Developing Loyalty Through Customer Relationships

Securing loyalty through satisfaction. Identifying how to become your customer’s preferred supplier. Managing dissatisfaction. Cross-selling thorough advice.

Developing Loyalty Through Customer Relationships
Developing Loyalty Through Customer Relationships

Content Summary

Objectives
Welcome
Making customer satisfaction the bedrock of customer loyalty
Identifying the levers that will help you remain the customer’s preferred supplier
Demonstrating a customer-oriented attitude
Managing situations of dissatisfaction
Providing advice while seizing opportunities for resale
Conclusion
Key Message

Objectives

At the end of this article, you will be able to:

  • Build the customer’s loyalty, from each interaction to the next
  • Understand how customer satisfaction is a necessary condition for customer loyalty
  • Use the levers of satisfaction to establish a long-lasting relationship with the customer
  • Dealing with complaints, dissatisfaction, pressures, etc., and taking steps to preserve the customer relationship
  • Turning up-selling into a consultation session

Welcome

Today, every company emphasizes earning the loyalty of its best customers. How should you respond to a dissatisfied customer, or repair the relationship so they’ll want to work with your company again? How can up-selling be made into an opportunity to strengthen customer preference? We hereby invite you to discover the key points involved in earning customer loyalty.

  • Making customer satisfaction the bedrock of customer loyalty
  • Identifying the levers that will help you remain the customer’s preferred choice
  • Demonstrating a customer-oriented attitude
  • Managing situations of dissatisfaction
  • Providing advice while seizing opportunities for resale

Making customer satisfaction the bedrock of customer loyalty

Making customer satisfaction the bedrock of customer loyalty

To satisfy customers and build their loyalty, you will…

  • Elicit positive micro-emotions
  • Learn about best practices at each step of the customer interaction.

Eliciting positive micro-emotions

It is important to create opportunities for making the customer feel satisfied at each step of the interaction.

Representing your company: As early as the first contact, I make sure customers feel welcomed and considered. I also need them to feel like they’re on the same wavelength as me!

Noting the request: Customers need to feel heard, understood and respected. I help them feel like they’re dealing with someone competent and reassure them that I will process their request.

Responding to the request: Customers need to find the information they’re looking for quickly. I also give them any information that’s good to know.

Strengthen the customer relationship: Before concluding the session, I make sure customers feel that they have attained their goal. And I need them to feel certain they’ve made the right decision!

Following through: After engaging with customers, I make sure they get the sense that I’m a reliable person and that their requests will indeed be processed.

Learn about best practices at each step of the way

Here is the link between your words and actions during a conversation and the five key steps of any Customer Interaction.

On the following screens, you will see when and how to help your customer feel satisfied.

Here is the link between your words and actions during a conversation and the five key steps of any Customer Interaction.
Here is the link between your words and actions during a conversation and the five key steps of any Customer Interaction.

Representing your company as early as the first contact

Customers’ emotions ++

  • To feel welcomed, appreciated, and considered
  • To feel they are on the same wavelength as their interlocutor

Examples of words and actions for helping the customer feel satisfied

  • A cheerful and relaxed tone.
  • A speech rate that is adjusted to the customer’s
  • Vocabulary that is typical for the company and the customers.
  • “Company X, Customer Support, Hello”
  • “Mr. Dupont, how can I help you?”

Noting the client’s request

Customers’ emotions ++

  • To feel heard, understood, and respected
  • To feel that they are dealing with someone competent
  • To feel reassured that their request will be processed

Examples of words and actions for helping the customer feel satisfied

  • “One moment, Mr. Dupont, I’m bringing up your case file.”
  • “If I understand correctly, you’re worried about…”

Responding to the request

Customers’ emotions ++

  • To quickly find the information they’re looking for or a solution
  • To feel heard
  • To feel that they are dealing with someone competent
  • To feel that they have attained their goal

