When customers interact with service providers, they have certain expectations for how they want to be treated. Knowing exactly what customers expect enables companies to focus their attention on what their customers tell them is important. Customer-facing employees help determine whether these expectations are met, which ultimately influences how committed a customer is to the organization.
The following five tactics can be used to increase customer commitment:
- Empathy refers to how well you show concern for the customers’ feelings. It is the art of seeing a situation through a customer’s eyes. When customers feel understood and cared about, they are better prepared to work with a company over the long haul. Tell customers that you understand how they are feeling.
- Ownership means accepting a personal stake in the outcome of the customer interaction, which breeds trust and as a result, raises their commitment level. Do things such as calling the customer back to let them know your progress or helping to solve the customer’s problem even if it’s not technically one of your customers (once you answer the call, you own the customer’s issue).
- Professionalism refers to conveying confidence, knowledge, and company pride through your actions, appearance, and demeanor. Be sure that you instill confidence in the customer that you will get an issue resolved.
- Active listening means focusing intently on what is being communicated during a conversation. In other words, be present. Use affirmatives such as, “I see,” or “I understand that can be frustrating” to show that you are listening. Also, ask focused questions to clarify that you understand the customer’s perspective. Then confirm that you heard correctly by paraphrasing what you think you heard.
- Authenticity refers to being genuine and real while still maintaining your professionalism. This means showing customers that you sincerely care about their concerns and then working quickly to resolve the issue as quickly and efficiently as possible.
We know that highly committed customers contribute more to a company’s profitability. This means the goal of every customer interaction should be to increase the customer’s commitment to us. In what ways does your company work to increase customer commitment?