How Outrageous Customer Service Leads to Customer Retention and Business Success
It’s time to take your customer service beyond just great. Learn why being truly outrageous sets up your business for long-term success.
- When customers’ expectations are met with an outrageous experience, they’ll become loyal and you’ll see your retention improve
- The four key elements of better customer service include personalization, anticipating customers’ needs, going above and beyond, and speed and efficiency.
- To implement a better strategy, you must improve employee training, use feedback loops, and embrace technology.
Most businesses prize great customer service. Many even name it as a core value on their About page.
And it makes sense. Customers’ opinion of your business starts forming from the moment they see your content. Whether they convert may depend solely on points of contact, so their experience must be stellar.
This is why 58% of U.S. consumers put customer service above price. They’re often willing to spend more money on a product or service to have a great experience. Let’s repeat that – people will spend more for a better experience.
It’s time to start providing an outrageous level of service and to go that extra mile, above and beyond what people even expect. This guide shows you why outrageous customer service matters for retention, how to do it right, and the challenges you may encounter along the way.
How outrageous customer service increases customer retention
Today, customer service really means customer experience. Instead of just offering someone a friendly, helpful interaction, you need to think through their buying process, their pain points, and the solutions they’re looking for. It means including personalization throughout their journey and considering how to turn people into loyal customers.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Four out of five customers say they’d leave a brand they’ve been loyal to if they have three or fewer poor customer experiences. Every interaction counts for retention.
- Outrageous customer service can lead to a better customer experience, so it’s closely connected to great customer retention. You want people to get to the level of not just buying from you, but recommending you to friends and family or going out of their way to leave you an exceptional review on Google.
- Most consumers (77%, in fact) say that getting a recommendation from family and friends is the most persuasive way to get product information before they buy. So, focus on retaining people and establishing the best customer experience possible.
To do it, emphasize the emotional aspect. Pull at people’s heartstrings. Talk about pain points you know your audience has and how you resolve them. Make sure you deliver outrageous customer service on all touch points customers have with you. Then, you’ll be on your way to greater customer retention.
4 elements of outrageous customer service
For your customer service to be truly outrageous, it’s time to get creative. These critical elements need to be part of your approach:
1. Personalization and individual attention
That emotional stuff mentioned above helps you engage your customers. It’s all about your ability to speak directly to what your audience is thinking about. You want customers to feel seen, understood, and valued no matter where or how they’re interacting with you.
Think about the online retailer Zappos. The brand has a solid reputation for exceptional customer service and “wowing” their customers, they waive expedited shipping fees in emergencies, and they send gifts to customers who are buying shoes for special occasions. These small gestures make people feel appreciated and connected to the brand. That’s how to build true customer loyalty that leads to greater customer retention.
2. Anticipating customers’ needs
You need to get so great at customer service that you can anticipate people’s needs before they tell them to you. The good news is that tools and technologies are there to help you do it.
Predictive analytics is key. This technology helps you gather data about customer behavior so you can map out their intent and buying journeys, which helps you understand people better and what they’re likely to do next. The data also helps you resolve any potential issues for customers before they arise.
3. Going above and beyond
The Zappos example continues: One way the brand went above and beyond for a customer was sending flowers to a customer who lost her mother and missed the return window because of the funeral. A brand sending flowers to a customer? Yes, it really happens.
These kinds of “wow” moments are memorable to people. They’ll never forget that kind of support and understanding. They’re reminded that a business is more than a brand – there are people, just like them, behind it.
4. Speed and efficiency
A quick way to upset or disengage a customer: respond slowly (or not at all). People expect almost instant responses when they have a problem or question. It’s your job to give it to them. Respond to calls or emails within a few hours if possible, but definitely on the same day. Respond to chats or social media messages even faster. Sometimes all people need is an instant acknowledgement so they feel seen and heard.
Now, remember how important it is to balance this kind of speed with quality. You may need to implement an automated system for an instant response that assures people that you got their message and they’ll be hearing more soon. Just make sure those automated tools are followed up by a human to resolve the issue.
