Love is in the Air: How to show your customers that you care

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7 min read

Many companies agree that customer centricity is key to be successful. However, if customers don't feel the love, they're more likely to jump ship.


How do you show your customers that you care as a company? A strong service team is important, marketing messages should be personalized and sales needs to enable customers. But to truly guarantee a seamlessly positive customer experience, companies need to instill the following fundamentals across all business units, partners, and customer-related activities.


In the past, many companies went by the philosophy to shape their customers' needs with the right sales and marketing messages. Nowadays, it's all about identifying what customers really want and shaping your messages towards these needs. But to know what your customers want; you need to listen.

So, how do you listen to your customers?

  • Use social media channels & social media monitoring to find out how your audience reacts to your posts (and how they talk about you)
  • Be transparent with feedback channels such as email, contact forms, phone, etc.
  • Enable your employees to document customer feedback (online and offline)
  • Document and evaluate service and sales calls to see what issues customers have, which questions they ask and what they expect from your products and services
  • Survey your customers
  • Analyze customer touchpoints such as email clicks, downloads, social media interactions, etc. to see which topics are popular
  • Segment your customers based on their needs & goals instead of their demographics (e.g., with buyer personas)


Back to overview

"Follow-up" is usually a term used in sales and often means that after generating a lead, the sales representative will "follow-up" with a personal call or email. But the concept itself should be leveraged across all different customer touchpoints to show that you actually care about their experience and want to make sure that everything is fine.


Buyer's Remorse

After a purchase, especially expensive ones, "buyer's remorse" is a common feeling that could make customers regret their purchase. Was the purchase too expensive, do they really need the product, are there better options out there?
With a follow-up communication, you can give reasons why the purchase was a smart idea, give instructions and best practices how to use a specific product, provide testimonials, and offer support in case of questions.

Service Closure

After any service case, it's important to follow-up and let the customer "close" the case. That way, you make sure that the issue really has been solved and - if not - give an opportunity to work on their problem. A follow-up can also serve to give customers the opportunity to tell you how they liked (or disliked) the handling of their problem. Remember that negative feedback is just as important as positive feedback, since it gives you important info on what you could improve.

Event Communication

A follow-up after an event (e.g., a conference, a webinar, a workshop, etc.) will help add a personal touch, pick up specific points the customer might have raised and provide next steps on their journey. This way, you can turn a small talk at a big conference into the start of a relationship. Successful follow-ups after events are able to not just address customers by name but also add small details that your sales and marketing reps might have discussed in person.

Show Gratitude

Back to overview

Did you know that a "Thank You" does not just make the receiving person happier but also the person who gives thanks? Relationships can be much more meaningful and trusting if participants express gratitude to each other.

So, when and where can you tell your customers 'thank you'?

  • If they leave a positive review (and even if they leave a constructive negative one), you can thank them for the feedback and therefore show them, that you're willing to listen.

  • On social media and elsewhere, you can thank your brand ambassadors for their engagement and recommendations.

  • If you're in the service industry, you can thank customers after a successful project for the collaboration.

  • If they're frequent customers or if they spent a lot of money, you could thank them for their trust in your company and product.

  • If there have been issues or there has been a period of change in your company and your customers stood by you, a 'thank you' shows them that you noticed their loyalty and patience.

Loyalty programs are a great way to show gratitude by not just thanking your customers but also giving them something in return, like discounts, special offers, or exclusive events. Read more about different program types and which incentives can reward your customers for their loyalty.

(Read more on the topic of gratitude in this great essay by Kaylee Somerville)

Timing counts

Back to overview

Personalization is everywhere but just because you address customers by their name doesn't mean that the communication really feels personal. However, there are ways to create experiences that can surprise customers just by getting the timing right. This can be fairly standard, by remembering their birthdays, their first purchase, specific holidays (maybe even localized) or milestones.

With the support of artificial intelligence and/or a very dedicated sales, service and marketing team, you can also find the right moment to remind your customers to renew their contracts, ask them if they might need to re-order something that they always buy in bulk, pro-actively provide self-service information, or even - especially in B2B markets - swoop in when there's a high need for your support (which you researched via market news, social media, and by listening to your customer contacts).

A B2C example:

A customer purchases a high-priced coffee machine. Of course, you follow-up the purchase with information on how to use and maintain it. However, based on your service data, you also know that many customers have their first repair request roughly a year after their purchase which often is the result of not cleaning the machine correctly.

Three to six months after the purchase, you therefore send them an email with a short and entertaining video that shows them how to clean the machine, so it does not even need to be repaired for years to come.

A B2B example:

You are offering data management services to big companies across the globe. You know that Austria has particularly high standards regarding data security and is about to introduce a new legislation. That's why you prepare a service package that helps Austrian and international companies check and adjust their data workflows to adhere to the law.

To introduce this service package, you create a white paper that explains the law and what it means for your customers and send it via email which you send out early enough to allow them to inform themselves and prepare long before the legislation is introduced.

Treat your customers' problems as your own

Back to overview

Customers will come to you because they have a problem. You solve the problem, but your customer is not necessarily happy. This can happen if the service experience has been exhausting, complicated and impersonal. Many customers are made to feel as if they are a "burden" on the service employees. Even if their problem gets fixed, their experience has been a bad one. And this doesn't just happen in service.
Aggressive sales can make customers feel like they "disappoint" the company if they don't purchase something or even worse, they get pressured into a purchase and could end up being resentful. Even witty marketing can sometimes give the impression as if a company makes fun of their customers.

So, what's a company to do?

There is one magic word: Empathy

If your employees know about your customers' needs and problems and treat them as their own, they will automatically provide empathetic services.

Your customers will see the difference between employees that solve issues to clear a ticket and employees that solve issues because they understand how important it is to the customers.

Even if problems can't be solved immediately or are more complex, a respectful, empathetic attitude can still create a positive experience because it validates the customer.  

In fact, a study by Jiahua Wei, Zhenyu Wang, Zhiping Hou and Yongheng Meng showed that "empathy has a positive impact on consumer forgiveness" which in turn impacts repurchase intentions. It makes sense, if you think about it:

Relationships are not based on perfection; they are based on connection.

To really connect to your customers, you need to show them that you care. If they not only hear from you that you care but actually experience it, they are much more likely to trust you in the long-term.

By the way, happy employees are much more likely to provide a caring and empathetic experience to customers, so you can use the same fundamentals when it comes to showing your employees that you care.

Read, how Huber + Suhner listened to their customers and implemented a support platform that enabled their customers to gain full transparency over their support requests, download info material and use customer-specific tools for self-service.

Read the use case

by Juliane Waack

Juliane Waack is Editor in Chief at DIGITALL and writes about the digital transformation, megatrends and why a healthy culture is essential for a successful business.

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