Posted On October 22, 2015

Great customer service brings great customer satisfaction that can be directly linked to an increase in business revenue.

It costs 6-7x more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one – Bain & Company.

Exceeding expectations at a variety of customer touch points helps build customer loyalty. And that’s really important because your most loyal customers can become your raging fans, promoting your business to their friends and in turn, driving new sales.

A satisfied customer is likely to spend more and deepen their connection with your brand. They are also more likely to share personal insights that can lead to a strategic sales approach in line with their needs and wants.

If you want to grow your business, you should strive to provide your customers with ultimate customer service to gain ultimate customer loyalty.

Here are three ways to go about that.

Go beyond expectations

People expect good customer service

We place expectations on everything around us, from how other people behave to the quality of coffee we buy.

In business, expectations are connected with several areas including the price of your product or service, your promise of delivery, awareness of your brand, recommendations from trusted sources and past experience.

If expectations are not met, it is very easy to frustrate customers and they will instinctively start to search for an alternative supplier.

You can help manage expectations by telling customers what to expect. Let them know about the support services you offer, the availability of these services and over-estimate the time it will take for you to respond.

Remember: each communication is viewed as a promise, not from the individual but from the business and the brand.

Overestimating is what makes Amazon’s shipping service so great

Amazon’s shipping service is a great example of going beyond expectations. By placing the customer’s expectations of a three-day period of delivery and being able to deliver the product in two days, Amazon is creating a great impression.

Equip your team with the right tools

How ready is your customer service team to go into the field?

In the battle for business, customer-facing staff are on the frontline, connecting directly with your customers in the fight to win their loyalty. You need to arm and empower them with the right tools for the job.

A simple mistake by your team can have the customer looking elsewhere or, in the worst-case scenario, telling others about their bad experience. Mistakes do happen but it’s up to the team leader to instil a mindset of continuous improvement and challenge rather than focusing on the problem.

If your customer service team has this frame of mind they will soon develop the ability to go beyond the mistake and move quickly to improve on the customer’s experience, often without the need for approval.

Some of your customer service team will want to improve on a customer experience using their own initiative. This will mostly occur at a customer touch point which is instantaneous (phone, face-to-face) which creates a barrier for your team to rectify the situation.

Tools need to be accessible from their back pocket

Give the team guidelines in relation to discounts, freebies or certain user experiences they can offer, so that they will be able to turn a mistake into a success quickly with pre-approval.

Use your data wisely

Data is easier to collect now than ever before, whether it is gathered from your customers’ history or simply from your website analytics.

When we collect data about people we can ultimately serve them in the best way possible by better understanding their needs.

Reach the right customers at the right time

Don’t use data to assume what your customers are doing, use it to understand what they are doing in real-time. Your business runs in real-time and so should the data you collect.

Customers think they know what they want, and using data wisely can show them that you have what they want, when they want it. For example, ad tracking enables websites to show you products you have shown an interest in as you browse the web.

 “We use [data] as a lens over our program of work so we strip away any ‘nice to knows’ and focus on things that will drive to an outcome organisationally.” – Liz Moore, Director of research, insights and analytics @ Telstra

Siemens uses data and analytics to improve reliability and keep trains running on schedule. This helps their customers to be the best in their market and in turn builds customer loyalty at Siemens.

Take your customer service to the next level

With a focus on going beyond expectations, equipping your team with the right tools and using your data wisely, you’re well on the way to winning, and keeping, your customer’s loyalty.

To learn more about taking your customer service skills from good to great, try our course “Customer Service – Reaching for Remarkable”.