Customer loyalty is very hard to gain in an era where countless businesses are offering the same products and services to the same audience.
Customers have lots of choices, and as soon as they find the “supposedly” next best thing, they take their money, family and friends with them. Instead of just building a customer loyalty program, focus on building WOW customer experience and the loyalty will follow.
A WOW customer experience is when a business is really great at providing their customers with amazing products and also genuinely provides excellent service. When a customer experiences both components simultaneously and consistently, it activates an emotion that creates loyalty and trust, which turns that customer into a walking word-of-mouth marketer for your business. Now imagine having 100 or 500 customers just like that. You now start to build a tribe of supporters for your business.
In reality, not all businesses are built like that. Some businesses have awesome products but bad customer service, and other businesses have not-so great products but amazing customer service.
Here are 3 ways to build an effective WOW Customer Experience:
Most times it might not be a direct competitor that your customers are cheating on you with. It’s new fads or new business concepts that enter the marketplace instead. This doesn’t mean you need to change your entire menu, product line, or service to compete, but it’s good to experiment with other offerings without comprising your existing business.
For example, if you’re an Italian restaurant and a new Mexican restaurant is attracting your customers, do not start selling Mexican food. However, if your customers are continuously asking about gluten-free options, you can highlight the gluten-free items on your menu or consider adding more gluten-free options for them to choose from.
You should do these things not because they are the “hot thing” to do, but because you really care about making your customers happy and providing them with an enjoyable experience.
It is very important to have the right tools in order to build a great customer service experience. They will help you to conveniently and efficiently manage your relationships with your customers. Consider these three tools to use:
FiveStars helps small businesses create custom rewards, where any customer can sign up with just his or her phone number. It takes care of your customer engagement needs with automated campaigns, including incentives to bring back lapsed customers and special rewards on birthdays. In a head-to-head comparison, FiveStars gets nine times more members than other rewards programs.
Something that I really love about Fivestars is that business owners control their own rewards and promotion content and own all of the data, including contact information and notes.
A great example of a business that is seeing great results by creating a WOW customer experience and utilizing FiveStars loyalty program is Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries. According to a recent feature by Loyalty360, the restaurant’s same-store sales shot up 18% thanks in part to their customer-experience program. They take customer service very serious and this is built in their business’ philosophy of each and every employee, including the founder. When you really care about creating a five-star experience for your customers, it will show.
The SociallyBuzz app is the easiest, simplest and most affordable way for business owners to manage their social media channels and online reputation on one mobile dashboard. This is important because it helps small business owners manage their relationships with their customers on multiple social media channels. The relationship is what drives a customer to build trust with a business, which in turn repeats business and encourages true word-of-mouth promotions from customers.
This social media manager app also helps small business owners manage their online reputations. A business’ reputation is probably the most important aspect of anything previously listed here because any negative reviews may prevent a customer from visiting a business, or worse, if those reviews receive no responses. Business owners who respond to negative reviews show
other customers that they are eager to own up to faults or explain the situation if not. And, more importantly, they show that they care about customers’ feedback and experiences. With great reviews and an engaged business owner, more customers will come to a business.
SocialToaster helps you engage your fans and makes sharing your content over their social networks easy. I like the context of SocialToaster because it uses gamification to amplify word-of-mouth recommendations from the most trusted source, your customers. Once your social community connects their social media accounts, SocialToaster will activate them to help your business have a larger reach, more influence and higher visibility.
Rewarding your tribe and providing them with the tools and resources to help them share your message is a sure way to create a WOW customer experience.
Think about this for a second: how do you communicate with your customers? Is it one-way, where you’re always talking about what you offer and what your customers must do for you? Or is it a two-way conversation in which you listen, engage and create meaningful conversations with your customers?
Conversations with your customers must feel natural and not forced. Creating a WOW customer experience is not a marketing strategy or tactic. This should be part of your culture and your business’ DNA. Taking this approach will ensure that all your employees will treat your customers the same way as if you, the owner, were talking with them. Having all your employees on the same page creates less confusion and a genuine expectation to create a five-star experience for your customers.
Doing any or all of the above will show your customers that you’re listening and care about their needs.
Andre Kay is CEO and founder of Sociallybuzz, which exists to help businesses grow using social media. By helping them reach relevant customers, build customer loyalty, mange reputation and increase revenue. We protect relationship with their customer, create effective campaigns, manage their social channels and online reputation 24/7.