by Debra Schmidt
Customer service is selling. It is excellent service that inspires customers to return more often and purchase more products. According to a study by the American Management Association, loyal customers who make repeated purchases because they like the service could yield 65 percent of an organization’s sales volume.
Yet, there is a tendency for business owners, customer service representatives and sales representatives to focus their energy in the wrong direction. Things are out of balance when you’re spending more time trying to get new customers than you are on building solid relationships with your existing, loyal customers.
Then, why do so many people in business take their loyal customers for granted? It’s simple, they don’t recognize the incredible power this customer base has on their bottom-line results. Sales reps are constantly being told to spend their time prospecting for new customers. While prospecting is important, it’s self-defeating if it’s done at the expense of building loyalty with current customers.
In many businesses, customer service reps’ work is measured on how many calls they complete each day, rather than on the quality of the interactions with their customers. When managers refuse to view service as a marketing strategy, they fail to recognize that a few extra minutes on the phone with a customer could make all the difference in future sales.
Loyal customers are your cheerleaders. They are the people who spread positive word-of-mouth advertising by telling others about your company. They are the customers who will refer new business to you. They will continue to purchase more products and services from you. And, loyal customers are more forgiving when problems do occur.
Exceptional customer service is a powerful selling tool that will give you and your company a long-term competitive advantage. Pamper your loyal customers so they feel recognized and appreciated. Send them an unexpected “thank you” surprise such as a gift card or a book. Call them on a regular basis just to check in, say “hello” and wish them well. Make sure these calls have no strings attached.
They will reward you with their loyalty, purchases and most importantly, by telling their friends and colleagues that they trust you enough to give you their business.
Customer loyalty is the responsibility of every employee within an organization. It is earned by building positive relationships, one customer at a time.
To learn how fun and easy it is to build customer loyalty, you can order Achieving Customer Loyalty. This 105-minute DVD features Debra’s nationally renowned training seminar. Here’s your chance to participate in the training that Debra has presented to employees in companies throughout the United States.
Debra J. Schmidt, a.k.a. “The Loyalty Leader®”, helps companies boost their profits by leading them to greater customer, employee and brand loyalty. Learn more at: TheLoyaltyLeader.com