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A previous post on customer loyalty discussed that it costs 5-10 times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one satisfied. Once you work hard to acquire a valued customer, you want to have a process to keep them coming back and becoming a referral source to grow your business.
In any business, there will be times when there are problems. The key to creating customer loyalty is to have a culture that prioritizes training team members to deal with challenges effectively and professionally and provide excellent customer service consistently.
To see how well your company is at keeping customers, give yourself a point for each activity that is already part of your culture. Use the unchecked statements to learn the areas where you can improve.
_____ Our company has a consistent process for training employees on customer service best practices.
_____ We encourage customers to provide us feedback (both positive and where we need to improve).
_____ If we receive negative feedback, there is a process in place to act and follow up.
_____ We listen to customers to clearly understand the situation and look for solutions.
_____ We look for opportunities to offer additional products/services that would benefit the customer.
_____ We proactively look for ways to exceed customer expectations.
_____ We generally keep our commitments, but we keep the customer informed if there is a delay.
_____ We encourage employees to take personal responsibility for customers' satisfaction (not to blame others).
_____ Difficult customers are not treated like a “hot potato” and passed off to someone else.
_____ We have a clear, step-by-step process for dealing with difficult people and difficult situations.
_____ Follow-up with customers is prompt, consistent, and thorough.
_____ We empower our team to resolve issues without having to escalate to a manager in most situations.
_____ Our team is encouraged to ask for and receives help and support when needed.
_____ We rarely lose a customer due to poor service.
_____ As a team, we brainstorm ideas for improving customer service.
_____ Our customer service policies are regularly reviewed and updated if needed.
_____ We know that first impressions are important. We greet customers with a smile.
_____ We consistently thank our customers and/or have a program that rewards customer loyalty.
____/ 18 TOTAL SCORE
0 – 6 Your customer service/culture needs some work.
7 – 12 You are doing a good job, but there is still room for improvement.
13 – 18 You have a great customer service culture. Congratulations! Keep working to be the best.
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About the Author