Most customer relationships don’t end in conflict…most are vanilla to death. Neglect is more dangerous than strife; indifference more costly than error. Great relationships are fueled by affirmation. Nurturing the bounty of customer loyalty requires more than proper cultivation and seeding. It must be fertilized with attention and care. “Courting” the customer does not end with the sale or transaction. This article outlines twenty-five ways to show customers your gratitude. Use this list to jump start your own list.
Zappos’ CEO on Using Corporate Relocation to Preserve Customer-Led Culture
In the years since Zappos was founded, we’ve had to make some big decisions. One of the most significant came in early 2004 when we decided to relocate from San Francisco to Las Vegas. Our biggest problem then was customer service—specifically, finding the right employees to staff our call center. A lot of people may think it’s strange that an internet company would be so focused on the telephone, when only about 5% of our sales happen through that channel. But we’ve found that on average, our customers call us at least once at some point, and if we handle the interaction well, we have an opportunity to create an emotional impact and a lasting memory.
This obsession with external recognition is now entering our professional lives. Every day, even the most disciplined entrepreneurs, executives, and consultants are becoming addicted to the powerful endorphins associated with heightened visibility. They invest disproportionate time and effort into advancing their own personal fame bubbles at the expense of broader goals and potentially threaten their careers as a result. But when visibility trumps vision in the working world, there are several dangerous consequences that can arise.
The harsh reality of the customer service world is that customer service teams tend to do more harm than good. Research by the authors of “The Effortless Experience” shows that any customer service interaction is four times more likely to drive disloyalty than to drive loyalty. If you want to fully understand customer loyalty, one question you really need to consider: What kinds of experiences have the biggest impact — both positive and negative?
Streamlining the customer experience should be a goal in contact centers in order to help ensure that customers are consistently satisfied with their interactions. This should including making the interactions with the contact center simpler and more effective, which should help lead to higher customer satisfaction and ideally, higher customer retention.