Did you know that 89 percent of consumers agree that good service makes them feel more positive about the brands they engage with? In the Age of the Customer (as Salesforce, Forrester Research and many others call it), it’s not just about focusing on customers, it’s all about how you treat customers. It’s about your interaction and making sure that you engage with them.

In our recent webinar with Scott Duby of IBM, he referenced an encounter with a rental car company where the employee engaged with him, remembered his name, and asked him about his trip. Though a simple conversation, the fact that the employee engaged with and remembered him made it a personalized customer experience that bolstered Scott’s loyalty for the brand.

Research also indicates that 70 percent of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. Companies today must hire and train employees to be friendly, accessible, knowledgeable and engaging. The last thing a customer wants when shopping for any item is a poor experience with a sales representative. How a customer interacts with a brand is what makes or breaks their brand loyalty.

Not only must companies really engage with their customers, but they must do it promptly. For example, department store associates should be cross-trained to assist with all store departments so they can quickly assist any shopper in the store. During the holiday season, shoppers often feel helpless and overwhelmed when they’re under pressure to find good gifts. Having an engaging, intelligent guide lend a hand can make a world of difference when it comes to any shopper’s customer experience.

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