Tag Archive: customer retention

customer value

‘Customer is always right’ is probably one of the most common clichés in the history of consumer services. Apple’s customer services are always regarded as extraordinary and exemplary. However, the brand has to go several extra miles to achieve this success.

Following are some easy and quick ways to give value to your customers and show them that they are always right.

  1. Establish Customer Support System

Many brands design their personal apps for convenient communication with the customers. The apps anticipate the customer queries and automate the brand responsiveness.

  1. Share Information with Your Customers

Most of the brands share positive updates and brand progress with their customers. Asking for ideas and opinions of the customers not only helps generate great customer feedback but it also makes the customers feel valued. Social media, emails, and short service messages are good sources for sending out the information to your customers.

  1. Include the Customer-Favorite Phrases in Your CSR Policy

While training your social media and customer service representatives, make sure to educate them about the customer-favorite phrases. Some of the phrases include these.

  • I can surely solve this problem.
  • How can I help you?
  • Don’t worry! I will take care of this problem.
  • I am taking the responsibility of this problem.
  • It will be definitely according to your requirement/demand.
  • I really appreciate your responsibility.

When customers issue their problems, they expect you to solve them at any cost. Phrases like but, however, I guess, and such create a negative impact. If you feel that you may not be able to solve the issue then don’t say ‘I can’t’. You can address such problems in a different way.

For example, ‘I am sure I will solve this very soon. For best services, I request you to give me a little time to sort this out.’

  1. Let Customers Know When You Do More

You might already be marketing your services and appreciating your employees. However, it is highly important to let your customers know when you are going an extra mile for them. The key is to make your customers realize that you are the ‘one’ who will do extra to provide excellent services in a competitive market.

  1. Surprise Your Customers

An old an inactive customer would love to receive a hand-written note from your brand. Similarly, giving gifts with celebrity signatures is also an expression of gratitude. The customers love to see your brand personalized for them and feel valued.

Along with these tips, never say ‘no’ to a customer. Keep the options open to make the customer realize that they are always right.


Basic RGB

Winning customers is important, and there are many tried-and-true methods for obtaining new customers (which often means “stealing” them from your competitors) I won’t go into here. However, too many professionals and businesses focus only on the win and not on the equally important task of not losing their customers to their competitors after the fact. After all, your competitors are also constantly trying to “win” customers, and they do not consider yours to be off limits!

To help ensure that customers stay won once the winning is done, I have compiled a list 6.5 ways to lose your customers to the competition. Remember, this is a “to-don’t” list, not a “to-do” list!


  1. Save your best offers for new customers. There is nothing more annoying to a loyal customer of a business than to see much better prices, deals and promotions given to new customers than anything they receive as established patrons. The message it sends is you only value customers up until the moment they switch their loyalty to you. And guess what? Your competitors are also offering lots of great new (or even returning) customer incentives your own, feeling-overlooked customers will likely be receptive to. Don’t stop incentivizing new customers, but make sure you also give incentives to existing customers who stick around, too.
  2. Provide poor customer service. It’s understood that the general quality of customer service offered today is abysmal. However, if your business is among the swelling ranks of companies providing poor customer service, your customers will switch to a competitor who even offers something marginally better. If you want truly top-notch customer service, try the counter-intuitive notion of putting your employees first and customers second. The resulting wave of morale and engagement among your employees will naturally produce excellent customer service that attracts and maintains customers, rather than pushes them away.
  3. Offer non-competitive prices. Figuring out what to charge for your products and/or services is never easy. Prices that are set too low will make profits hard to come by and also attract the least loyal type of customer – the one only interested in the cheapest price. However, if your prices are too much higher than those of your competitors, your customers will consider saving money by switching to a competitor, even if there is some drop-off in quality. Determine the top and middle of the price range offered by your competitors, and position yourself somewhere in between. Be sure you justify the price with your results!


customer serviceI once consulted for a growing deli chain I will call Bon Appetit Café that decided to alter their menu offering in a particular market and include more premium sandwiches. Now let me remind you that the customers in this market were happy with a sandwich that consisted of meat, bread, cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, and no more than a half-serving of vegetables (perhaps a small lettuce leaf and a tomato slice). Nevertheless, someone made the decision to offer fewer traditional sandwiches and more gourmet sandwiches.

