”68% of customers leave because they think you don’t care about them.” – ExactlyWriteWebContent.com
Customers would agree that as companies have become richer and bigger, appreciation for customers seems forgotten very often. However, smart companies would know that when you show customers you care they reciprocate with increased business and top class testimonials and referrals. When you show customers you care, it is possible to win their loyalty for a very long time. It is important for companies to remember that potential customers are convinced better by the testimonials of other customers, but when they actually interact with the company they want to experience the efficiency and top class service that was promised. If companies fail to show care and empathy for their customers, it is unlikely that they would have customers for too long.
The hardest part of being able to show customers you care is the fact that care and empathy are soft skills and not easily ‘taught’. This is probably the reason that so many companies fail at displaying empathy and concern for their customers. One of the basics of recruitment is that companies must hire people who have these qualities inherently, especially for the customer interfacing departments. Customer experiences – positive or negative – would be determined by the kind of employees in the company and hence this is an extremely crucial point and must not be ignored. It is a lot easier to ‘teach’ care to employees when the company they work for, cares for them. When they experience care and empathy, they would not need any other reason to show customers you care. This would mean that the onus of showing customers that a company is concerned about them begins internally – it is the best way to convince employees of the efficacy of care. When you show customers you care, the possibilities of achieving success become limitless – all the effort and time invested would reap rich benefits for a company.
What does your company do show customers you care? We have mentioned in the past, that in order to create and build a culture around any particular aspect, the example must come from the leaders of the company. When employees are spoken to or interacted with, they must receive undivided attention – this would in turn be replicated by the employees when interacting with customers. Companies must focus on providing its workforce an environment that is happy, energized and one that recognizes good performance. Doing so will ensure that employee morale remains boosted and they remain positive even in the most challenging and stressful customer interactions. Unhappy employees could not possibly speak well of the company and would not be able to serve customers with genuine interest or care. The more attention customers receive the more important and cared for they feel, it would lead to positive actions from them. This is very foundation of great customer service – to show customers you care.
Customer service and interaction can never be static – companies must consistently assess their service and find ways to improve, even if their customers seem happy. Responses to queries must be speedy and effective, customers must receive acknowledgement when they visit a company’s office / store. To make a lasting impact, companies must strive to go over and above the promises made to customers and extend them service that reflects genuine care and concern. A very important aspect of being able to show customers you care is remembering their names. When customers, especially those who contact a company after a long time, are addressed by name, it makes them feel special and displays the company’s commitment to keeping them as customers. Addressing customers by name and remembering their preferences lend a personal touch to any interaction and shows customers that your company truly believes in care and being thoughtful towards them.
Of course, it may not be possible for employees to memorize names, preferences, dislikes and personal details of all customers hence they must be encouraged to update their notes and the central CRM system (assuming the company has been wise enough to invest in one). In addition, this ‘extra’ information would be of immense use to the company and other customer service representatives in serving customers better and ensuring that customers do not need to repeat their information the next time they connect.
In order to show customers you care, the service representatives must remain respectful and courteous at all times. This would include (but not limited to) a pleasant greeting, listening actively to customers, using words and a tone of voice that conveys empathy and other such behaviours. It is important to take every opportunity to create and or build a rapport with customers and showing genuine interest and care go a long way in doing so. Tightly woven with the ability to show customers you care, is laughter and light humour. Pleasantries and light banter go a long way to build robust bonds with customers and allows them to be at ease when interacting with the company.
Every customer interaction must be pleasant and memorable but the company and its representatives must endeavour to better every interaction. Consistently showing customers that you are interested in what they say and the association with them will get them to like your company and trust it implicitly over time. Trust breeds loyalty and loyal customers prove to be among the top and most potent assets a company can have. Giving customers just a little extra every time, would go a long way in ensuring they stay with your company for a very long time and prove to be highly profitable.
The ability to show customers you care is perhaps one of the topmost guarantees a company can give to its customers. Complement this service by high quality products, incentives, service and product guarantees and you can be certain that not only will customers come back but will also highly recommend your company to others. While all this sounds great, the truth is that there will be times when a company does something to make customers unhappy. This is an inevitable part of business – customers will become dissatisfied. However, to respond and turn their displeasure to happiness is the best way to show customers you care. When a customer complains, remember it is feedback and they are actually doing your company a favour by giving you an opportunity to improve. Statistics reveal that most customers simply remain silent and then walk away, which is never good news for a company and hence companies must be happy when customers complain. Give them a chance to vent, apologize and then swing into action to make the wrong, right. This may sound simple and straightforward – however, many companies fail at this resulting in customer ire and churn. It is important to show customers you care especially when they are upset – the attitude and service they perceive at this time will turn them loyal or lead them to feel antagonised. Offering unhappy customers discounts, exchanges or even something complimentary will help to calm them down and consider giving your company another chance and when ‘service recovery’ is managed well, these unhappy customers often become a company’s best brand advocates.
We can enumerate many more things that your company can do to show customers you care but that list is probably endless. The fact is that the current market is not only highly competitive but it belongs to the customers – they have dominion. What they want is to know that their expectations and needs are as important to a company as they are for them and if you want to keep customers loyal and profitable do not miss any opportunity to show customers you care.