Enabling customers to build association with a brand:
Building a brand image can enhance the recognition of a product and can often reassure customers that the product/service will be of a high standard and quality. The products and services provided by a company/business will become less prices sensitive as the brand becomes more trusted and established. Many companies and businesses have recognized the benefits of brand association and are currently spending thousands of pounds establishing their own brand identity so that they can receive more customers by brand loyalty. However, many companies struggle to do this due to the amount of competitors that are currently within the similar market place.
Becoming a trusted advisor:
Customers expect to be able to trust any company/business that they deal with. They will expect honesty and integrity throughout the dealing with the company and business. If a customer cannot trust the people they are dealing with, then they are less likely to return and will therefore not make recommendations or as mentioned repeat returns. Companies can ensure that their customers trust their company’s products and service by making a promise to the customer and that the company keeps the promise to the customer or else recommendations will not be made by the customer. For example, if a certain company makes a promise to a customer that their product will be delivered on a special set date and time, then the company needs to make sure that the product is delivered on that date and the specific time.
Exceeding the expectations of customers:
In order for a company to remain one step ahead of its competitors a business does not just need an excellent product/service which will establish itself as a brand in its own right. It needs to ensure that it exceeds its customers’ expectations by supplying them with 100 per cent satisfaction every time they purchase the product or service. In a rush to develop brand identity an enterprise can forget that the largest and most important part of delivering a service is the interaction the customer has with the enterprise. Firsthand experience will strongly influence consumers’ repurchase decisions. Banking customers are more likely to return by a ratio of 10 to 20 times if the business has outstanding employees/staff. An example of a business that exceeds the expectations of its customers is Pizza hut. Pizza Hut is totally focused on meeting and exceeding the expectations of their customers in order to maintain their market share of the semi-fast food market.
Guaranteeing 100% satisfaction:
The main way or key to achieving 100 per cent customer service is to ensure that the employees or staff are trained on how to deal with customers accordingly and to a very high standard. However, this training needs to be geared towards the type of enterprise that the company chooses to run. For example, the training provided to Pizza Hut employees will be different to those working in the HSBC bank. Customers do not hold just one idea of service within their minds; the public is not general when it comes to the specific services they require to meet their personal needs. Customers will enter the business/company with personal, specific and unique expectations about the service/product they are about to purchase. It is the ability of the employees/staff to meet these specific needs of the customers that will in turn enable the business to establish brand awareness and also to retain and gain customers through recommendations and repeat returns.
Acting on complaints, ideas and suggestions:
A customer who has their complaint dealt with to their satisfaction will remain loyal as the customer who has never made a complaint. Having an efficient and effective complaints system in place is paramount to retaining customer loyalty. Complaints are also a good way of getting to know your customers and what they expect from the specific business/company. A lot of businesses spend time analyzing their complaints procedure to ensure that they improve the customer service that they are able to offer their customers. Customers often have very good ideas and suggestions about how a business could develop its products or services or improve its provision of customer service. It is always useful to allow people to offer their ideas which could in turn act as feedback to improve the product/services.
Promoting employee “buy in”:
The most important ambassadors of any business are the employees. They are the people on the “cliff edge”. They deal with the public on a one to one basis. If employees are lethargic and lack interest it will not encourage customers to purchase the company’s products or use their services or return in the near future. This could then affect the recommendations aspect and the increase in income and profits. By Companies offering their employees with fair wages and good working conditions, then a business is more likely to encourage their employees to become more enthusiastic about the business they are working for because they are more motivated and satisfied. If employees are not satisfied, then there is no way that they can satisfy the needs of their customers.