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Customer Service: 9 ways to go from zero to hero in no time

While you may want to continue bringing in new customers, your success is greatly determined by your ability to increase your repeat customers.

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Customer, business, Polarization: How, attract, right, customers, ‘’wrong’,’ ones, out, A guide to identifying your profitable customers and improving your sales (1), customers, Customer Service: 9 ways to go from zero to hero in no time, How to implement customer feedback that will skyrocket your business growth

Quick facts

  • Most customers aren’t loyal.
  • Majority of first-time customers are in the process of fulfilling particular needs and are not interested in long-term engaging relationships with a brand.
  • Returning customers are far more profitable than newly acquired customers.
  • It is easier and more cost-effective to sell to an existing customer than to find a new one.
  • Marketing Metrics explains that you are 50% more likely to sell to an existing customer than a new one. In fact, marketing to a new customer is nearly seven times as expensive as maintaining an existing customer.

What these tell us is that while you may want to continue bringing in new customers, your success is greatly determined by your ability to increase your repeat customers. On average, your loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase. Long-term, profitable customer relationships do not happen overnight which is why it is important to continue nurturing the relationship after the initial win. By investing in customer retention from the start, you can dramatically grow your bottom line while transforming one-time buyers into committed brand enthusiasts. Your customers should not feel the need to move away to your competitor because they found your customer care operators to be inefficient or your support mechanism to be weak.

Must-have customer service skills that every business needs, How your business can provide superior customer support during the holiday season (Part 1), How your business can provide superior customer support during the holiday season (Part 1)

What tactics do you then employ to engage your customers and drive them back to your product/services after every purchase?

Your Social Media Channels

Social media is one of the best tools you can use to communicate and engage with your customers and loyal advocates. How do you ensure that you drive customer retention via social media?

Post-user-generated content: Your social media followers do not want to see your perfectly staged product photos all the time—they want to see your products being used in real-life. One of the best ways to remind customers how great your products are, is by encouraging everyone who buys from you to share photos of themselves using your products on your social media pages.

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Hire the right person

The fact is, some people are better at customer-facing roles than others. They are born with a talent with which they naturally communicate well with customers. You can train, you can practice, you can instil culture, but some people just have it in them. Look for it during the hiring process, and continue nurturing it through every moment that employee spends in your organization.

[READ MORE: 10 ways to maximize holiday sales and engage your customers)

Communicate Effectively

Loopholes in the customer service arena are based on the fundamental ability to communicate effectively. Investing in training here is a no-brainer, but that applies to all staff working who deal with customers directly, and not just CSMs. Effective communication implies sharpening verbal communication and listening skills. Let us have a look at the three core principles:

  • Make it simple: Don’t utilize solutions that are long-winded and unnecessarily complex.
  • Make it effective: It’s not good enough just trying to help; you need to provide the solutions that truly help.
  • Make it honest: Stick to the core organizational values at all times.

Keep refining your product or service

The awesome thing about customer service is that it also serves as your research and development arm. By interacting with your customers, you learn exactly what people are looking for and what concerns them. This should not be taken for granted. Diligently take note of the concerns of the customers and improve your product or service based on the customers’ pain points. Ensure you also give your customers a call back if any of their product concerns have been resolved. This will make them feel that you care.

Include data-driven recommendations in transactional emails

Transactional emails are triggered by a specific action, like completing a purchase, registering for an event, or signing up for a free trial. In this case, we’re recommending that you include data-driven product recommendations in the email you send to confirm a customer’s order. Say your customer ordered a pair of earrings. By including three top-selling pairs of earrings at the bottom of their order confirmation, you nudge them to make another purchase right away.

Encourage upsell and cross-sell with personalized product recommendations

Product recommendation emails differ from transactional emails in that they’re sent proactively. That is, instead of waiting for the customer to browse your website, you nudge them to buy by sending a carefully curated selection of products straight to their inboxes. Basing these recommendations on their purchase history will increase your chance of making the sale.

Reward customers for desired behaviours

One sure-fire way to build customer loyalty is to reward customers for engaging in behaviours that help grow your business. For example:

  • Making a purchase
  • Following your brand on social media
  • Sharing product pages with friends and family
  • Publishing product reviews
  • Spreading positive word of mouth online

Must-have customer service skills that every business needs

Use customer care emails to build brand affinity

Customer care emails are effective and free ways to build goodwill. Here are a few ideas to stimulate your imagination:

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  • Celebrate customer milestones. Has your customer crossed an activity milestone? Have they spent a certain amount of money? Have they repeated buyers for certain periods of time? These are all occasions you should celebrate.
  • Wish customers a happy birthday. Recognising moments that matter to your customers helps you build a relationship with them.
  • Show a bit of gratitude. Saying thank you after every purchase demonstrates that you value their business. This simple two-word message can go a long way in earning your customer’s respect.

[READ ALSO: A guide to identifying your profitable customers and improving your sales (1)]

Offer refreshments

Invest in a nice water or coffee system. Place it where customers can easily find it and serve themselves while they wait or prepare for their meetings.

These are not hard and fast rules. Ultimately, what you sell has a huge impact on which strategy you should focus on. Stay customer-centric!

 

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Business

AfCFTA: Nigeria securing approval to ratify agreement – Trade Minister

The Minister revealed that Nigeria has set up a National Action Committee on AfCFTA.

