In any industry, whether it be arts, finance or anything in between, the most valuable component to a business is customer experience. Yes, you heard me: experience. If your customers are having negative encounters with your company, odds are you’re at risk of losing potential sales. Business owners need to constantly and consistently prioritize customer experience as a way to not only build a loyal customer base, but to maintain the one they currently have.
Think of it this way: your customers are what keep your business running. You as a business have the responsibility of offering your clientele the absolute best service you have to offer. One too many poor experiences is going to drive sales towards your competitor.
Positive experiences are the foundation of strong customer loyalty. After all, loyal customers don’t just happen overnight — it takes time.
You may be wondering, “Well, how do I maintain a positive customer experience?” In this article, we’re taking a look at 5 methods that will help any company grow and keep their loyal clientele.
Deliver Unexpected Rewards
Who doesn’t love a good surprise? The objective of surprising your customers with rewards is to offer a sense of care and acknowledgement towards the value that individual customers bring to the company. It also makes that person feel special, especially if it was unexpected.
And there’s a science behind this method, too: dopamine, a feel-good hormone, is released in the brain when people are happy. That’s why this approach creates return clientele. Customers will want to experience that happy emotional feeling again, encouraging them to come back. But the key is to not build a pattern; it’s the element of surprise that makes this method successful.
Start and End Strong
As in any situation, your first and last impression is crucial. So why not do your best to make those moments memorable? The main driving factor behind offering both a strong first and last interaction is the cognitive bias effect.
The cognitive bias effect makes us focus solely on the first and last moment of our interaction.
How to use this approach:
- First impression: Make a positive first impression by showing your clients how much you value them.
- Last impression: Always end on a good note — and don’t forget to follow up with the client after. and possibly following up with them after. In your follow-up, thank the client for taking the time to chat with your company and wish them a great day. After your final in-person meeting, you may wish to reach out to them via phone, email, or social media to see if there’s anything further you can do to improve their perception of your company.
Create a Social Identity
Everyone wants to be a part of something that correlates with their beliefs and values. There is a special connection that happens when you meet someone with similar interests to yours, and that applies to businesses, too.
Think of a time you met a complete stranger and the two of you realized you both love the same artist. There is this unique feeling that’s shared between the two of you, giving you a sense of connection. That’s the feeling you want your customers to have with your brand and your company, and is what builds a strong bond between the two parties, or even just between the customers.
How to create and grow the connection:
- Plan events where your customers can meet and exchange food for thought
- Create channels where your customers can interact on a more consistent basis
- Start group forums where the company can interact with the audience and provide helpful information. Naming the group offers a sense of belonging
Take advantage of the tech-based world we live in and use social media platforms to create a place of belonging for your customers, and offer that amazing experience from every angle.
Let Customers Share Rewards
You may be thinking, “Why would someone want to share their rewards with others?” The answer is because of cognitive dissonance.
What is cognitive dissonance?
- The theory that people have a tendency to seek out consistency among their beliefs and opinions
- Dissonance is the inconsistency between what they believe vs. their actions
- If an individual is experiencing dissonance, they will make a change in order to eliminate it and restore the balance of their beliefs.
Some consumers experience cognitive dissonance when making a purchase. By implementing a share rewards plan, you will be eliminating the dissonance they are experiencing.
People feel motivated to help others. If customers know that they can help a friend by transferring over those rewards with each purchase, it will help promote the purchase of more items.
Show Customers You Share Their Values
This is the icing on the cake.
Besides amazing customer service, shared values is definitely the most important reason why consumers choose to do business with one company over another.
Imagine that you’re a consumer who is extremely involved in giving back to your community. You decide purchase a watch. After shopping around, you find one you love at both company X and company Z. You then find out that company X participates in tons of initiatives that give back to the community, while company Z does not. You are most likely going to follow through with the brand that shares the same values as you do, which gives company X your business and leaves company Z without the same.
Clearly communicate your values to your target audience. Use the numerous social media platforms to vocally and visually express those values. Email campaigns are also a great method to use in getting your message across.
With the implementation of these 5 methods, your company will be able to grow a loyal customer base. The devoted clientele will be dedicated to your brand as a result of the excellent customer service provided, along with the interpersonal connections that will be made through both parties common values and interests.