fotolia_116332746_subscription_monthly_mHow many sale or loyalty program offers do you typically receive during the holiday season? Or even this week, as we head into Black Friday? I am going to assume quite a few. So, taking a step back, what makes a loyal customer? Is it the product, brand, or service that you’ll always choose no matter what? Or, is it quite simply that you’re loyal because you like the service—it’s local, consistent, knowledgeable, or easy?

Creating customer loyalty isn’t an easy task. Americans (especially millennials) can be either a fickle “scrooge” consumer or a loyal bunch of “reindeer.” As a consumer, you’re  familiar with the holiday frenzy of countless emails, texts, or mail offers from your previous service provider, asking you to switch your service back to them by year-end for an outrageous percentage off, which often tests every consumer’s loyalty backbone.

According to a report by Colloquy, a loyalty marketing research company, US households on average are members of 29 loyalty programs across the retail, financial services, travel, and other industries—totaling 3.3 billion nationwide. No wonder my wallet is overstuffed with cards.

If you’re a loyal customer who considers exceptional customer service as the key factor driving repeat brand purchases, you’re not alone. According to a recent study by Frost and Sullivan, customer experience is predicted to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020. Considering all of the brands available in this “everywhere digital” commerce, it’s no surprise that your own individual customer service experiences keep you coming back for more during the holiday shopping season.

Three Holiday Tips on Improved Customer Interactions

Having the holiday spirit will delight your customers even more when you deliver that personalized level of service everyone craves. By tying leading back-office platforms into a cloud contact center, your call center will become even more multi-dimensional, gaining both historical and predictive context for your agents to serve your customers even better.

Here are some additional tips on knowing what your customer wants before you initiate an interaction:

Tip 1: Dig for clues in your customer’s interaction history or wish list.

As an agent, glancing at a customer’s most recent interaction history is a great start, but digging deeper could also unveil some great insights—especially if the customer is a loyal one. Depending on the level of detail in the call notes, there could be helpful information to help define the caller’s buyer persona. For example, their contact information (title, location, company) is a great way to anticipate what areas they are most likely interested in.

  • Are they primarily a buyer?
  • Are they technical?
  • Do they have seasonal repeat purchases?
  • Do they experience issues after upgrading?

Looking for clues like this can help shape a positive interaction.

Tip 2: Put on your customer “elf” hat.

The old saying “treat people as you’d like to be treated” goes a long way. Whether you’re an agent, sales person, or supervisor—consider wearing the customer’s shoes for every interaction. Would you want to do business with your company? Would you return as a loyal customer? If you follow this method, customers will appreciate the focus on humanizing the overall experience and will be more inclined to keep coming back for more.

Tip 3: Don’t be on the naughty list—listen and learn from any mistakes.

Listing and learning from mistakes might sound like an easy approach, but no business is perfect. Feedback from your customers is gold—applying it in the right way will help you take a step back and learn more about your customer base. Negative experiences tend to stand out in memory—customers will notice the improvement next time.

Want to learn more about how to create loyalty with every interaction?

Watch this video on how a cloud-based contact center can deliver positive, consistent experiences for customers of all sizes and industries.