Examples of words and actions for helping the customer feel satisfied

  • A speech rate that is adjusted to the customer’s
  • Using the customer’s vocabulary
  • “You’re looking for these features, here are three devices that will allow you to…”
  • “Regarding your request, I propose…”

Strengthening the customer relationship before concluding the session

Customers’ emotions ++

  • To feel that the right decision has been made
  • To feel that their case will be processed
  • To feel that they are dealing with someone reliable
  • To feel that they have attained their goal

Examples of words and actions for helping the customer feel satisfied

  • “You’ve made the right choice, Mr. Dupont! What should we do for delivery?
  • “Thanks for taking the time to engage in this conversation”

Customers’ emotions ++

  • To feel that they have dealt with someone reliable

Examples of words and actions for helping the customer feel satisfied

  • Keeping promises made to the customer
  • Keeping track of the request in the information system, as well as the response
  • Passing on anything to the relevant department that would be useful for providing an efficient service to the customer.

Following through after concluding the session

  • Routinely confirm the customer’s satisfaction before concluding the session.
  • Ask customers if they are satisfied with their conversation with you. You’ll demonstrate that you are attentive to them.
  • Have customers say that they are satisfied; they’ll be more cognizant of their satisfaction, and the feeling will be even more anchored in their minds.

When customers explicitly express their satisfaction in relation to a supplier, they will respond with greater positivity on satisfaction surveys!

Points to remember

  • Cultivate and cement feelings of satisfaction during interactions with customers!
  • Over the course of the conversation, the customer will feel “micro-emotions.”
  • Feelings of “micro-satisfaction” arise when the other person’s implicit expectations are taken into consideration.
  • It’s up to you to elicit these feelings and amplify them through your words and actions.
  • A customer left unsatisfied by the interaction is likely to abandon the supplier at any moment.
  • A customer left satisfied by the interaction is more likely to become a loyal customer.

Identifying the levers that will help you remain the customer’s preferred supplier

Introduction

To learn how to remain the preferred supplier for your customers, you will…

  • Learn what helps strengthen customer loyalty
  • Assess your approach to earning the customer’s loyalty

Understanding what helps strengthen customer loyalty

To apply best practices in customer loyalty, identify the factors that help earn such loyalty.

You will be able to find a good reason to get an unsatisfied customer to come back. And if the fundamental customer motivation is to find the lowest prices, they will always be on the lookout.

  • FALSE: An unsatisfied customer will never make another purchase with you.
  • TRUE: When making their first purchase, a customer is buying not just the product/service, but also the promises of service.
  • FALSE: The price for products/services is the most important factor in earning customers’ loyalty.
  • TRUE: A loyal customer trusts in the quality of products as well as the quality of service.

Customer loyalty depends upon the affinity the customer feels for the product, the brand, the supplier, and those who manage customer relations. It depends upon a feeling of trust in the supplier, the product, and the quality of service.

Identify the factors that help ensure customer loyalty so you can remain the preferred supplier for your customers.

Agree:

  • Customer opinions must be passed on to the marketing department so that the offer or quality of service may be improved.
  • It’s important to remain informed of what competitors are doing.
  • Effective processing of complaints is a powerful factor in earning customer loyalty.
  • Proposing new products/services over the course of the conversation increases customer satisfaction.

All of these statements contain tips that will help you earn the customer’s loyalty.

  • Any information or opinions provided by customers on the company’s products or services should be passed on to the marketing or production departments.
  • Be prepared to respond to any objections or questions that are directly or indirectly related to the competition.
  • When the customer complains and feels wrong, the situation is very emotionally charged. When the complaint is handled well and a form of compensation is offered, the emotional charge shifts in a more positive direction.
  • The customer sees the fact that they are being informed of potentially useful products and services as a sign of consideration.

Certain points are important for customers and are a particular source of attention for them; these points must be successfully handled so that you may more easily earn their loyalty. For example, the first delivery, the processing of complaints, etc.

If customers are satisfied during these “moments of truth,” it becomes a powerful factor in earning their loyalty.

