Some of the largest companies are extremely successful at customer service. These companies recognize the importance of customer satisfaction and its impact on brand loyalty. To achieve customer satisfaction, a company needs to be both reactive and proactive to customer concerns in stores and call centers as well as online.
In an article touting companies with great customer service records, The Huffington Post cites a marketing executive who advises two important factors: problem resolution and taking steps to ensure the issue does not occur again. In other words, company standards must be responsive and preemptive when addressing consumer issues. The companies receiving high grades for customer service explain how to achieve this goal.
1) Lowe's Home Improvement commits to honoring customer service requests at stores and online.
2) Trader Joe's fulfills customer grocery stocking requests and sells local goods.
3) Samsung launches a customer service campaign with free online support apps.
4) State Farm offers easy customer service accessibility and inspires brand loyalty.
5) Google practices its mantra by focusing on the end user and conducts product testing.
6) FedEx delivers a high volume of packages while meeting customer expectations.
7) UPS anticipates customer needs and addresses issues through social media.
8) Hilton Hotels and Resorts reviews its properties to ensure guest satisfaction.
9) Marriot International manages a highly regarded loyalty program for customers.
10) Amazon addresses complaints with refunds and free-shipping policies as compensation.
At the core of each explanation is the company's focus on customer satisfaction. Company representatives, store clerks, call-center agents and social media community managers are a company's front lines. If a company recognizes consumer needs, it is already on the way to achieving a customer's brand loyalty.
Building patron loyalty is no easy task, but companies need to instill confidence in a customer's purchase, fix customer issues and provide a helpful support team through call centers, online help centers and social media. If a shopper is confident in a store return policy, a patron's inclination is to be comfortable about a purchase. A shopper's knowledge that she can reach out to a company representative regarding an issue can allay any trepidation she might feel about a purchase. In some cases, this includes reaching customers through social media with Facebook pages, YouTube instructional videos and product support apps. Old school tactics are important, too. Companies with call-in service centers and knowledgeable service representatives score high points with patrons while inspiring brand loyalty. Loyal customers are repeat customers.
With new technologies, customer service is an ever-evolving business. While it has the power to increase business opportunities, it also requires an expansion of customer service capabilities. By investing in customer service, companies can inspire brand loyalty and grow business, which is a win-win for companies and customers alike.
(Photo courtesy of Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin at Flickr.com)