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“There’s a big difference between a satisfied customer and a loyal customer. Never settle for ‘satisfied’” – Shep Hyken.
With a plethora of brands vying for the customer’s attention span, loyalty is definitely hard-earned in today’s marketspace. It takes a lot of time and effort to turn a customer into a fan, a follower, and someone who would willingly publicize your brand’s name to the outside world.
Winning the trust and confidence of customers means improving your Net Promoter Score – the standard measure of customer loyalty. The idea is simple: create more promoters (brand advocates) than detractors (unhappy customers) to witness an upsurge in your NPS.
So, how do you tap into your NPS program and improve the score? What are some of the most effective ways of improving customer loyalty?
The drive to improve your Net Promoter Score should stem from within the company – from your employees.. They need to be the frontrunners in ensuring that your NPS program creates loyal customers.
One look at Temkin’s 6 laws of Customer Experience reinforces the importance of the workforce.1. Unengaged employees don’t create engaged customers2. Employees do what is measured, incentivized and celebrated.
So, how do you create engaged employees who will impact customer loyalty and ultimately help boost NPS?
• Instill a sense of ownership and responsibility in every employee so that they start to truly care about the ultimate business outcome – serving the customer and building loyalty.
• Give your employees a strong WHY. Never should they feel obscured about the work they do everyday and how it impacts the end-consumer
• Deliver encouraging feedback always. Even if you find that an employee is making silly mistakes, do not put him/her down in front of everyone else. Talk to them, understand their point of view, and see how you can help them rectify the errors.
• Celebrate and incentivize. Appreciate and reward good work, and initiate a rank system in order to gamify the whole employee experience and give our employees something to aim for constantly.
An effective NPS program helps you identify unhappy customers (detractors). If you don’t do something about these customers, they most likely will churn, publicize their poor experiences and consequently bring down your Net Promoter Score. Companies have to invest in turning these customers from unhappy to loyal and thereby move them towards the extreme right of the NPS scale.
So, is there a way to appease unhappy customers?
• Apologize: As soon as you identify a scenario where a customer have given you a low NPS rating, follow up immediately. Call the customer up, or send an email, apologizing for the inconvenience caused. Customers tend to like brands that own up to their mistakes.
• Engage: Apologizing is only one part of it. Next, engage with the customer to truly find out what the issue was, where things went wrong, and how can it be resolved. Listen without interfering. Alwaysempathize with the customer.
• Rectify: Based on the customer’s perspective and your maximum capabilities, offer a solution. If an appropriate solution cannot be provided, give a compensation such as a discount coupon, voucher, etc. Apologizing for a mistake seems genuine only as long as you rectify it.
DOWNLOAD THE NET PROMOTER SCORE GUIDE TO GREATER CUSTOMER LOYALTY
You might be having a healthy NPS and be thinking: Why waste time with follow ups? My customers are loyal and they wouldn’t want to leave my brand!
Well, customer needs are changing at an unprecedented rate. And it’s a pre-requisite that you stay in sync with them and constantly remind them that you care if you’re looking to build an ardent fan following. Customers might have had a great experience with your brand, but it would mean nothing if they forget about you just because your competitor cares more. A lot of companies collect NPS but few follow-up effectively.
Let’s say you engage with a detractor and close the loop. How would you know if he has become loyal to your brand? Did the effort put in to prevent the customer from leaving pay off? Following up with customers makes it easier to plot how their sentiment towards brands changes over time, and the insights along the journey is useful in crafting strategies that drive loyalty and engagement.
Here are some tips that you could use while doing follow ups with the three distinctive customer segments on the NPS scale!
Detractors: You can’t be sending promotional messages as follow ups to unhappy and displeased customers. Close the loop first and foremost before you start letting them know about the products/services that would suit their needs.
Passives: When customers are apathetic towards your business, dig deep into their aspirations by sending them a detailed follow-up survey, longer than the usual 2-question NPS survey. This can give you a lot more insight than what the Net Promoter Score® question provides.
Promoters: When it comes to promoters, follow ups is all about driving further engagement and keeping them delighted. Promoters are already singing praises about your brand. So, provide them with more exclusive content, personalized discounts, offers, and more. The more you personalize their experience, higher the affinity they develop towards your brand.
Improving and sustaining your Net Promoter Score® requires a lot of dedication. Motivating employees, staying proactive on NPS survey feedback, and constantly following up with customers are some of the initiatives that will drive results of your NPS program. So, are you ready to start your journey towards greater customer loyalty? We can help you with it!