Connecting the dots of word of mouth, customer loyalty and customer service

connect-the-dots

A recent piece of research from Clickfox got me to thinking about word of mouth, customer loyalty and customer service and if we should be thinking about ‘connecting the dots’ between them. In many cases and in many companies these three things can exist in isolation of each other.

However, the Clickfox research found that the best places to earn loyalty were at the point of purchase/service (49%) and at the point where a customer has an issue that customer service has to deal with (40%). The research goes on to say that 78% of happy customers reward companies that have earned their loyalty by talking about them – word of mouth.

Clickfox Customer Loyalty

This got me to thinking about loyalty and word of mouth and if the customer experiences that we deliver do not offer up opportunities for surprising and rewarding our customers at the ‘loyalty’ moments identified in the research and thus, potentially, generating extra word of mouth?

What I’m talking about is generating more of the Little Talk opportunities that I mentioned in one of my previous posts: The Big Talk and Little Talk of Word of Mouth Marketing Strategy.

For example, imagine you have a customer that you have spent some time with and they’ve just completed a purchase. Now, in the process you’ve probably got to know them a little better. Or, if they are an existing customer you probably know quite a bit about them already. So, how about once they have completed their purchase you give them something (the Little Talk thing) that you know they will like and enjoy just as a way of saying thank you for their purchase?

Or, imagine that you have a customer that needs a problem resolved. You solve their problem efficiently, effectively and with the minimum of fuss. And then, just as they are about to hang up the phone or leave you give them something (again the Little Talk thing) that you know they will like and enjoy just as a way of saying thank you for letting you solve their problem and to apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you do that for every customer but don’t you think it’s worth considering? It could have a significant effect on both your customer loyalty and word of mouth.

So, how about coming up with a few ideas, your the Little Talk things, and then giving your people some discretion in terms of who to mention it to to see what happens. Alternatively, just give them the freedom to mention it to anyone they think would appreciate it and then measure what happens.

Once you’ve got your people comfortable with this whole approach and you’re getting great feedback then start thinking about growing and expanding your initiative.

What do you think?

Thanks to whitney waller for the image.

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