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Completing the Circle: Building Loyalty through Exceptional Support

041916_TS_BLOG_CustomerLoyaltySupportYou may already know that providing an effortless and seamless customer experience is crucial to cultivating the type of long-term, repeat loyalty necessary to sustain a brand. Yet, while efforts are often tightly concentrated in the sales and project phases, with employees doing all they can to secure new business and ensure client satisfaction while on-site, one essential element remains—that of superior-level customer support. Fielding troubleshooting requests, answering questions, and mending faulty parts might come at the end of the customer journey, but it’s a final step that, when performed correctly (or incorrectly), can make all the difference in whether or not a client decides to call on your business in the future.

Feeling Valued: The Critical Step to Building a Customer Relationship

As anyone who’s ever spoken with a company’s customer service department on the telephone, online, via e-mail or myriad other tools available for support can tell you, the value of an informed, knowledgeable representative is unmatched. In fact, a recent report by Aspect Software, a leading provider of contact center solutions, found that 76 percent of consumers measure their value to a brand by the level of customer service they receive.

In other words, in their eyes, a favorable interaction means they’re valued, and one that ends poorly or frustratingly means they’re not. Imagine the brand-boosting benefits that could be amassed if all of a company’s customers felt valued—the potentially staggering amount that would return for a second purchase, repeat service call, and more.

The quickest way to establish this environment of value: Connect your customers with a representative equipped with all the data and insight he or she needs to respond appropriately to customer needs. To this end, CRM solutions are an essential part of any service toolbox—they allow call center employees direct access to in-depth project details, salesperson feedback and communication, and critical, real-time updates, turning every service call into an opportunity to connect.

What’s Ahead for 2016: Building Loyalty in the Digital Age

In addition to allowing reps instant access to client data, CRM also helps fuel the type of customization and tailored content that callers want (and are increasingly expecting). IBM recently investigated top customer loyalty trends for 2016, uncovering several ways brands can connect with the audiences they serve to secure their loyalty amid the clamor of competition. Chief among these strategies is personalization, which IBM defines as “building a unique strategy and set of program rules for each customer, not a one-size-fits-all approach.

The data attached to each customer or prospect and stored within a CRM system is rich with detail, and built-in analytical tools can help mine this information for key insights, not only helping employees sell and market their offerings, but also allowing customer service reps to offer recommendations and solutions tailored to unique client needs.

As a result, customers feel valued, and encouraging that sense of worth and appreciation is essential to earning their trust, capturing their commitment, and encouraging their loyalty. And that type of relationship not only helps build more business, it means direct results for the bottom line—because their value builds your own.

Sources:

Kristina Knight, “Report: Poor Customer Service Pushes Consumers Away,” BizReport, April 6, 2015, http://linkis.com/www.bizreport.com/20/Otfk0.

Ron Gerace, “Customer Loyalty Trends in 2016,” IBM Commerce Blog, February 8, 2016, https://www.ibm.com/blogs/commerce/2016/02/customer-loyalty-trends-in-2016/.