You can’t just sell a quality product and expect customer loyalty. In fact, according to studies done by Microsoft, 69% of US consumers say customer service is an essential factor for them to experience brand loyalty. In my own experience, the brands I’m most loyal to have to impress me not only with their product. My favorite brands wow me with their mission, their service, and their overall customer experience.
Outdoor furniture company Polywood manages to capture all of these factors, establishing a vast community of loyal customers. The company, which began in a garage in Syracuse, Indiana, started in the 1990s by two high school friends. The two were looking for fresh ways to creatively recycle plastics and make something new.
The pair of friends recognized that recycled high-density polyethylene plastic, in particular, is durable and weather resistant. And, outdoor furniture was the perfect application for a new project. Since starting, the brand has seen continued success and growth, developing a network of loyal customers nationwide.
To understand their success, we’ve created a list of 4 unique things Polywood does to create amazing customer loyalty:
- Polywood is genuine in their mission
Your mission statement and your business decisions should be in line with each other. When things align, your customers know they can trust you and your product long-term. Polywood maintains this kind of consistency in every aspect of their brand.
Polywood started with a mission. They wanted to create a product that allowed them to care for the earth and do something meaningful for future generations. This core mission drives every decision the company makes, starting with the materials they use in their product.
Polywood established the “faux wood” outdoor furniture category. This material is made out of ocean and landfill-bound plastic milk jugs, recycled and transformed into faux lumber used to construct chairs, benches, dining sets, and more! Through every part of the product’s process, Polywood stays authentic in their mission to effectively recycle plastics.
Polywood strives to be genuine in all they do. And, this mission has attracted the support from customers nationwide. If you impress a buyer with your message, product, and values, you could have loyal customers for life.
- Polywood places the customer at the center of their service
Great customer service can improve customer loyalty. Repeat customers are also more valuable, with them spending 67% more than new customers. Customer service can also improve your acquisition of new customers through positive reviews and word-of-mouth. Polywood understands the importance of good service to keep customers from turning to their competitors.
If you go to Polywood’s Google Customer Reviews, you would see review after review raving about Polywood’s customer service team. Polywood understands that customer loyalty doesn’t just happen by writing a strong mission statement and creating a great product. Service matters too.
Let me show you one example of one of these happy customers: One customer writes,
Customer service is amazing! I accidentally ordered the wrong color chairs. To surprise
me, my son opened the boxes, put the chairs together, and tossed the boxes. I called customer service and they could not have been more accommodating! I was sent some new boxes to put the original chairs in and was told to just put them on the front porch – FedEx picked them up and new chairs were delivered. Polywood Adirondack chairs are beautiful, top quality, sturdy, fabulous!! I will definitely order the dining set next.
As demonstrated from this review, Polywood goes out of the way for their customers and keeps their happiness at the center. In addition to delivering consistently good service, Polywood cares for their customers long-term by offering a 20-year (Yes! 20 years!) warranty on their products. They guarantee their customers will buy a product that is built to last and will compensate you if that isn’t the case.
When you prioritize your customers and keep them as your focus like Polywood, you’re certain to get repeat customers coming back again and again.
- Polywood takes time to understand who their customer is
Polywood wants to understand their customers so they can find what builds loyalty. Through extensive user research, the brand defines their target customers. Next, Polywood seeks to understand the primary pain points for their customers, and creates future steps to increase customer engagement. To build customer loyalty, your team needs to really know who your customers are. Customer feedback is essential for company growth.
Let me just name some of the benefits of user research and feedback:
- Feedback helps you identify your customer preferences
- Feedback allows you to make comparisons to your competition
- Feedback can improve your customer service
- Feedback helps you identify necessary changes
- Feedback helps you to spot market trends
Send out CSAT surveys and take the time to talk with customers on the phone to see what they love and don’t love about your product and service. What makes your customers tick? What do they love about your brand and service? What causes customers to churn? Where are they turning for help and advice? To build long-term customer relationships, take the time to really know your customers.
- Polywood makes an effort to deliver a seamless customer experience
A few years ago, Polywood recognized a problem — their online and checkout experience was causing a strain on their customer relationships. But, they didn’t just acknowledge this and move on. No. They took the time to understand where the hiccups were and sought to fix them.
Everything at Polywood reflects their dedication to genuine quality. Through their story, their products, their process, Polywood wants customers to know they care about them. The one place the brand’s quality reputation wasn’t reflected was in its most important consumer touchpoint: checkout. After gathering some customer feedback, Polywood’s team recognized their checkout experience was slow, buggy, and difficult to use on mobile channels.
A slow and frustrating online experience was leading to a negative customer experience. Polywood recognizes this could cause a loss in revenue and a loss in customer loyalty. Why have a glamorous website if it doesn’t work well for customers?
A seamless customer experience, though, can turn everything around. According to a recent study by Qualitrics, 89% of companies who prioritize a seamless customer experience have increased revenue over the past year. Map out your customer journey from start to finish. Evaluate where there are slow and buggy processes that keep your customers from coming back. Plan the work to actually fix those processes to build long lasting customer loyalty. And, find a partner who goes all-in on helping you achieve success in your contact center.