Building a sustainable brand is perhaps the most important and the most time-taking process for businesses. After the development of a product or service, it is essential for a business to work on its brand, shape its personality, and manage its reputation.
The advent of modern digital technologies have paved the way for businesses to interact with, and provide services to customers in a variety of ways. Businesses can now use their interactions with customers as well as potential customers to build on a solid reputation for their brand.
According to a report by Deloitte, many businesses are putting greater efforts into customer service, using social platforms and by amplification of their digital activity geared towards interaction with customers.
Good customer service includes businesses proactively handling customer queries. Great customer service includes businesses going out of their way to make sure customers are satisfied and if the business can do anything else to make sure that the customers are going to keep on using the products and/or services.
One of the best cited experiences of interacting with a business, comes from the customers of Apple. Apple consistently ranks as the best company when it comes to providing memorable experiences to those visiting their retail stores. Not only are these customers welcomed, helped, and kept engaged, Apple actually builds on their curiosity and turns it into a passion for its products. On more than one occasion, Steve Jobs has said, ‘’you have to start with the customer experience and work back to the technology – not the other way around”.
Here are three steps through which businesses can ensure that they attract and retain customers who remain loyal to the company and become avid followers of their brand through quality customer service:
Successful businesses ensure that they strategically align customer service with their brand identity. This means that once they have achieved competitive advantage with their brand, they make sure that the customer service team perpetuates that identity through their relationship with customers. For example, Microsoft’s Xbox is a brand known for its unparalleled online services with well over 40 million users worldwide. Microsoft has thus essentially developed a brand that lives and thrives online. Most of the users’ issues can be solved without using the telephone to call a customer service representative.
With the rise of digital technology and social media platforms, businesses need to ensure that they use the medium which has the highest traffic to interact with their customers, keep them updated about new services or discounts, and engage them through promotional campaigns. For example, most businesses now use Twitter to keep their followers updated about new products, services as well as discounts. While it is essential to use social media for promotional campaigns, there is also a need to proactively address customer queries and concerns via these channels. Being responsive and providing efficient customer service via social networking channels will help build a stronger brand identity.
For businesses, engaging the right customer is essential, but making sure that customers have great experiences with the business is imperative. According to Gallup, fully engaged customers are ones who are strongly emotionally attached to the brand and associate it with their own identity. Since customers now have the ability to amplify their experiences globally, it is thus instrumental that the quality of their experiences with support services is extremely high.
By providing quality customer service, a lasting relationship can be built with customers which leads to an increase in the popularity of a brand. Loyalty, trust, and a cult following are all elements which create valuable brands. Yet, these elements are difficult to attain without engaging customers, taking their feedback into account, and going the extra mile to keep them satisfied.
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