Last year (2018), Australians spent A$ 28.6 billion on online shopping. This year, the spring retail season is here, and businesses are very aware that their (customer) loss is their competitor’s gain.
E-commerce sellers and stores tend to make mistakes that impact their customer loyalty. With the competition high, a small mistake could cost a business a customer. Whether you call them customers or clients, here are five bad habits that you might be making that could impact customer loyalty.
1.Getting bogged down by the same enquiries
The first habit that might seem a good habit to have is to have customer care answer the same questions repeatedly. When a customer care executive is repeatedly answering the same type of questions, it could mean two things. Firstly, the customer care executive is very patient and takes the time to answer the same queries. Secondly, it shows that customer care executives are being bogged down by the same queries. While you might have an excellent customer care team, they are, obviously, not able to perform other tasks or take care of more serious problems.
Repeated queries are perfect for self-services. Answer those queries that often arise through blogs, articles, automated solutions, chatbots and online communities. You will soon find that the number of repeated queries drops down because the answers are all out there for customers to find themselves. The good news is that customers like to get immediate answers to their most pressing problems through self-service. They want answers at the time and place of their choosing.
By doing this, customer service executives are freed from repeated queries, and the customers are happier too. Customer service executives have more time to focus on other challenging problems that require urgent attention.
2. Too afraid to get to the root cause of a problem
While the first habit is one that can be broken, there is still a problem that needs to be fixed if a query is being raised repeatedly. Having an automated message that provides a solution is a great quick-fixer, but there is a problem that lies underneath that needs to be unearthed. For example, there may be frequent calls from customers regarding how to set up a particular type of tent. This either means there were no instructions sent along with the tent or the instructions included were not clear enough.
Customer care service and sales employees can make a list of all the recurring questions about each product and then see how best they can be dealt with. The problem above can be settled by ensuring better documentation of setting up the tent, and the new instructions included along with the product.
3. Neglecting to be the first to reach out
When problems arise with a certain product, Salesforce and customer care representatives don’t inform customers who have bought the product about the problem. Instead, they wait for customers to approach them about the problem.
Sometimes, products are sold in several hundred, and it is hard to take a proactive step and approach customers with a solution. But that is the only way you can ensure your customers stay loyal to you.
If done in a systematic manner, it would be easy and less overbearing of a job. The steps to reach out proactively about defective products are as follows:
- Identify all the customers who might be affected by the problem.
- Notify these customers about the likelihood of a problem. Apologise for the difficulties they might be put through because of the problem.
- Keep these customers aware of the progress being made toward a solution. It would be great if you could also give them a realistic time-frame of when the problem would be rectified.
- Alert the customers when a solution becomes available
4. Providing preferential treatment to new customers
Have you ever been to a store and witnessed a loyal customer being given the cold shoulder because they were busy giving preferential treatment to a potential customer? Preferential treatment is often doled out in the form of offers and discounts specifically for new customers alone.
Stop ruining the customer experience for your existing and loyal clients or this will impact their loyalty. Don’t be afraid to dish out fair discounts and other preferential treatments to them. Provide them with incentives that surprise them, and they will continue to stay loyal. They won’t even be bothered by the discounts and other preferential treatment that you give the new customers.
5. Never break your word
Breaking your word is breaking your promise, and this impacts customer loyalty. Customers are more concerned about you fulfilling your promise than how quickly you can deliver on a promise. If they find your competitors can keep good their promises better than you, they won’t hesitate to take their business to them.
Don’t make promises that you cannot fulfil. For example, if a customer requests the delivery of a product within 24 hours, don’t promise them that you will if you cannot. The product could be a gift that is to be given to someone special that same day, and if you don’t fulfil your promise on time, it could have serious repercussions. Make promises that you are sure you can keep, and don’t forget about them.
Change is never an easy thing, and most of us detest it. However, without change, businesses will remain stagnant and never improve. Take the first step to improve customer relationships and customer loyalty by investing in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. A CRM can automate all your customer data so that you can manage your clients seamlessly, and in a timely manner as well. A CRM will also free up a lot of your time for more important work. CRM can increase customer loyalty. We, at SalesFix, have been helping organisations Australia-wide do all this and more.
Working with SalesFix
SalesFix is a Salesforce implementation partner and a Salesforce Gold consulting partner. To find out how we can help you in the implementation g Salesforce and the training of your staff you can contact us via our website.