Points to remember

You directly produce a portion of the service quality by providing information to customers, advising them on their options, managing situations of dissatisfaction, and anticipating those same situations.

  • Devote time to new customers; they require a particular level of attention.
  • Try to understand what customers appreciate about your company’s offers and services, so you can continue to provide them with responses and solutions that are along the same lines.

Demonstrating a customer-oriented attitude

Introduction

To adopt a customer-oriented attitude, you will…

  • Identifying the qualities that convey a customer-oriented attitude
  • Demonstrating your quality of service

Identifying the qualities that convey a customer-oriented attitude

Identify the qualities that convey a customer-oriented attitude. To orient yourself toward the customer, here are the attitudes you must adopt during customer interactions.

  • RELIABILITY: Being a stable and dependable person whom any customer would want to have as their interlocutor.
  • EMPATHY: Knowing how to understand and express the customer’s point of view.
  • CONSIDERATION: Knowing how to demonstrate attention, respect, tactfulness, appreciation, and esteem toward the customer.
  • SOLIDARITY: An interpersonal relationship based on responsibility, mutual dependability, and feelings of mutual support.
  • ANTICIPATION: Foreseeing and sensing what will happen in advance, and preparing a response.
  • INFORMATION – ADVICE: Informing means clarifying and communicating knowledge. Advising means making proposals and suggestions.

Demonstrating your quality of service

Quality of service is above all a state of mind. Click on each item to see examples of customer-oriented attitudes. You might adopt these attitudes in the future!

RELIABILITY:

For example:

  • Answering the phone before the third ring
  • Saying what you’re doing and doing what you say

EMPATHY:

For example:

  • Moving away from the noise to better hear the customer.
  • Lending maintenance/repair equipment

CONSIDERATION:

For example:

  • Recognizing a customer and calling them by their name
  • Remembering the customer’s last order

ANTICIPATE:

For example:

  • Proposing a meeting to review how the customer’s situation is evolving

INFORM:

For example:

  • Being able to make comparisons to a competitor’s latest product

ADVICE:

For example:

  • Allowing the customer to make an enlightened choice.
  • Referring them to an expert

And…the ultimate winning attitude:
Going the extra mile!

Knowing how to please the customer and provide a feeling of special treatment. But the customer mustn’t get accustomed to this special treatment; it needs to come across as a gift, not something that is owed.

Have you already gone the extra mile for a customer?

Points to remember

Customers forge lasting relationships with their suppliers when they enjoy higher-quality service with them than elsewhere.

Reliability, empathy, consideration, solidarity, anticipation, information, and advice are the factors that will allow you to cultivate lasting relationships with your customers.

Managing situations of dissatisfaction

Introduction

To manage customer dissatisfaction, learn to…

  • Distinguish facts, opinions, and feelings
  • Process a complaint

Distinguishing facts, opinions, and feelings

To process a complaint or criticism effectively, you must first distinguish what type of information the customer is communicating to you. Indicate whether each sentence expresses a fact, opinion, or feeling.

Opinion:

  • “The order processing department is still behind.”
  • “We’re often out of stock.”
  • “The customers don’t want this product.”
  • “There aren’t enough of us to manage the orders as effectively as needed.”
  • “As long as we don’t have the appropriate facilities, we won’t be able to improve telephone assistance.”
  • “The cost of the maintenance agreement is too high for us to be able to sell it.”

Remember to identify the different types of expressions so you can focus more on the facts. Break down your memories to help you with the four steps below.

We’ve postponed two deliveries this month

Facts: These are what you must concentrate on in order to handle an issue. They are tangible, measurable, clear, and indisputable. They are objective.

There’s been a lot of complaints this month!

Opinion: Personal interpretations of an observed fact. Opinions are a source of disagreement.

I feel neglected by your company, no one ever comes by…

Feelings: What is personality felt. Feelings provide information on another person.

To process a complaint effectively:

  • Identify the factual elements
  • Ask questions to learn on which facts customers are basing their opinion.
  • Pass on these facts, and not the customer’s opinions, internally.
  • Take into consideration the feelings expressed by your customer.

