This post was originally published by Arti Brannon on lessonly.com.
In the 70s, if you stopped a random American on the street and asked, “Do you like Ford or Chevy better?”, that person would probably have chosen one or the other, claiming they’d always buy that one brand.
Fifty years later, buying a car looks nothing like what it once did. Brand loyalties have shifted. The factors that created brand loyalty in customers fifty years ago might not even faze customers today. But, here are the factors that do.
What drives brand loyalty now?
- A more diverse target market. People are thinking more carefully about end users when they design a product, service, or buying experience.
- Social responsibility. Many customers choose whether to do business with one company or another depending on how that place treats their employees/contractors, the environment, and the community they’re in.
- Customer service experiences that delight and wow. It’s no surprise that Zappos, one of the most legendary customer service companies out there, calls their reps “Customer Loyalty Members”.
If I asked you to pause and tell me about the last buying experience you remember, is the first one you think of a good customer service experience or a bad one? When we think about good and bad customer service examples, we tend to acknowledge the bad ones, but we most strongly recall the experiences that had memorable, positive emotional effects on us.
I have a fuzzy memory of how I felt patronized at a car dealership a few years ago when a customer service associate called me “sweetie” and tried to tell me I was confused about a promise made to me by their team earlier. However, a story I remember much more vividly is one where I felt loved by Costco a few days later. They had accidentally charged me for a big-ticket item twice, and a customer service associate resolved my problem with grace and ease. I left the store feeling honored to be a Costco member that day.
The examples of good customer service stick with us longer than bad ones, every time. If I don’t have a human, emotional experience when I interact with your company, chances are good I’ll forget your brand or consciously make an effort to choose a different company when it’s time to shop again.
Today, many of my buying transactions still involve a human, whether I’m checking out at the grocery store or starting a chat on my coffee maker manufacturer’s support page. Every time I witness good customer service skills, my loyalty to that brand becomes more anchored. Experiencing that in a retail setting is especially impressive lately, as brick-and-mortar leaders are re-learning how to provide excellent customer service in retail and adapting to our digitized, automated, online world.
Scroll through Google reviews of businesses and you’ll find comments full of good customer service feedback examples, and also examples of businesses who probably aren’t aware that people are even posting reviews about them at all! The glowing reviews always come from people who feel helped and listened to. The ones who were treated like people, not problems.
The bottom line
Here’s the bottom line—highlighting what’s working by using legendary customer service examples helps customer service teams win brand loyalty, one interaction at a time. As much as we like to focus on customer example horror stories to teach reps what not to do, providing them with examples of great customer service stories is really how to take your team’s “wow” factor to the next level.
You might be thinking, “This all sounds great, but in order for my team to adopt practices like highlighting what’s working, we will have to encourage a broader cultural shift in our company.” Revolutions start with one person. If creating a people-friendly customer service team is on your radar, I highly recommend Do Better Work, a book Max Yoder recently wrote. We don’t have it all figured out, but we’re learning and growing. And we’re partnering with people like you to enable your customer service teams be superstars in their roles.
Build your brand loyalty by training your reps
Customer service teams across the world use Lessonly by Seismic to build ongoing training that helps teams move the needle on NPS, CSAT, and brand loyalty. Learn more and demo Lessonly by Seismic today.