It’s not an easy job keeping your customers satisfied, but it’s one of the most important tasks you have as a boss and owner. Making sure they’re happy shouldn’t be a guessing game. Have a strategy in place that allows you to monitor their level or contentment with your business and products.
All you do should revolve around your clients and what keeps them coming back. Use these guidelines to help you formulate a plan that’s going to stick. Deal with issues as they arise and never try to sweep any complications under the rug. Always be authentic and honest in your delivery.
Ask for Feedback
You can’t be shy when you’re running a company. Don’t guess, but ask what your customers want from you. There’s no reason to be shy or think you have to come up with all the answers yourself, and by guessing, you run the risk of getting it wrong. Give them opportunities to submit feedback and opinions. It doesn’t mean you have to implement each idea, but at least you’ll get a feel for what they’re thinking. Use email, the phone and customer appreciation events to tactfully ask for their suggestions. They’ll love that you’re thinking of them and that you value their opinion.
Use your critical thinking skills and always be coming up with long-term fixes to pain points. Don’t make your customers solve all your problems. Have solutions readily available that benefit them and puts a smile on their faces. Avoid letting the same issue show up time and time again. For example, a new woodchip service met a customer need by starting a service that provides free woodchips to homeowners and a nearby place to dump them for tree services. Everyone’s happy and getting their needs taken care of. Be innovative and always thinking of ways you can improve your current offerings for your customers.
Don’t sit around waiting for opportunities to come to you. While customers like giving feedback, they don’t want to be the ones who always have to bring problems to your attention. Be proactive and take care of business right away before complaints get out of hand. Impress your customers by approaching them with new processes and products that are pleasing to them. Reach out first if you know a customer is upset and isn’t happy with your service. It’s the little gestures that go a long way when running a business.
Always Work with your Customers in Mind
Be sure to always keep your customers in mind when you’re working on new initiatives and projects. Don’t make a move or adjustment because it benefits you and your staff. Come up with solutions based on what will make their lives easier. Let them be the reason you get out of bed in the morning and work hard each day. Put yourself in their shoes and see how changes will affect them on a daily basis. Role play, write down questions and brainstorm as ways to help you keep your customer at the forefront of all you do.
Train your Sales & Customer Service Departments
Your customers aren’t going to be too happy if they’re running into issues with your sales or customer service employees. Have a training program in place so everyone on each team knows what’s appropriate and what’s not when interacting with a customer. Set guidelines and protocols that help each person stay in line. These are usually the two main touchpoints for customers when they’re seeking help or have a question. Put training at the top of your list and see how quickly your customers go from being upset to being very satisfied.
Offer Special Discounts & Sales
People love to save money on their favorite products and services. Reward your customers for their loyalty often. Don’t be so cheap that you won’t splurge on offering special discounts and sales. This is a great way to get people coming back for more and to spread positive comments about your business. Another way to reward your customers is to throw them an event and let them enjoy themselves for an evening. Offer food, drinks, entertainment and a chance to test out new products.
Use Open Communication
A lot of time businesses lose people because they don’t communicate properly. Your customers will be happier when they’re not left in the dark about what’s going on at your business. They want to be in the loop and get the scoop about what you’re doing and offering next. Build a brand and attract followers who are loyal and dedicated to your company. Do this through email, social media and personal interactions. People won’t know about you or what you’re up to unless you communicate your message clearly. Come up with a communications strategy so that you’re sending the right messages at the right time.
Pull the Right kind of Surprises
It’s not a good surprise if you pull your customer’s favorite product off the shelf with no fair warning. Surprise them in positive ways with referral programs and innovative solutions. The last situation you want is a bunch of angry people calling and emailing you over a move you made without thinking. It’s not a good idea to make major decisions or moves without a plan in place and running it past other people in your company. Leave a good taste in your customer’s mouth by being considerate of how your modifications will affect the consumer.
Customer satisfaction is a huge part of how successful your business becomes. Without happy clients you don’t have much of a company. Spend quality time honestly thinking about ways you can make your products and services better for those who are using them each day. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments, but remember to take the proper steps before doing so. Building loyal customers is a process and you have to be patient. Never take a sale or customer interaction for granted. Keep on your toes and challenge yourself and your team to always be doing better.