Processing a complaint

When a customer is dissatisfied, you must resolve the issue underlying the dissatisfaction. Arrange these 7 key steps for processing complaints in chronological order.

  1. Accept the customer’s dissatisfaction
  2. Listen to the entire complaint
  3. Recognize their right to feel dissatisfied
  4. Look for a solution
  5. Immediately propose a solution, even a partial one
  6. Promise to implement the solution
  7. Thank them and conclude the session on a positive note

It is not enough to resolve an issue without mollifying the person on the other end; otherwise, you will surely lose the customer. Even if you feel you are being personally attacked, remain calm and follow these steps in order!

Points to remember

Handling a dissatisfied customer requires proper self-control.

  • Handle an issue by concentrating on the facts
  • Process a complaint by proceeding step by step.

A complaint is a crucial moment for any customer relationship. When handled well, it is a terrific moment to earn the customer’s loyalty, owing to the emotional impact.

Providing advice while seizing opportunities for resale

Introduction

To turn up-selling into a consultation session, learn how to…

  • Be an adviser to your customer
  • Provide advice at the right moment

Being an adviser to your customer

There are different ways of providing advice to a customer. Here are 5 situations in which a representative in direct contact with the customer managed to obtain a possible up-sell.

Advice: Offer a piece of friendly advice.
Sales Situation: In a restaurant, the waiter recommends an excellent Tarte du jour, but notes that you should order quickly or it’ll “go fast.”

Advice: Be mindful of your customer’s interests
Sales Situation: At the bank, your adviser notices some money available in your checking account and suggests a very interesting investment.

Advice: Make a technical recommendation when addressing the customer’s problem.
Sales Situation: At the pharmacy, you ask for cough syrup. The pharmacist asks if you also need drops for your nose to make your cold go away.

Advice: Present an unknown product.
Sales Situation: At the bakery, you’ve just ordered a cake and your baker offers you a new, free multi-grain bread.

Advice: Inform the customer of a risk incurred and providing protection.
Sales Situation: At the auto garage, you drop off your car for an oil change. He informs you of the wear on your tires and offers to change them for your safety.

Comments: If up-selling is part of your job, remember to use these different approaches!

Use these 5 different ways of providing advice to your customer, rather than “selling”:

  1. Offer a piece of friendly advice.
  2. Be mindful of your customer’s interests
  3. Make a technical recommendation when addressing the customer’s problem.
  4. Present an unknown product
  5. Protect the customer from a risk incurred

By positioning yourself as the customer’s adviser, you are proving that you are concerned for their interests.

Providing advice at the right moment

Are you taking things in the right order, such that your advice will persuade them to make a purchase?

Click on each item to learn about best practices for “Up-selling through consultation” and to see an example.

Connecting with the person

Hello? Mr. Dupont?

Yes.

Hi, Alice Marceau, Lease-Contract. Have you received my fax?…

Noting the customer’s needs

If I’ve understood correctly, you’re looking for a mid-range vehicle so you can visit customers in the major cities of the country.

Yes, exactly.

Meeting their expectations

I can offer you a contract for 80,000 km over 24 months, with insurance and maintenance included, and a monthly amount of 350 euros over 24 months, for the mid-range vehicle you’ve requested. Is this what you’d like?

Yes, that’s it, can you send me that immediately?

Piquing their interest in a new product/service

Mr. Dupont, might you have another moment to spare?

Sure, but quickly.

I see that your account includes 25 cars that mostly drive on the highway. You don’t have the automatic payment car, is this the company’s decision?

Um… probably. Why?

Many of our customers appreciate the monthly expense statement that comes with this card. The second advantage is for your employees: they gain time by avoiding waiting in lines. Have you thought about this before?

Indeed, that’s an interesting offer! What are the arrangements that need to be made?

Meeting their (new) expectations

The offer is added to the initial contract and personalized to the vehicle’s registration number.

