Think about a company that delights you, a place of doing business where you feel confident in the product, the service, and the experience. Are you loyal to that company? Now compare that with a company that you're satisfied with but the experience is ultimately just adequate. A study by The Gallup Organization found that the attrition rate of customers who are merely '˜satisfied' is no different than that of customers who are dissatisfied.
A satisfactory level of service does not build rapport, trust or confidence with consumers; instead, it merely sets a 'good enough'? expectation for your service. If you want to establish a relationship that leads to loyalty, start with the following three steps.
First, don't wait until it becomes necessary to offer customer service. Begin your sales process by offering meaningful help; lending your professional knowledge while putting in the extra effort will set a positive precedent that extends beyond the point of sale. If customer service is an afterthought you are forced to fight an uphill battle. By the time a customer must turn to you for help because something went wrong, their experience is already teetering towards the negative.
Second, fight the natural tendency of becoming complacent. At JWilliams Staffing, our customer satisfaction depends on our actions in the area of ongoing customer care. We provide temps that have been great students, they've got their presentation down and they can help sell homes. But, are they really performing at their highest level? The market is constantly changing and evolving, and what we consider exceptional service today will likely be outdated tomorrow. So we continually teach and train our temps even though they outperform the industry standard. Don't become complacent in offering what you believe is currently the 'best'? service; anticipate that need to grow beyond this level.
Third, share your passion for your work. When you are genuinely excited and passionate about what you do, you become a positive influence on your customers and associates. Not only will this attitude help during the sales process, it also affects customer service by allowing you to build a relationship based on confidence. Don't worry if you feel like you're lacking that fire, with a little bit of effort you can kindle that feeling. Start by researching your industry and garnering a more in-depth knowledge of your market so that when that sales or service opportunity arises, you can wow customers.
In order to exceed that 'good enough'? level of customer satisfaction you must engage, delight, and inspire customers; the result is significantly increased customer retention and loyalty.