Customer Retention: Don’t Worry, Be …
For years now, Garnet Hill, a Franconia, N.H.-based apparel and home furnishings cataloger, has placed follow-up calls whenever customers encounter a problem with the company. Specifically, 24 to 48 hours after a customer complaint, Garnet Hill calls the customer and casually asks how the problem was handled and if it was resolved.
Smart and sensitive upselling techniques make Garnet Hill’s customers feel cared about. Liberal employee discounts have its employees wearing the clothing and using the products it sells, so it’s easy for them to personalize the experience. This “touchy-feely” group has products open and laying around so reps literally can get their hands on products when they’re taking care of customers on the phone.
When a customer needs more information on what color blue a blanket really is, a rep literally can look at it and offer an opinion to the customer, who is grateful for the attention. With real people answering the phone within 20 seconds 80 percent of the time, the company spoils its customers grandly.
On the B-to-B side, the so-called “piggers” who represent New Pig Corp. have to take a “vow to wow” their customers. They never stop learning, improving or seeking new ways to keep customers happy. Real people actually answer the phones there, too; and just like Garnet Hill, the employees are well-educated in their products and always can help the customer make the right choice.
When something’s wrong, piggers are authorized to make it right, and they’re fully supported by management. Piggers never need to decide between making the customer or the boss happy; the two are one in the same.
Top management involvement in maintaining a strong, customer-focused culture is critical to success for many marketers. The Container Store manages customers across all retail channels with its strong commitment to the company’s values and customer happiness. All 4,000 employees receive 240 hours of training, and it’s their collective responsibility to maintain and nurture their unique culture.