In today’s incredibly competitive marketplace, it is more difficult than ever before for companies to retain customers.

Therefore, it is crucial they do what they can to maintain and engage effectively with existing and potential customers. One way of staying ahead of the game and putting your company at the forefront of competitors is by offering a great Customer Experience.

Customer service builds trust and ultimately, loyalty. So, it is no surprise that customers rate it incredibly highly. Research by Gartner states that when making a purchase, 64 percent of people find Customer Experience more important than price.

Understanding your customers

When it comes to interacting with your customers, understanding their preferred methods of engagement is essential. In order for a company to be successful, it needs to be able to allow its customers to get in touch when they want and via the desired channel they want. Marketers agree that omni-channel strategies ensure higher revenues because a company will not be losing out on customers who are present on channels they are not offering.

In the past, getting in touch via the telephone was the only way to interact with a company. Now, in an increasingly digital era, this has changed. Research by McKinsey & Company states a staggering 86 percent of B2B executives prefer using self-service tools for re-ordering, rather than talking to a sales representative. In recent years, live chat and social media have also become popular methods for engagement, especially amongst millennials. Other channels companies should consider include email and SMS.

A customer is much more likely to choose a company that has a reputation for great customer service, as well as being known for offering a simple and personalised experience. A survey by Salesforce revealed 74 percent of people are likely to switch brands if they find the purchasing process too difficult. This reinforces the importance of simplifying the customer service experience and offering multiple platforms for engagement.

According to the Institute of Customer Service, some of the best companies at this include Amazon, Waitrose, John Lewis, and M&S Food. Other popular brand names known for their great customer service and experience include Netflix, Aldi, Mini, and of course Disney.

A happy customer is a repeat customer

Research by NewVoiceMedia reports that after just one negative experience, 51 percent of customers will chose never to do business with that company again. This demonstrates the importance of providing a consistent experience across all platforms.

Whether you have thousands of customers and are running a global e-commerce platform, or you are a local business with a niche audience, it is important to offer a choice of communication tools to accommodate your audience. Everyone has different preferences and understanding what those are and being able to offer them to your audience, is the key to success.

Customer satisfaction is no longer enough

It is no longer enough to just satisfy your customers. Companies must go above and beyond to attract and retain new and existing customers. So, whether you are a small local start-up or well-established global e-commerce business, make sure customer service is top of the agenda and ensure you are going that extra mile to encourage repeat business.

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