Ultimately, customer loyalty can’t be bought, it must be earned. One of the best ways to earn that loyalty is through engaging the customer. Engaged customers provide you with an opportunity to wow and delight, and that’s what leads to winning their loyalty.
Three ways that can foster customer engagement are: knowledgeable employees, service-oriented employees, and personalized service.
Knowledgeable employees that have been well-trained to know your products and service are like gold to your business. One medical device company has new employees spend 6 months shadowing their best employees while also taking monthly competency tests on their products. At the end, they are sent to a one week training class to reinforce what they learned in the field. This combination provides them with an experienced employee who is ready to strongly represent them and their brand. Expensive, yes, but the loss of one client in this business can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Service-oriented employees who have been carefully selected in the hiring process for their people skills is the ideal. Often, it is much easier to train someone on the technical aspects of a job vs. teaching them how to be nice. All employees, though, must know how to create a dialog with a customer to determine their true needs and wants, how to creatively turn-around an unhappy customer, and how to create a connection with the customer. Customer loyalty is relationship based, not just transaction based.
Personalization of the customer experience is the third way to reinforce customer engagement. Knowing a customer’s history of interactions with your organization that is accessible by any employee when they are talking with the customer is an enormous factor to creating a superior and memorable experience for the customer. Other ways to personalize are to teach employees how to read a customer’s personality style and adapt to their style so they feel more comfortable. Teaching employees to empathize and actively listen are also key skills to build a more personalized approach.
Customer loyalty is the competitive edge in today’s global market. Earn that loyalty by engaging your customers in their customer experience with your organization.