So much advice is focused on how to get your foot in the door and attract customers. In fact, it can lead many business leaders to think that the challenge of dealing with clients ends once you’ve gotten them to buy your product or service. But, getting customers to buy something is only the beginning of their experience with your business. It’s equally important to consider how they feel after you take their money. Do they still feel important and acknowledged? Are they still getting your undivided attention?

Customer satisfaction is linked to the whole customer experience, which is a result of our products or services, prices, image, marketing, box wrapping and the colour of our logo. But of course, I will argue that good customer service is a central element in this mix.

Just how important is customer service to customer loyalty?

Chances are there is an unrelenting push from the C-Suite to improve your customer loyalty scores. Regardless of how you measure it, customer loyalty continues to be a major hot button for companies and, in turn, a leading source of pressure on customer experience leaders and contact centre executives.

Customer loyalty is not just about repeat business. Customer loyalty exists when a customer chooses to do business with a company even when a less expensive, more convenient, or higher quality alternative is available somewhere else. It is no secret that retaining existing customers is less costly than recruiting new customers. That means cultivating customer loyalty is critical to the financial success of any business.

The benefits of customer retention are sometimes lost among the hype and excitement that surrounds new business acquisition because the truth is, it’s just not as fun. Keeping customers for longer can have a meaningful impact on your top line. And when it comes to company health, arguably the most important driver of this is customer satisfaction and retention. A satisfied, loyal customer is worth immensely more than one who is not.

Customer service sets great businesses apart from the rest. Customers are the reason that businesses exist. Keeping those customers happy means being responsive to their needs and wants. A good customer service experience can turn a one-time customer into a lifelong repeat customer. People like to share their good experiences. Excellent customer service can turn into positive word of mouth.

Every business should try to create an experience that exceeds the customer’s expectations because, when it happens, it leads to a strong positive response that will likely cause the client to become emotionally attached to the brand. The problem is that most companies have no process in place to accurately measure the quality of their customers ’experiences.

Appropriate incentives and good timing can turn satisfied customers into advocates for your business. It’s a big mistake to think that your work is done once you get a customer’s money. After all, there’s a lot more money to be had if you can turn every paying customer into a vocal supporter of your business, thereby providing you with priceless word-of-mouth advertising. Word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is an organic way of spreading information which utilizes components of viral marketing, though unlike viral marketing, it spreads by more natural channels. Customer experience isn’t just something that impacts the perception of your brand in the marketplace. It is your brand.

To sum it up…

When we talk about customer experience, we often get it confused with the subjects of customer service and sales. But providing superior customer experience doesn’t stop after you’ve made a sale – it’s much more than that.