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AfCFTA: Nigeria securing approval to ratify agreement- Trade Minister, FG meets group to access AfCFTA's $650 billion market, UNIDO’s $60m investment programme to boost Nigeria’s industrialisation - FG, FG to strengthen economic ties with Turkey, FG moves to facilitate tax incentives for SMEs, Made-in-Nigeria vehicles gulp N364 billion from FG

Minister of Trade, Niyi Adebayo said Nigeria is currently in the process of securing approval to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement soon.

The Minister disclosed this during a meeting with the Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area(AfCFTA), Mene Wamkele on Monday.

Recall that Nairametrics reported last week Mr. Adebayo said that Nigeria is actively working to attract more foreign direct investments into key industries to meet the demands of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“As we gear up to meet the demands of the enlarged continental market which will be fostered by AfCFTA, we are actively working to attract more foreign direct investments into key industries,” the Minister said.

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In today’s meeting, The Minister told the delegation that Nigeria has set up a National Action Committee on AfCFTA, which would implement Nigeria’s roll-out strategy in a bid to take advantage of the agreement. He added, “Nigeria is currently in the process of securing approval to ratify the agreement within the shortest possible time”.

The African Union announced in August that the first commercial deal of AfCFTA will be taking off on January 1, 2021.

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Business

FG inaugurates Committee on the Commercialization of the Nigeria Film Corporation

The Minister said that the FG is repositioning the NFC for effective service delivery.

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FG increases hate speech fine from N500,000 to N5 million, moves against monopoly and antitrust, Coronavirus, covid-19, Minister of information briefing

The Federal Government inaugurated a Steering Committee on the Commercialization of the Nigeria Film Corporation (NFC), with the aim of making Nigeria’s film industry a continental entertainment power.

This inauguration was performed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in Abuja on Monday. The Minister added that the FG is repositioning the NFC for effective service delivery.

“What we are doing today is to simply reposition the NFC in a manner that will enable it to play the role statutorily assigned to it,” he said.

The Minister added that Nigeria’s film industry is a major boost for Nigerian soft power and entertainment, citing the need for repositioning by the FG as a means to enable effective service delivery for the film industry to grow.

The Minister added that Nigeria lags behind her film making counterparts in the film production value chain, citing Nigeria’s 142 movie theaters compared to 782 in South Africa and 11,209 in India and many others. He urged state governments to invest a part of their infrastructure budgets for the entertainment industry as a means to generate jobs and grow the GDP.

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“It is important to appeal, especially to our state governments, to invest in infrastructure in the industry. I don’t think it will be too much for the state governments to ensure they build at least one cinema house in each local government area of their state. That will give us additional 774 cinema houses, ” he said.

The Minister added that the role of the NFC is to regulate Nigeria’s film industry and organise professional practice in the sector and also addressed challenges facing the NFC like the inability to produce its own films for commercial purposes due to the law establishing the Corporation limits on its operational functions.

Lai Mohammed said the NFC will be repositioned as the FG has engaged the services of a Business Development Consultant to conduct due diligence on the corporation and the sector and recommend a strategy that is suitable for its reform and commercialization.

“Dear members of the SC, your appointment into this committee comes with huge trust and belief in your ability and capacity to make this reform happen. I therefore urge you to consider this a critical national assignment that requires unflinching commitment and zeal,” he stated.

The members of the Steering Committee are: Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Alhaji Mohammed as Chairman; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Deaconess Grace Isu-Gekpe; Director-General, BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh; Managing Director, NFC, Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, and Director, Industries and Communications, BPE, Abdullahi Dikko, as Secretary.

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Business

Lagos to shut Ojota’s axis of main carriage way of Ikorodu road for 3 months

The Commissioner advised all motorists to utilize alternative routes suggested during the stipulated time.

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Lagos shuts Ketu-Mile 12 section of Ikorodu road, outlines alternative routes, Motorists to pay N1000 penalty at Lekki-Ikoyi Toll Plaza

The Lagos State Government has announced the shutdown of the entire length of the main carriageway of Ikorodu Road from Ojota interchange to Ojota Second Pedestrian Bridge from Monday, September 21, 2020, for a duration of 3 months.

This is development is part of the next phase ongoing rehabilitation work on Ikorodu Road which is set to commence from the Ojota Interchange to Ojota Second Pedestrian Bridge and the Service lane inbound Lagos.

READ: FG, Lagos State collaborate to address declining infrastructure in Festac Town

While making the disclosure, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederick Oladeinde, advised all motorists to utilize alternative routes suggested during the stipulated time for the repairs following the closure of the entire length of the main carriageway for reconstruction work.

Oladeinde in his statement said, “Vehicles coming from Maryland will be diverted at Odoyalaro into the Service lane and the BRT Corridor to link back the main carriageway at Ketu bus stop and Demurin junction respectively.’’

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READ: Lagos allows cinemas, gyms, others to reopen

The commissioner gave an assurance that the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and other law enforcement agencies will be available to direct traffic for free vehicular movement during the entire period of construction work.

While soliciting for the cooperation and support of residents and motorists that ply the axis, the Commissioner stated that the project is aimed at finding a lasting solution to the ever-busy road as well as to achieve the present administration’s traffic management and transportation policy objectives.

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