All business owners know that keeping the customer happy is one of the most important parts of doing business. It really doesn’t matter what the nature of your business is. Nor does it make all that much difference how long you have been trading for. No matter what your business does or who it does it for, customer service is always going to be a huge priority. If you are keen for your business to succeed in the long term, then you need to ensure that you are championing the customers’ experience every time. The truth is, there is quite a lot to this process of keeping your customers happy. And yet, in a general sense, it is surprisingly simple to make sure your customers have a great experience with your company. In this post, we will look at some of the key things you should be doing to please your customers. As long as you are following these guidelines, it’s likely that your customers will be delighted with what you are doing. Let’s take a look, now, at the key practices that should be the core of any business today.
Be Quick To Respond
Of all the qualities that delight customers everywhere, this is the one which is cited as being the most important the most often. Above all else, what customers are looking for is a business which responds in a swift and timely manner to their concerns and issues. This is something which is actually relatively straightforward to enact, so you really should make sure your business is doing so. On a general level, being quick to respond just means that you have teams of customer service agents who are poised over their computers. Much of this is about how you spend your money. It really is worth using your budget on keeping your customer service agents online at all times. The average email response time from the top one hundred companies is seventeen hours. I’m sure you will agree that this is far too slow. If you can beat this, then you are already way ahead of the rest.
But there is more to customer response times than just responding to queries. We are also talking here about how long it takes your business to deliver the goods. This is something with special importance if your business trades online to any significant degree. When your customers order goods online, they are always going to expect a relatively swift response from your business. So make sure they get it! Use professional fulfillment centers to ensure that the product is packaged and shipped as fast as possible. This small detail makes a huge difference to how positively the customer views your business. Get this right, and you are off to a very good start.
Get To Know Them
No customer appreciates being treated like one of the many – even if that is somewhat accurate. We all want to feel that a business genuinely values us. Achieving this can admittedly sometimes be something of a challenge. The trick here is to make sure that you take the time to get to know your customers. That way, you can make sure that your service is always tailored to the individual. And this is something which is likely to really please anyone who comes your way. So how exactly do you go about getting to know your customers?
The easiest and most efficient way of getting to know your customers is also the simplest and most straightforward. Ask them! The best way to do this is to ask for feedback at all the major points in the customer’s journey. When they buy a product from you, ask for feedback. As long as you are asking what could be improved, you are learning about what your customers really want. This alone is a huge step towards keeping everyone as happy as possible. Beyond that, make sure you set aside some budget for market research. Market research really is an essential tool if you are serious about pleasing your customers. Done properly, it can enlighten you as to what really makes your target demographic tick. Not only can you then hone in on your marketing, you can also tailor your customers’ experiences so that they are far more pleasurable. You would be amazed at what a significant difference this alone can make.
Apologise & Retract
Businesses are a lot like people – none of them are entirely perfect. No matter how well you do your job, there will be occasions when your business gets something wrong. This is just part of the whole experience of running a business. Of course, you should be doing everything in your power to stop these things happening in the first place. But really there is only so much you can do. Ultimately, the best you can do is to have a plan in place for when something does go wrong. This could be anything. It might even be something which is entirely out of your control, such as a product getting genuinely lost in the mail. No matter what the actual situation is, be sure to learn how to properly apologise to your customers. Most people are really quite understanding, so long as you treat the subject with the right degree of caution. If you are willing to stand up, say sorry, and make things right, your customers will really appreciate it. It is also a good idea to offer your customers a gift by way of apology. That way, you are much more likely to placate them and make the situation a lot more beneficial to everyone. Being able to apologise is the sign of a mature company that cares for its customers.
Under-Promise & Over-Deliver
Of course, it is always far preferable to simply not irk your customers in the first place. It might be that oftentimes something will happen which is beyond your control. But that is why you should take as much control as possible of that which you can control. By far the best way to ensure that your customers are kept happy is to regulate what they expect from you. This is something which you should ensure your customer service staff are really clued up on. There is a saying in this realm which is easily applicable to any such situation. Under-promise and over-deliver. In other words, be sure to promise less than you can really deliver to your customers. That way, anything you do will seem to be going above and beyond. Let’s take a look at an example to help illustrate this. If you know that you usually deliver parcels within five days, then it would be foolish to tell this to the customer. After all, it might take seven days, and then you would appear to have failed. However, if you tell your customers that your delivery timescale is seven days, then they will be delighted when it arrives in five. This is something which can actually save you a lot of struggle in terms of customer engagement complaints. Make sure your staff are always under-promising and over-delivering. You will be glad that you introduced this change into your business.
Train Staff To Care
All customers want to feel that the business they are dealing with really cares about them. However, there is a major mistake that many businesses make in relation to this. The truth is, customers are more savvy than most businesses believe. They can, more often than not, easily detect when a business is being genuine and when it isn’t. That’s why it is so important to keep your staff as well-trained as possible. If you train your customer services staff to genuinely care about their jobs, then that is the kindest thing you can do for your business. If they genuinely care, this will come across in their attitude to the customer. You will be surprised at how quickly this makes a huge difference to your customers’ interactions with your business. Keep your customers feeling appreciated, and your business will only continue to grow.
Develop Relationships & Remain Human
Last but not least, we come on to the matter of remaining human in your interactions with customers. It is unfortunately all too easy for businesses to forget that they are dealing with real people. We see examples of this happening all the time. The truth is, it is not long before the general public lose faith in such businesses. So if you want your business to have a positive relationship with the outside world, remember this key point. You need to ensure you are working towards developing genuine relationships with your customers. Whatever you do, be careful to never forget that your customers are real people. Always treat them as such, and it is likely that they will speak and think highly of your corporation. It is also much easier to keep this kind of relationship much stronger. Do everything you can to make your customers feel valued, wanted and above all human.