As any small business owner should already know, customers are what keep your company afloat. Without them, you’d have no one to buy anything, which means you that wouldn’t be making any money. Since cash is the thing that keeps the business world turning, it’s absolutely vital that you do what you can to attract customers to you and ensure they keep spending. An important part of this process is improving your customer service and customer satisfaction. As the boss, it’s your job to ensure that your customers are truly happy with their service. There are plenty of ways to do this, so here are fifteen ideas for you to consider.
- Understand Who They Are
Trying to guess who your customers are or what they want is never a good idea. In fact, more often than not, it will just lead to wasted time and money. Because of this, it’s important that you do your research and examine the core characteristics of those that shop with you, including their age, location, income, and lifestyle. You can find this out using marketing analytics reports. Once you have this data, you can adjust your service and marketing for those you actually serve.
- Personalize The Customer Experience
There’s nothing customers hate more than being treated like one in a long line of nameless, faceless consumers. If you want to boost loyalty to your brand and improve customer satisfaction, then you should ensure you treat every person who shops with you as an individual.
You can do this by personalizing their experiences with you. There are lots of simple ways to do this, but one of the most popular is offering freebies or discounts to customers on their birthdays.
- Ensure You’re Always Available
When a customer has a question or feedback, it’s important that they can contact you right away. If they can’t, they’ll think it’s because you don’t care what your customers have to say. Because of this, you should buy 1800 numbers for your business. This way, they’ll be able to call you no matter the time of day, and it won’t cost them anything. You should also be available by post and email and should have all of this contact information clearly on your company website.
- Help Customers Help Themselves
As important as it is to be there to help, customers almost always try to find information out themselves before they even consider contacting a business directly. With that in mind, it’s essential that you make this process as easy as possible, by adding a frequently asked questions (FAQs) page to your website. This makes life easier for your customers and means you’ll have to spend less time answering the same questions over and over again.
- Use Your Website Effectively
In most cases, consumers look for a specific product or service online, rather than heading straight to a business website. Because of this, you need to ensure that your site is optimized for search engines. If it isn’t, you won’t show up in the first few results, making it highly unlikely that potential customers will find you. To do this, you should ensure that your site loads quickly, is optimized for smaller devices, is easy to navigate, and has original content posted regularly.
- Take Time Hiring Employees
With so much work on your plate, delegating tasks to a team of employees is just part of owning a business. However, when these tasks are customer service related, you want to ensure that the employees you’re giving them to are the right people for the job. To do this, you need to focus a little bit more time on the hiring process and make sure you find people that genuinely care about your company and customers. You should also give your hires customer service training.
- Retain Your Best Employees
Once you have a team of dedicated and hardworking employees, the last thing you want is to lose them to a rival company. To avoid this, you need to show your staff you care about them and genuinely appreciate the work they do for you. You can do this by offering rewards and incentives when they meet goals and targets. Of course, this can mean money, but it’s often much better to tailor your rewards to the needs and wants of your employees.
- Ask For Customer Feedback
Customers like to know that you care about what they have to say, which is why it’s important that you speak to your customers regularly and ask them for feedback. You should also touch base with customer-facing staff, and see if they have any ideas for improvements you can make. After all, they’re the ones speaking to your customers all day. If you’re having trouble getting feedback from customers, you should offer incentives, like discounts, when they leave a review.
- Learn From Your Complaints
Although listening to your customers is important, it’s a completely useless practice if you’re going to ignore what they’re actually saying. When you receive a complaint or constructive criticism, you need to learn from it and come up with ways to improve. If you don’t, customers will notice and assume you don’t actually care. To help you out, you should take samples of complaints into team meetings and allow employees to suggest ways to deal with your problems.
- Always Have A Solution
If you want to improve customer satisfaction, then you need to ensure that you always have a solution to their problems. If you don’t have the skills, knowledge, or power to help them yourself, then you need to direct them to someone who can. Of course, the world isn’t perfect, so there are going to be times when there’s nothing that you can do, but, instead of telling them this, you should turn the negative experience into a positive one, by offering a discount or freebie.
- Don’t Make Impossible Promises
Before you tell customers that you can do something, you need to have a good think and decide if what you’re promising is actually realistic. Companies who break their promises seem untrustworthy and dishonest, so it’s much better that you underpromise and overdeliver than the opposite. Of course, you should always try to do the very best for your customers, but you shouldn’t say that you can or will do something if you’re not actually sure if it’s possible.
- Keep Your Customers Updated
Most people hate the thought of change, but it’s much worse when change happens suddenly and without warning. Because of this, you should do your best to keep your customers updated of any important changes occurring within your company, whether that’s switching up your products or services, increasing the prices, changing managers, or moving locations. You should already have social media accounts, so use them to talk to and inform your customers.
- Don’t Copy Your Competitors
As a business, you’re going to want to stand out from your competitors and show that you’re willing to work harder and go further than they ever could. This means you’ll need to do some research and find out exactly what they do to keep their customers coming back. However, doing this doesn’t mean that you should copy your competitors’ strategies. Even if customers don’t notice you doing it, they’ll get bored with the same tactics and, as a result, might not shop with you.
- Set Customer Service Goals
Saying that you want to improve your customer service is a great first step, but, unless you know where you stand now and where you want to be in the future, you can’t start to make any changes. Even if you tried, you’d probably waste time and money. Because of this, you need to use metrics to judge your performance now and then come up with a few measurable and achievable customer service goals. Once you’ve done this, you can come up with plans to meet these targets.
- Go Beyond What’s Expected
Most customers, whether they like it or not, expect businesses to do what they’re paid to do and nothing more. This means that, when a company goes above and beyond the call of duty and does something without any sort of reward, it really stands out. Because of this, you should try to help your customers as much as you possibly can, even if you don’t get anything out of it directly. This will impress them, improve their satisfaction, and show that you’re a company to be trusted.
Without customers, your business wouldn’t be able to survive. Because of this, it’s vital that you do what you can to improve your customer service and customer satisfaction. This will take a fair bit of work, but, if you’re willing to put the time and effort in, then you should see some big rewards. Of course, every business is different, so some of the tips above might not work for you, but you’re not going to find that out unless you try.
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