10,000 every year after using Zight (formerly CloudApp) to deliver better customer service experiences. The customer service team at Gainsight uses Zight (formerly CloudApp) to create annotated HD videos and screenshots to answer customer inquiries.