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The battle for customer loyalty has begun! Are you ready?
The battle for customer loyalty has begun! Are you ready for the third part? If you see a broken refrigerator as an opportunity rather than a problem, you are on a good way.
We live in a time of naivety. When a customer buys a more expensive refrigerator, he naively expects to last it for a lifetime. On the other hand, a seller naively expects that once he has acquired a customer by buying a refrigerator, he will only buy electronics from him. Be it naivety, inexperience, or self-deception, both face a bitter disappointment over time. While this article is more dedicated to business audiences, I have one wisdom for an average customer: No product, even the most expensive one, will last forever. Even with the best maintenance, there will be a breakdown that will be costly to repair. If you prefer a bird in the hand, invest in an extended warranty instead.
And now back to business. The fact that the market has changed from a product economy to an experience economy must be clear to everyone today. The customer has an advantage on his side and the goal of any business should be to know his desires and fully satisfy them. But as I wrote at the beginning, if a customer buys your product once, your match is far from being won. The fact that the customer’s relationship with the seller is compared to a match is purposeful. If we were to compare the entire purchasing process to a hockey match, getting a customer and convincing him to buy is well handled first part. However, if we want to be the winners at the end of the match, we have to start the second period with even more effort. Then there is a phase to convince the customer that he has really chosen well – express order handling, well-planned logistics, and quality installation services are another goal to the competitor’s net. If at the end of the day the customer is sitting at home with his newly purchased product and feeling good about buying it, we won the second part.
Some might already open the champagne and celebrate, but every sports fan knows that the match ends after 60 minutes. Often the very last 20 minutes are the most important ones. And the golden rule in sport this time also applies to business. So what do you think of the last part of the hockey game? This is the first time a customer needs your help, most often because of a breakdown, in the best case for regular maintenance.
How to win the last part? Anyone who has been at least once a customer requesting customer service knows it well. The complicated and lengthy reporting of a defect on the infoline, not even physically isn´t very uplifting. Waiting for a repairer for a few days, especially when it comes to everyday use, will also not provide the seller with plus points. And if a repairman comes unprepared, without the necessary components and knowledge necessary to repair it, this is already the last pin to a coffin of potential loyalty. One such bad experience, and let’s be honest, most of us wouldn’t come back to the seller. And not just that, they would tell their friends about it, rate it on the web, and a great match will end in a crushing defeat. But we don’t want to lose the match, we want to win it. So now ask yourself: Are you ready for the last part?
To explain the severity and importance of customer service, here are some statistics:
- As a rule, people make more decisions based on reviews and advice from their acquaintances than ads
- 97% of customers share their very good to excellent customer service experience with others
- On average, a loyal customer is 10 times more valuable than the value of their first purchase
- There is an almost 70% likelihood that a satisfied customer will return to make a new purchase
- 59% of people are even willing to try a new shop just to get better customer service
- 70% of shoppers are willing to spend more money if it means getting excellent customer service
The truth is that true loyalty and good relationships arise not in good times but in bad times. Regardless of whether you sell electronics, cars, or gas, you must be prepared for the second and the third part of this metaphorical hockey match the same as you are for the first one. And that may not be enough if your ambitions are the highest ones. If you want to be a professional team playing for the Stanley Cup, your players must also have professional skates, hockey sticks, and other equipment. Such professional equipment is software in the business world. And the best in the customer service market is Field Service Management from SAP or Salesforce. Now imagine the dominance of a professional NHL team would play in your national hockey league. This is exactly what you can be compared to your competitors if you use Field Service Management from one of these market leaders.
Finally, I would return to the title of this article. For a well-prepared business, a broken refrigerator can really be an opportunity to transform an unpleasant event into a positive customer emotion. And if your “service people” are also smart salesmen, it is not impossible to go further and transform it into another interesting business. Just choose the right partner for your way to victory. Anodius is the partner. Because Experience Matters.
Filip Žarnovický, CX Consultant