There are so many things that determine why customers choose certain service providers over others. Maybe the prices are agreeable, maybe it’s more convenient, maybe it’s just a better product they are offering. But good customer service goes a long way as well. Satisfying clients is about dealing with them in a professional and friendly manner.
A recent article in the Harvard Business Review called “The Truth about Customer Experience” defines the relationship between you and your customer and the end-to-end journey. We have collected a list of some of the ways that are suggested to improve your business in this area:
1.Give Priority to your Customer
You need to listen to each and every customer and try to understand their needs as much as possible. Showing a customer that you are genuinely interested in helping them rather than interested in getting their business is a must. It will re-define your relationship with your customer and give you an opportunity to improve your service.
2.Create a Bond with your Customer
Emotional attachment is another way to create loyalty among a customer group. If your customer is satisfied with your service, they will tell others about your business. How you create a bond or connection is the million dollar question. Often it comes down to delivering in terms of your product, being reliable and treating customers as friends. This is a very efficient way to get more clients.
3.Remain Professional, but Hold your Ground
It’s a fact that you will come across clients that are difficult to deal with. Perhaps they are upset about something else, they had a bad day or maybe you made a genuine mistake. In these situations, it’s important to take responsibility when you’re in the wrong and show the customer that you understand their position. If it’s appropriate, offer something extra to show them that they’re important to you. But keep in mind that there are times when the customer needs to be dealt with firmly and fairly, if you hold your ground and keep it professional it will be better for the long-term nature of the relationship.
Long standing customers need to feel loved, and throwing in something extra just because is a good way to show that they are important to your business. This is true among basically all service areas and is a great way of retaining your customers.
5.Be Available and Reliable
No matter what kind of business it is, you should do your very best to make yourself as available when a customer tries to contact you. In many cases, however, this is simply unrealistic and it’s advisable to have a receptionist or other staff member to look after incoming calls on your behalf. This at least means you can show how important their call is to you even though you’re not there to receive it.
For smaller companies or sole traders that don’t have the budget, there are call answering services that essentially act as a receptionist on behalf of your business, answering inquiries in the proper tone and providing the right advice if needed. This is a very effective way of retaining customers.