Customer satisfaction should be one of the most important measures of success for any company, and while senior management must lead by example, every employee has a responsibility. Consumers must feel valued and companies should look to ‘over-deliver’ on a customer’s expectancy of a company, or risk losing them to a rival.
Personalisation will help to encourage brand loyalty across your consumer base and should also help to deter customers from looking elsewhere even when price is a factor.
Value of online reviews
Increasingly, customers are sharing their experiences, both good and bad, online. Online forums provide consumers with a platform to air their views without the need to enter into a potentially unpleasant face to face discussion.
Negative experiences are more widely shared online than positive and also offer an opportunity for a customer to ‘let off steam’ anonymously. This means there can often be very damning reviews of a brand which consistently gets it wrong.
It’s important that brands take the feedback from online reviews on board. At first, it may seem daunting to see negativity discussed around your company, but reviews can provide you and your employees with an invaluable wealth of information.
Companies can gain great insight into the way consumers see the company and where improvements can be made. According to Fresh Business Thinking, Vision Express now streams the latest consumer reviews live around their offices ensuring that any issues are immediately picked up by staff. Every company should monitor all customer feedback regularly and implement a consistent response strategy.
Dealing with negative feedback
By being open about complaints and addressing them across teams and different levels of staff, everyone is encouraged to work together to create solutions for each issue. Positive reviews should also be used in a similar way, and celebrated across teams to appreciate what is working well in the company. It ensures that staff are continually motivated and that their hard work is acknowledged.
If all staff are on the same page and everyone is aware of the job at hand, the experience customers gain will steadily become more positive and continual errors can be reduced from the business practice.
Balancing good practice and consumer loyalty
But it’s not just about making sure your brand appeals to as many people as possible, as explained by Nathan Ansell, global director of loyalty, insight and customer analytics at Marks & Spencer.
He told the Daily Mail: “I don’t actually want everyone to like (Marks & Spencer), I want enough people to absolutely love (us).
“M&S Food is not built on everyone liking us a bit, it’s built on a number of people loving us a lot. If you don’t love food and you’re not interested in paying a bit more for quality then well thanks very much, Asda’s available… Brands have to be confident enough to be able to sack some customers.”
It is important not to focus on individual negative reviews – it’s not always possible to please all the people all of the time. It is however important that you stay true to your brand and company values whilst maintaining a consistent and proactive approach to customer service.