How well are you treating your loyal customers? Every day I reiterate to those I coach that we in the customer service industry should be forming longevity-based relationships with our clients rather than transactional-based customer interactions. This relationship begins the very first time we interact with our clients. We should be taking the time to understand their needs, get to know their style, and preferred methods of communication. This will build enormous amounts of value in yourself, your company, and your services.
I believe that, for the most part, people in our industry do an excellent job initially earning the opportunity to help our clients. We even go as far as convincing them to enter a committed relationship with us. We make promises much like that of marriage vows. However, like many frayed marriages, I often notice that the customer holds up their end of the deal, and yet we as contractors fall short.
Before you say, “Not us, not my company,” answer a few of these questions with complete transparency.
Are the first customers asked to reschedule those that are the most loyal to you?
Are your loyal customers here to serve you and your business agenda or are you serving them?
Are you over promising and under delivering?
Are the benefits of your plan only in effect until things get “busy?”
If you, like many, are guilty of these infractions, you can course correct now. It is imperative to a business’s success to have loyal clients. These customers often spend up to thirty percent more than the average customer. They are also more forgiving of small missteps when we fail to be perfect. They do, however, expect the best and have paid or are paying for our services.
The way you can course correct is by devising a plan to truly serve these customers. If you have a certain number of visits that you have agreed to, how will you achieve these, especially during peak season? You may want to research how many visits are owed and how many weeks each year you must perform these visits. Then get your staffing in order to deliver on these agreements or begin developing a maintenance department.
I also believe that acknowledging these loyal customers when they call your company goes a long way to strengthen the bond on our side. Simply take the time to thank them for their continued loyalty. Remind them of the benefits of their plan when they take advantage of your services. “Mrs. Customer, I see you are a member of our VIP plan. That does indeed entitle you to receive ‘xyz.’ Thanks again for being a loyal customer.” You may also want to send them a welcome letter when they join, which would give a comprehensive overview of all their benefits.
You might also consider implementing some personal interaction, letting the customer know ahead of time that you and your team will be making preventative checks, making the longevity of their equipment your top priority. You have to be proactive. Reach out to them to schedule these visits.
Other successful companies I work with make a point to reach out to their members with helpful hints. Some examples of these hints may include changing the smoke alarm batteries, setting their clocks forward or backward, preparation for winterizing, tips for inclement weather, etc.
Another way to ensure our loyal customers feel the love is to make note of unique events taking place in their lives and acknowledging those events. You may also consider having a loyal member concierge or a dedicated line for your loyal customers. Some companies have even changed their greeting for their member hotline. These minor changes will help your team goes the extra mile for your extraordinary customers.
Do you offer extra discounts or promotions for your own loyal following? Offering advance notification of specials to these clients is another terrific way to solidify the longevity of this relationship. It’s never too late to revisit your service partner plans and make sure you have implemented a plan of action that will keep your loyal customers loyal!
Publication date: 8/13/18