The human brain likes to know what to expect. When customer service is consistently high, we want to repeat the experience. We are also more likely to recommend a company or brand when we trust that other’s expectations will also be met.
I happily return to and recommend certain companies because every interaction has been a positive experience. No matter who I interact with, what day of the week it is or what my request might be, I have received consistently high levels of customer service. Which brands get your vote?
Building Customer Loyalty
Building customer loyalty takes time and effort. One positive experience will put your company in a favourable light. If expectations continue to be met time and again, you can reap the rewards of repeat business and peer recommendations.
Having said this, customer relationships are fragile. One error might be forgiven, but if the level of service or the quality of the product varies, it casts doubt. Without consistency, the chances of the customer trying out a competitor greatly increase.
Customers are most likely to look elsewhere after experiencing poor service. This means the overriding association with your brand will be disappointment or frustration. That really is not good for business.
The Psychology Behind Consistency
The human brain is attracted to things that are familiar; it is a psychological phenomenon known as the Mere-exposure Effect. It means that we tend to have a preference for things purely, because we have had greater exposure to them, and it is easier for the brain to process. We return to a favourite restaurant, shop or radio station because we know what to expect. It removes the risk of making a poor decision.
Whilst we might be tempted to be adventurous and try something new, there is a sense of loyalty to the familiar. So, if your company provides a consistently good level of service, your customers will keep coming back.
Five Steps for Achieving Customer Service Consistency
Core Values - Consistency depends on every element of the business being driven by strong core values and a genuine customer-focused approach. The values must be shared by all, with every member of the team having the opportunity to share ideas that support continuous improvement.
Target Customers - Your organisation needs to clearly identify who your target customers are, what they want you to offer and how your products and services benefit them. With a clear focus on who you are serving, you increase the chance of hitting the mark.
Recruitment – When filling vacancies, seek out individuals with the right attitude. Upbeat individuals with a willingness to learn may not have all the qualifications on your job description, but they could be your greatest asset.
Customer Service Training - Every member of the team should be trained in customer service. The cleanliness of your toilets, the efficiency of your finance team and the nature of your social media posts are all as important as the direct customer interactions. Managers also need to be clear on how they can support and empower their team to consistently deliver customer service excellence.
Monitoring and Feedback – You only need look at the demise of some of the leading High Street brands to know that you cannot be complacent. What your customers want and expect is constantly changing and you need to be aware, so you can adapt. From data to customer feedback, monitor performance and be proactive in adapting to changing needs.
Customer Service Training
With a desire to equip everyone with the knowledge and skills to deliver consistently high levels of customer service, I have developed a range of online resources and training courses. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact me on 01296 596958