Inspiring client loyalty is a tricky part of business. It gets even more difficult when considering the
results of a study conducted and published in The Effortless Experience by Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman and Rick Delisi of CEB. That is: customers whose expectations had been exceeded were just as likely to return for business as those who simply had their expectations met.
In his article, “Rethinking UX: Why Reducing Customer Effort is Key to Gaining Loyalty,” Anand Srinivasan suggests that, instead of attempting to exceed expectations, salespeople should focus on why clients are disloyal. Typical vendors behaviors that infuriate clients include little or no interaction, discouraging any type of feedback and no attempt being made to improve customer support. Once you identify what is turning off your clients, you will know where your areas of focus should be when attempting to improve loyalty.
1. Amount of Effort
Having to do more work than you were told you would have to do is frustrating. When clients have to put in additional effort following a sale, especially because something went wrong during the sale process, they’ll be less inclined to do business with you again. To inspire loyalty, do everything in your power to keep your clients out of this kind of situation. Never having to deal with putting in the extra effort will mean more to them than if you exceeded their expectations in the process of fixing a problem.
Another key issue in too many client relationships is the amount of communication between the salesperson and the client. In many cases, clients feel that their concerns are being ignored or that they aren’t even given the opportunity to give feedback. Be readily available to your clients from the very start. There will be plenty of other occasions when they won’t feel heard in their other business relationships. They will notice if they don’t have to struggle to connect with you.
3. Methods of Availability
The world is going digital, and the positions you need to interact with are quickly being filled by millennials who have been raised in this digital age. As such, more people are beginning to prefer to contact one another through email and social media instead of through phone calls. Part of being readily available to your clients involves being there in a way that makes them the most comfortable. Make sure that your methods of customer engagement have options that appeal to your more introverted clients as well. The level of comfort your clients have when reaching out to you contributes to their loyalty in a big way.
Anticipating your clients’ needs and fulfilling them before being asked is an invaluable part of inspiring loyalty.