Companies are bound to have certain incentives such as free shipping, volume discounts or sale prices in order to retain customer loyalty. However, these perks are not guaranteed to keep customers, even if used to turn a disgruntled shopper into a happy one. The key is to take the relationship beyond the moment of transaction and create one that is ongoing.
One thing that consumers will see as a pleasant surprise is being beaten to the punch. For example, if an airline customer has an unpleasant experience – delayed take-off or an overbooked flight – the airline could gain major points by offering a voucher before the unhappy flier has a chance to ask for one. An apology paired with an unexpected offer will prove to customers how much their service means.
In addition, businesses would do well to make shopping as easy as possible. By taking the time to ask questions, genuinely listen to the response and have options at the ready if things don't go as planned, companies will ensure that customers will find much of the hassle removed from the buying process.
More importantly, companies need to try and resolve issues without a fight, regardless of who is at fault. The customer may not necessarily always be right, but the customer is usually willing to work towards a solution. At times, consumers brace themselves for an argument, simply expecting the voice on the other end of the phone to be abrasive and difficult. Being greeted with a flexible and courteous response will immediately help put the customer at ease.
An answering service does not need to be reminded of what quality customer service entails. These professionals can balance customer satisfaction with company policies and will be able to not only keep current consumers happy, but also make them want to become lifelong customers.