How to Attract and Retain More Customers

Nathalie Schooling

CEO at nlighten.
An experienced strategist, trainer and customer experience improvement specialist, Nathalie has more than 25 years of experience in the customer service industry.
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5 Ways to build a rock-solid customer experience strategy

How to Attract and Retain More Customers. We’re not in a recession anymore. The state of the economy is our new reality. But instead of lamenting the old days – looking forward, it’s time to focus on the positive.

In a recent study, 83% of customers said that trust was the number one factor in their choice of brand. And most of the time, the simple, small details delivered consistently will win you that trust.

So what should your sleek and simple, yet effective customer experience strategy look like? Here are five non-negotiables:

 

  1. Find out what your customers want
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    People are so willing to talk about themselves, so don’t think that your customers will see you taking an interest in them as a bad thing. Find the best way to engage with your customers personally.The three most effective ways to make contact with your customers are telephonically, face to face or via app or web-based survey. And remember to take their criticism as constructive feedback. Their insights will tell you exactly how to boost your bottom line, so take it standing up.

 

  1. Articulate a crystal clear value proposition
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    Businesses have spent a lot of time crafting and refining their vision and mission statements, which help to define their goals but don’t really help to reach them. In the age of the customer, the focus has shifted from the way businesses see themselves to the way their customers do – and the only consideration they have is what value a brand offers them.Your value proposition – the main reason your customers should buy from you and not the competition – should become your key focus. The stronger your value proposition, the more customers you will attract and retain. It’s not about coming up with a slogan or positioning statement, but rather why you do what you do.

 

  1. Design the experience you want your customers to have
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    This is where you get creative. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes to see what it feels like to do business with you. Mapping your customer’s journey – from start to finish – is the best way to get your head around every interaction your customers have with your business.Maybe they found you on Google, or was it Facebook? Then they went to your website. What did they see? What did it inspire them to do? What then? Do they call you? Do you have a shop? How does it feel to call into your business, shop or online portal? How does it feel to transact?By taking the time to look at your business from the outside in, you will understand what the most critical pain points are. Then, as a business, determine what you need to do to fix the problem – starting with those touchpoints that will get you more customers and keep them coming back.

 

  1. Make it easy to do business with you
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    Now that you know what your customer’s journey looks and feels like, you will also start seeing where the problem areas are. If you’re an online business, how easy is it to navigate your website and how simple is your payment process? If you’re in the services sector, for instance, can your customers really connect with you or do you expect them to follow only your rules?

 

  1. Devise a new action plan
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    By identifying the gaps between what you promise your customers and what you deliver, you are now able to prioritise your next steps – starting with the most urgent. When devising an action plan – set goals and keep a visible record of your wins so your team can see their progress and achievements.Your actions as a business are reflected in the experiences you create for your customers. Tap into their emotions and you will give them an experience they won’t forget. If you can do that, you will have earned not only your customers’ trust, but their loyalty as well.Nathalie Schooling is the founder and CEO of leading South African customer experience company, nlighten. For more information about nlighten’s range of services, or to request a free customer experience consultation, visit www.nlighten.co.za or call +27 (0) 21 794 7533.