New AI platforms like ChatGPT or SEO tools may make it easier for your team to generate ideas or outlines for online content, but don’t forget the power of the human heart behind your content. AI can help improve efficiencies, but you still need the unique human voice to connect with people.
How customer service relates to business success
It’s clear how customer service relates to customer retention: customers will be loyal to brands that treat them well. It’s a pretty simple concept to grasp, but how does all this relate to the success of your business?
There’s a ripple effect we can map out:
- A satisfied customer makes another purchase.
- Then, they start talking about you to their friends and family.
- Then, they leave a review.
They’ve transformed from a one-time customer to a full-on brand promoter. And guess what? Those advocates breed other advocates. You’ll see the referrals and five-star reviews pour in. When other people look you up online, they’ll see all of that enthusiasm.
This all has a major long-term impact on your bottom line. Repeat customers have been found to spend 67% more than new customers, and getting a new one can cost five to 10 times more than selling to an existing one.
By focusing on service and retention, you’ll have a better position in the market and you’ll see the kind of revenue growth that is sustainable.
Customer service and retention challenges
There are some customer service pitfalls to be aware of. (Otherwise, everyone would be perfect at it.)
First is maintaining consistency. Every single customer, and every single touchpoint they have with your brand needs to have the same level of service. People don’t like it when they hear conflicting stories or see different values reflected at different times.
Consistency takes being intentional about training and culture development. All team members should be on the same page about what matters and why.
It’s also hard to manage customer expectations when it comes to exceptional service. You want to be outrageous, but you still have to be reasonable:
- Your service standards need to be actually doable.
- Your goals need to be realistic.
- Always make sure you don’t over promise or underdeliver.
- Straight up ask customers to share their expectations and what success looks like.
Sometimes you may clash with customers whose expectations are way too out of the park. Put a plan in place for even those scenarios. Find ways to turn negative experiences into positive ones. Empower representatives by preparing them for all possible situations and outcomes.
How to implement outrageous customer service strategies
Becoming outrageous takes the right strategies. Here are places to start when you’re crafting your business’s customer service plan:
1. Improve employee training and engagement
Stellar customer service is impossible without great employees behind it. It just won’t happen unless your people are ready. Training should be consistent, ongoing, and motivating. People should understand the “why” behind what they’re being taught. They should have all the tools they need for excellent communication and problem-solving. And your core values should be infused through it all.
People are more engaged when they work with a purpose, and more engaged employees lead to better customer service.
2. Use feedback loops for continuous improvement
Customer service is not a one-time strategy. You should always be looking for ways to improve. This takes creating a customer feedback loop.
You need to know how people are feeling and why. Send out surveys after someone interacts with you. Ask about their experiences with the product or service, the employee, and the brand as a whole. Keep it simple so it doesn’t take up much of their time. Feedback matters. Just consider this: Apple uses Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys that lead to $25 million in additional revenue after improving the customer experience.
3. Embrace the right technologies
Technology is your friend when it comes to modern customer service hacks. Introduce a chatbot on your website, for example, so people can get immediate answers and you have more opportunities to gather lead information.
Harness automation to be there for people when they need you, no matter the time of day. But always balance these tools carefully with the ever-important human touch.
How to use content for an outrageous customer experience
When you can deliver truly outrageous customer service, you boost customer retention and long-term business success. Service is key in making a lasting impression and fostering loyalty.
Consumers crave memorable experiences and they remember them long after the transaction is over. By consistently providing outrageous customer service, businesses can create lasting connections, build trust, and convert one-time buyers into lifelong brand advocates. This, in turn, leads to increased customer retention rates and a healthier bottom line.
Memorable customer experiences often start with great content. You need to stand out and get personal for people to notice you. That’s why it’s more important than ever to invest in your content strategy.
At ContentBacon, we help brands connect with their audiences with sizzling content that resonates. Find out more by getting in touch with our team today.
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