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Loyalty counts

It’s time for tech companies to respect brand allegiance.

by John S. PittsPublished: November 01, 2012

John S. Pitts,
What does customer loyalty mean to your business? In a recent study of more than 250 businesses, the Peppers and Rogers Group found that 81 percent of companies with strong competencies for delivering continuous and positive consumer experiences not only gained loyal customer bases, they significantly outperformed their competitors.
Many businesses don’t strive to provide these types of loyalty-based experiences. This is especially true in the technology industry, which, according to Forrester’s 2011 Customer Experience Index, has one of the lowest customer service ratings.
How detrimental can a reputation for poor customer service be? Here are a few facts:
>Businesses should expect one dissatisfied customer to tell between nine and 15 people about their poor experience.
> More than 86 percent of consumers quit doing business with a company because of a poor experience.
> It takes more than 12 positive experiences to make up for one negative experience.
> It is five times more costly to bring on a new client than to retain a current client.

With that said, how can businesses provide positive experiences and achieve loyalty?

> Communicate – It’s more than just clicking “Send.” Pick up the phone, update customers and make them feel a part of the overall experience. By involving customers, businesses foster a team experience and ensure that project progress is always being made. 
> Team up – Collaborate with customers to celebrate the successes and work through the challenges.
> Go above and beyond – Pay attention to the little things. Whether it’s an after-hours email or phone call on the weekend, make sure customers are aware of your effort.
> Measure retention – Be cognizant of your company’s retention rate. It will give a report card on customer service and provide insight into the health of the business. 
> Slow down and listen – As the famous saying goes, “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” Listen to the customer’s needs and act upon them.
> Take time, make time – Make it known to your customers that time will always be made for them, whether it’s an email, phone call or in-person meeting. Take the time to support the customers who support your business.
> Understand your clients’ needs – Not every client is the same. By understanding and delivering services to satisfy each client’s unique needs, businesses are able to set themselves apart and provide services that aren’t available anywhere else.

John S. Pitts is founder and president of Tekcetera Inc., a comprehensive and cost-effective hardware, software and support technology services company that delivers peace of mind that businesses’ technology will work, every time. To learn more, call John directly at 714.922.4250 or visit tekcetera.com.