Poor customer service costs businesses over $75 billion a year. Businesses appear to struggle with forming strong, loyal connections with customers, resulting in consumers who regularly switch between providers. An estimated 67 percent of customers say that they switch brands because of a poor experience. Understanding key customer service touch points remains critical if you want to appropriately nourish your relationship with your customers.
Customers want to know that they are valued and appreciated by the brands with which they do business. Check out this list of places customers come in to contact with your brand and see how you come across to customers.
Your 11 Point Checklist for your Customer Service Touch Points
1. Referral requests
Rotate requests for referrals that come in among your satisfied customers. When they do provide you with a strong reference, offer them a generous thank you to let them know you appreciate their kind words.
2. Website appearance
Your website might be the first impression your prospect has of your business. Make sure it represents you well.
3. Customer complaints
Streamline the process so issues quickly end up in front of the correct person and solve the client’s problem efficiently.
4. Price quotes
Create a systematic means of generating price quotes, and make sure they are consistent and meaningful throughout the entire sales process.
5. Customer education
Products and services often offer even more exciting features than customers realize. Do you offer customer education opportunities for those who want to maximize their investment?
While the bill might be the most unpleasant aspect for customers, you still want to create a good impression. Keep things simple and straightforward for your clients, and make sure they understand every charge.
7. Waiting area
For brick-and-mortar businesses, a customer’s first impression of your office can set the tone of the relationship. Your space should be welcoming and comfortable to guests.
8. Employee interactions
Make sure everyone is friendly, helpful and well-trained. Your employees represent your business, and impact the way they customers feel about your brand.
9. Missed calls
It is always frustrating for customers when they can’t reach you, so make sure your voice is friendly and informative and that you return calls promptly.
10. Product packaging
Your packaging has an impact. Make sure your business looks professional, helpful and inviting, down to the box your product arrives in. Branding should be the same across all touch points, including packaging.
11. Customer care
Let your customers know that you care. Ask for their honest feedback through surveys or casual conversations, letting them know that you care about them and their opinion.
12. Social media
Provide informative, entertaining content, and provide customer service and replies promptly to positively impact customer perception.
13. Community involvement
Support local causes that bring you closer to your community and prospective customers.
14. Ratings and reviews
Pay attention to rating sites like Yelp. Prospects are looking for you, show them a profile that has been claimed, contains helpful information, and provides meaningful responses to concerned customers.
15. Word of mouth
Word of mouth is what customers say about you to friends and family. Are you garnering positive word of mouth by providing an excellent product and customer service? What are people saying?
16. First purchase
The first purchase sets the tone for future potential transactions, how can you make the experience special?
17. Subsequent purchases
Reward your most loyal customers with special discounts or value-adds. Keep them coming back for more.
Whether you’re sending individual transaction-related emails, or are executing email campaigns, be sure emails are branded, visually interesting and free of errors.
Are your products sold through resellers? Have a good understanding of the experience they will offer customers, as the experience is associated with your product.
Provide demonstrations that are easy to understand and show prospective customers how they can use your products at work or at home.
20. Setting expectations
Set customer expectations from the beginning. If you know a product is on backorder, talk about timing and alternatives for example.
21. Stay in touch
Follow up with the customer after the transaction to ensure satisfaction and to answer any lingering questions.
While mass media advertising can be pricey, being part of local news stories is a great way to create positive association with prospects and customers.
23. Awards and accolades
Apply for promote awards you or your business have won.
The bottom line
As you evaluate your customer touch points, carefully consider how the situation looks from the customer’s point of view. Ask yourself if you truly helped solve customers’ problems efficiently and left them with a positive experience of your brand.
The customer experience offers brands a foundation from which to encourage loyalty among their consumers. By taking the time to evaluate these often-overlooked customer service touch points, you can enhance your brand’s reputation and build stronger relationships with your customers.