For example, one gourmet sandwich included Focacia bread, arugula, pesto, red onions, lettuce, tomato, roasted peppers, feta cheese, and cucumbers. I am still trying to figure out how someone thought this would satisfy customers who barely wanted lettuce and tomato on their sandwiches.

The Frontline Employees were told to talk up the new gourmet sandwiches and get customers to purchase them. You can only imagine the complaints that the Frontline Employees received from the customers, who overnight saw the disappearance of their “simple” sandwiches and the appearance of gourmet sandwiches that had names and ingredients that were foreign to them.

People had different perceptions of what the sandwiches would taste like. The names and ingredients didn’t meet the expectations of their taste buds. After all, I think they had never eaten many of these ingredients before.

When the Frontline Employees received the complaints, they felt a bit helpless and figured the easiest solution would be to issue a full refund and hope that would fulfill their requirement to make the customer happy.  In order to issue a full refund, they would have to call the manager over to issue the refund. In many cases, after receiving a refund, the customer was still going on about their disappointment in the new sandwich.  In many cases the customers just needed to vent, needed validation of their disappointment, and wanted to be heard.

I saw several problems here: The employees needed another method for making the customer happy besides just issuing a refund, the customer still wasn’t totally happy with a refund, the customer experience for both the complaining customer and the customer waiting to be served was diminished, the productivity of the Frontline Employees and the managers was diminished because an employee had to stop serving other customers to summon a manager and the manager was making a number of trips during the day to approve refunds, and the business was not offering samplings of the products so that customers could try the new sandwiches before they purchased them.

My task was to solve these identified problems.

One of my first recommendations was to assign levels of authority.  I recommended that senior Frontline Employees receive six “customer satisfaction dollars,” and that non-senior Frontline Employees receive five “customer satisfaction dollars.” If they could resolve a problem for under six dollars or five dollars (this would take care of the average customer’s purchase), as the case may have been, they were given the power to make it happen. The customer would sign off on a slip, minimizing the time a manager was disrupted. This kept customers, who still had their complaints validated and addressed, happy, and it kept operations moving.

The initial corporate response to the customer satisfaction dollar idea was, “The employees will abuse it; we shouldn’t give them that much power.” But documentation (employees had to turn in the receipt and a signed customer slip) kept employee abuse to a minimum, and customers were sufficiently wowed by the service they were getting to not try to take advantage of the program.

The first phrase out of an employee’s mouth was, “What can I do to make you happy,” and some customers said, “I just want a refund.”  Now the problem with just supplying a refund was that the customer might still be frustrated and not return. However, the employees also had the power to offer a one-dollar coupon that a customer could use on their next visit, and this “cherry on top” really impressed the guest.

Some customers said, “Oh, I just wanted to let you know what I thought.” In many of these cases, the employee would offer the one-dollar coupon and ask them to please give Bon Appetit Cafe another opportunity to make a sandwich that they would like. Frontline Employees were enabled to “make it right,” thus obtaining what I like to call “Make-It-Right Power,” and the customer satisfaction index increased. And now that Frontline Employees, who were previously powerless when a manager was busy or out, could help a customer who simply wanted to vent or have a minor problem resolved, the bottom line improved.

Make-It-Right Power puts the ability to deliver a World-Class customer service experience in the hands of the people who are best able to deliver it: The employees who interact with the customers, be it in person, on the phone, online chat/Instant Messaging, email, or snail mail. It’s about empowering and positioning employees to be able to instantly solve customer problems and view them as opportunities to Make-It-Right now for the customer.