Life is short, and everyone is busy. Your customers just want things to go right.

That is true whether you sell to a broad consumer base or to a very specific B2B clientele. Customers want the sale to go smoothly and to know that they have recourse when it doesn’t. And they’re willing to pay premium rates for the delivery of consistently superior customer service.

A 2014 survey by American Express found that 68 percent of consumers said they’d be willing to spend more with a company that they believe provides excellent service. Seventy-four percent said they have spent more in such a situation.

On average, consumers say they’d pay a premium of 14 percent for superior service. (SOURCE).

So what’s really going on?

It’s actually pretty simple. When you show your customers that you value them, they feel valued. They have a stronger emotional connection to your business. And as a result, they’ll pay more for your products and services.

Providing a great customer experience doesn’t just boost your reputation, it grows your profits. Companies that use customer engagement marketing strategies to retain customers get more out of those relationships in the form of increased referrals, profits, sales and cross sales.

How can your company use customer engagement marketing to improve your customers’ experience?

  • Start by measuring the sentiment of your customers. How do they view your relationship and how can you improve?
  • Capture the sentiment information in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that is accessible to all employees.
  • Segment your customers. These segments may be by place in the buyer’s journey, by area of interest or by demographic. It is critical to understand customers as individuals.
  • Don’t just be an order taker. With a first time buyer, find a way to build on the relationship. What can your business do to learn a little more about the person? Track this in your CRM so you can later segment on that information.
  • Be a valuable partner. Send customers meaningful and measurable content that has impact. Show that you are invested in the relationship.
  • Stay in touch. Let them know how much your relationship means by using a wide range of communication tactics to stay connected. Send an email. Send a letter. Send a text. Leave a voice mail.

Finally, continue to personalize the interaction with the customer over time in order to maintain that great customer experience. Your customers will buy more and pay more when they are treated as individuals, not as generic crowds.