What is the rate for a new contract?

If you extend it to all of your vehicles, I can offer you a rate of 70 euros per vehicle per year.

That’s worth considering! Can you send me something?

I’ll see to it. The amendments to the contracts may be ready by the end of next week. In the meantime, I ‘ll send them to you by email so you can validate them. Is that ok?

Yes! We can talk again on Tuesday.

Strengthening the customer relationship before concluding the session +Fulfilling your promise

Very good. So, I’ve just sent you the contract for the mid-range car, which should be sent back yo me once it’s validated. I’ll also draw up the draft amendment for the card. Have a very good weekend, Mr. Dupont, and talk to you on Tuesday.

Points to remember

To turn up-selling into a consultation session:

  • Help your customers find what they want or need rather than trying to sell them something.
  • Concentrate on the idea of providing a service.
  • Take an interest in customers, their roles, their company’s trade…so that you can find opportunities to dispense advice
  • Always respond to the initial request before piquing their interest in another product/service.

Conclusion

To reinforce client preference during each interaction, don’t forget to:

  • Make customers aware of their satisfaction.
  • Cultivate a customer-oriented attitude and service
  • Handle customers’ displeasure or dissatisfaction well, in order to reinforce their desire to work with your company.
  • Advise customers and provide them with an added-value relationship.

Key Message

Introduction

Today, every company emphasizes earning the loyalty of its best customers. We hereby invite you to discover the key practices that will reinforce your customers’ preferences in favor of your company.

Making customer satisfaction the bedrock of customer loyalty

Cultivate and cement feelings of satisfaction during interactions with customers!

  • Over the course of the conversation, the customer will feel “micro-emotions.”
  • Feelings of “micro-satisfaction” arise when the other person’s implicit expectations are taken into consideration.
  • It’s up to you to elicit these feelings and amplify them through your words and actions.
  • A customer left unsatisfied by the interaction is likely to abandon the supplier at any moment.
  • A customer left satisfied by the interaction is more likely to become a loyal customer

Identifying the levers that will help you remain the customer’s preferred supplier

You directly produce a portion of the service quality by providing information to customers, advising them on their options, managing situations of dissatisfaction, and anticipating those same situations.

  • Devote time to new customers; they require a particular level of attention.
  • Try to understand what customers appreciate about your company’s offers and services, so you can continue to provide them with responses and solutions that are along the same lines.

Demonstrating a customer-oriented attitude

Customers forge lasting relationships with their suppliers when they enjoy higher-quality service with them than elsewhere. Reliability, empathy, consideration, solidarity, anticipation, information, and advice are the factors that will allow you to cultivate lasting relationships with your customers.

Managing situations of dissatisfaction

Handling a dissatisfied customer requires proper self-control.

  • Handle an issue by concentrating on the facts
  • Process a complaint by proceeding step by step.

A complaint is a crucial moment for any customer relationship. When handled well, it is a terrific moment to earn the customer’s loyalty, owing to the emotional impact. Open the “note-taking” tool and write down 2 courses of action for eliciting recognition from dissatisfied customers and turning the complaint into an opportunity for earning their loyalty.

Providing advice while seizing opportunities for resale

To turn up-selling into a consultation session:

  • Help your customers find what they want or need rather than trying to sell them something.
  • Concentrate on the idea of providing a service.
  • Take an interest in customers, their roles, their company’s trade…so that you can find opportunities to dispense advice
  • Always respond to the initial request before piquing their interest in another product/service.

Conclusion

To reinforce client preference during each interaction, don’t forget to:

  • Make customers aware of their satisfaction.
  • Cultivate a customer-oriented attitude and service.
  • Handle customers’ displeasure or dissatisfaction well, in order to reinforce their desire to work with your company.
  • Advise customers and provide them with an added-value relationship.

Published by Jeannette Scott

, a wellness coach specializing in stress management and quality of life. She’s covered topics from nutrition to psychology, from sexuality to autoimmune diseases and cancer.