How Customer Satisfaction Improves Local Business Success
21 May 2012
It is crucial for businesses, especially the smaller ones, to have strong customer service and above average customer satisfaction in order to compete in the competitive business world. Quite often the difference between those that simply survive in business and those that thrive is satisfying their customers’ expectations. Especially in today’s current economic environment, businesses cannot afford to alienate their customers; instead, they need to retain and keep their client base.
Successful business owners are continually thinking about their customers and how they can please them better than their competitors. As a result, they are constantly finding creative ways to win and keep customers. By implementing these simple customer service tips, you can create a stronger competitive advantage.
1. Focus on your customers, not your profits: Salespeople can sometimes forget the bigger people, focusing only on making the sale. Remember that keeping a customer’s business is more important than closing a sale. Customers who believe that you have their best interest at heart are more likely to remain a loyal customer. Happy customers are the best way to find new customers through word-of-mouth recommendations. Once you satisfy your customers, the money will come to you.
2. Get your customers involved: Your customers’ opinions are important to your strategic decisions. Let your customers know that their opinions are valuable and encourage them to write and post online reviews about your products and services. Even if the review isn’t completely positive, you can use their feedback to improve your customer service. Having vocal customers produces fresh ideas, and you will gain their loyalty.
3. Improve how customers see you: The way your customers feel about you is critical to your overall success. Make sure you illustrate an image that you want them to have about you. Develop a brand image that encourages consumer loyalty and confidence. Always treat people with courtesy; every time that you, your employees, and your colleagues make contact with a customer it should leave a lasting, positive impression.
4. Communication is key: Keep in touch with your customers after the sale. They want to know that you are invested in your business and are genuinely interested in establishing a good rapport with your client base. Keep your clients informed about your business by sending out newsletters, consistently updating your blog, and announcing new products or services.
5. Always be accountable: When you receive a customer complaint, you need to find the solution to your customer’s problem as soon as possible. If your customer has a problem, then you must communicate your plan for addressing it. Then, make a point in following through promptly. Repairs, callbacks, and email need to be handled with a sense of urgency in order to keep your customers happy. Be sure to reward employees publicly for exceptional customer care performance.
6. Know your product: Make sure that you and your employees have in-depth knowledge of products, services, and return policies in order to win customer trust and confidence. Try to anticipate the types of questions that customers ask, and update your website’s FAQ page frequently. The more familiar your employees are with what you’re selling or providing, the better they’ll be able to represent your company.
Earning true customer loyalty takes commitment, innovative ideas, and consistent work. Your best customers are the repeat ones; they are also the ones most likely to bring you referral business. Make sure that your customer service strategy is flexible, creative, and constant.