[This article was written by Gabby Rolette.]
Unless your goal is to fail miserably, no business likes losing customers. The key to keeping customers from jumping ship is to build connections with them. Customers who feel connected to your business are customers who will stick around for the long run. So how do you build connections? You have to make them feel like they are the most important customer, and that they mean something to your business. Sounds easy, right? Don’t worry, it’s actually not that difficult.
Before we show you how easy it is to build meaningful customer relationships, let’s look at Chewy; a growing online pet supplies company. They personalize their customer experience by sending customers hand-painted portraits of their pets at no extra cost, and signed greeting cards when they know that a furbaby has passed over the rainbow bridge. Small gestures like these can really have a huge impact on how customers view your brand. While you may not be able to send hand-painted portraits to all of your customers, below are 5 things you can do to guarantee a personalized experience.
#1. Add pictures of your team to your website
When you personalize your website by adding pictures of your team members, customers feel more like family. This is especially helpful for companies that work with customers primarily over the phone or through email.
If your customers are not engaged in face to face dealings with your support or sales team, it can make them feel disconnected. However, when they are able to put a face to a name (or a voice), it personalizes their experience. If you want to go above and beyond, I also suggest adding a short little bio under each picture as well so that your customers can learn a bit about the reps helping them. They might find that they have something in common!
#2. Keep customers in the loop with weekly emails
If you want your customers to stay connected and engaged with your brand, it’s your job to keep them in the loop. Send weekly emails that include any company news or updates, like which employee is the star of the week or what new changes will be rolling out soon.
If your website has a blog, it could also be fun for customers to read what your company has been writing about. In your weekly emails, include a link to your blog and ask your readers to get involved by leaving comments, or suggestions on what they’d be interested in reading next!
#3. Hire a call center for 24/7 support
Nothing is more impersonal than making your customers talk to your voicemail, especially if they’re sending up flares. Your customers may start to wonder when their message will be heard, and more importantly, when – or if – their call will be returned. Instead of snubbing your customers, give them a live voice to talk to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and hire a call center.
All call centers provide live customer support and most can manage many of the same tasks your in-house staff can, like answering questions, scheduling appointments, processing payments and troubleshooting basic issues. While call center operators may not be able to solve all of your customers’ problems right away, they can at least lend a listening ear and assure the caller that their issue is being heard, and something is being done about it.
#4. Add live chat to your website
Adding live chat isn’t a new idea to keep customers connected, but making sure your team is properly engaging with them is probably something you haven’t thought about. When customers are browsing through your website, you can help them feel like you’re there with them by allowing them to ask questions and gather more information from a live agent without requiring them to call up and ask.
If you do add live chat to your site, it’s important for your staff who are monitoring the feature to be upbeat and friendly. If customers feel like they’re chatting with a robot, they may be less inclined to reach out for help because they’re assuming the bot won’t understand what they’re asking. When customers know they are speaking with a real live person, they will feel more comfortable utilizing the chat feature.
#5. Add pictures and titles of all outbound communication from your company
If you’re sending emails to your customers, include pictures of your staff as part of the signature line. Also, if you’re using live chat to engage with web visitors, make sure you have pictures of the employee visible on the chat window.
Similarly to adding pictures and bios of your staff to your website, when customers can see who they’re communicating with online, it helps them feel more connected to your business and gives your company a more personal feel. Customers may be less likely to lash out at a support rep who has a striking resemblance to their own family member, and may help customers feel closer to your brand.
Gabby Rolette is from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and writes for the SAS call center blog. She loves reading and writing, but when she’s not at work you can find her helping animals or spending time with her nieces and nephews.
Twittter handle: @SpecialtyAnswer