One-Size-Fits-All Model Does not Apply to Customer Service

Contributor: Zarina de Ruiter
Posted: 08/04/2015
Customer Service Model | Loyalty & Retention
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From millennials to those aged 55-and-over, customers have different requirements which you should take into consideration to ensure long-time loyalty and retention.

Customers are more and more demanding a great service from companies, however rather than focusing on how you can enhance the experience in one or two ways, a new report has revealed that different age demographics have different needs, and so you need to ensure you optimise your strategy and tailor them to all the generations of customers you’re serving.

Vision Critical has found that across the U.S. adults surveyed for the research, millennials place a high value on personalised promotions based on purchase history, access to alternative forms of payment and companies that solicit direct customer feedback.

SEE ALSO: 4 Ways to Create a Great Customer Experience For Millennials

For customers that are 55-and-over, however, the most important services are free home delivery, in-store assistance, call centre support and a 30-day, no-questions-asked return policy.

Additionally, customer service expectations vary per generation.

While 72 per cent of Americans contacted customer support at least once in 2014, millennials were more likely to do so than people 55-and-over. Millennials contacted customer support at an annual rate of 5.24 times in 2014, compared to 3.02 times for older customers over the same period.

Nick Stein, senior vice president of marketing at Vision Critical and author of the report, explained why customers are more demanding than ever before.

He said: "They’ve been empowered by web, mobile and social technologies to get what they want whenever they want, and if they don’t receive a seamless customer service experience they will switch their allegiance.

"Companies that don’t rise to the challenges posed by today’s fickle, digital customers risk losing their loyalty. To provide the best service and the best experience, companies need to engage with their customers for meaningful insight that drives better business decisions."


SEE ALSO: Building Brand Loyalty Through Rewards and Engagement

Providing a great customer service isn’t the only strategy to maintain loyalty and reducing churn, however, as a Bain & Co report found four key elements: Customer Appreciation, Customer Loyalty Programmes, Customer Service and Customer Experience.

The Vision Critical statement, highlights the importance of each strategy, saying: "Customer appreciation has proven to have a profound effect on the emotional connection brands have with customers. Customer loyalty programmes deliver value in two distinct ways: by incentivising future purchases through earned rewards and also through the data gleaned from customer shopping habits tethered to a loyalty card or electronic programme.

"Customer service affords brands the opportunity to reduce customer effort — a key motivator behind customer retention. And Customer experience is most successful for brands when they optimise the customer journey from start to finish, which requires bottom-up innovation built on rich insight about what the customer experience is really like from the perspective of the customer."

Are you applying each of these four strategies yet to optimise the relationship with your customers and ensure life-time value?

zarina
Contributor: Zarina de Ruiter