Great customers’ service includes not only giving them a high quality product, but it also includes knowing and learning how to solve their problems. How you respond to their issues and difficulties is vital. The mistakes that businesses make in dealing with their customers can cause a huge loss. Below are some tips for ensuring customers’ satisfaction:
#1 Customer is the King
It has been famously said by Henry Ford that “It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.”
This is entirely true. The customers generate the revenues and the customers actually pay you. Without them, there would no revenues, no profits, no salaries, no incentives and no bonuses. The happier your customer is, the more lucrative everything is for you. This means that keeping customers happy is way more important than you initially thought initially.
So, what are some of the ways to treat your customer like a King? First of all, deliver what you promise, no matter what you promised. While it may seem like an initial loss, doing absurd things for the customers, you will be surprised to know that it greatly please customers when a business makes good on a tall claim, or on an offer or bonus that seemed too good to be true.
After that all you need is a word of mouth, and sales go sky rocketing upwards in no time. Remember that when you keep your promises you also manage to keep your integrity. You become respected as a business and service provider, which actually proves very handy at times of crises.
The biggest mistake most companies make is that they, intentionally or unintentionally, do not deliver what they advertise, which can have the most crippling effect on a business. It makes the customers see a business as dishonest, and probably just a sham. Therefore, it is of tantamount importance to advertise only what you can actually deliver, or deliver whatever you promise.
#2 Gain customer’s loyalty
While focusing on customers’ satisfaction is one thing, it is equally important to create and gain customers’ loyalty. In fact, there should be a lot of focus and investment in gaining loyal customers. A loyal customer may be displeased once or twice, but if dealt with properly, they will remain your customers for life. This means that you have a bunch of customers, who are going to stand by you, and be with you in the long run. These are the kind of people who take pride in purchasing from you, and only have glowing recommendations for you to other people (Customer Satisfaction Survey. 2017, May 04).
One of the most important factors in customers’ loyalty is understanding their needs and demands. When you have gained a deeper understanding of what they want, you can work more efficiently to deliver it to them. When you deliver something that has been designed keeping in mind the customers’ needs, you send out a message that for you the customer is the most important person. And that is the first step in gaining customers’ loyalty. Your customers know that they have been delivered what they asked for, and this eliminates their need or desire to go looking for the services elsewhere.
One other trick that many businesses use is the interaction with customers. The main thing is to remember important dates such as birthdays and anniversaries. Honor these accordingly. This kind of treatment makes each customer feel very special. While a customer does understand that this may be purely a business tactic, such kind gestures are nevertheless appreciated. Moreover, try to think of ways where you can interact with the customers to hear them out. This could be over social media or e-mail, or even the phone. Some businesses employ the tactic of randomly calling a customer to see how they are doing. The main point here is to not wait until a customer actually runs into a problem. This demonstrates that your first priority is the customer and you are always on the lookout to help.
#3 Make better business decisions
While this is not directly related to customers, it has a huge impact on customers’ satisfaction and retention. When you make better business decisions, it is ultimately related to customers’ satisfaction. To facilitate you to make better business decisions, you need to be in tune to your customers’ thinking. This means that you need to understand about the customers’ requirements, needs, as well as their expectations from you. To gain such an insight, you need to conduct satisfaction surveys. Through these surveys, you can gain valuable information about the requirements and expectations of your customers (Quintanilla, C. (2017, July 21)).
These surveys can be used to measure the extent of your service/product usage and popularity. This is especially important since, there is a possibility that the customer is not using it to the full capacity, or has not realized its complete potential. This may make success for your company difficult, since your given product is not being used to its best abilities. These surveys can give you an opportunity to help the customers understand it better, and how the product/service can be used in the best ways. This way your product will become even more popular and help you to generate even more revenue.
Also, such surveys help you to improve the roadmap, as well as the sales process of your company. This is a cycle that continues and one step affects the next one. Customers’ satisfaction surveys make you understand their needs, while the customer understands your product better. Through this learning, you can modify the various business processes and learn where you can improve your goals and objectives. This enables you to take better business decisions, which makes for a better future for your company in the long run, as well as makes your customers even more satisfied. This is a sure way of both success for your business and happiness of your customers.
All in all, better business decisions have a positive impact on your overall business. You understand better, you work better and ultimately you deliver better. It is a win-win situation for all the parties involved.
#4 Focus on customers’ retention
For a business to be seen as successful, it is of utmost importance to keep your customers. Without permanent and steady customers, all your focus will be directed towards gaining new customers. This will become increasingly difficult as your business becomes older. This will ultimately be the reason for the downfall of your business (Cardone, G. (2011)).
But the main question that arises here is that how will you retain the customers without being aware of their opinions and their needs? How is this possible when you do not know what is the problem that is causing failure in retaining the customers?
This can be achieved through focusing on customers’ feedback. What your customers say can help you identify how you need to cater to their needs. Also, this helps you identify the customers who may be at a risk of leaving, along with the reasons for their dissatisfaction, and what possible failure may have occurred on your part.
Such customers’ feedback will in turn strengthen customers’ satisfaction. This is because you learn about the problems that occur often. This helps you to better understand these problems and find better and more efficient solutions for solving them. Also, this kind of effort for customers’ retention ultimately has a trickle effects. In addition, this process helps, in strengthening all the technical teams as well as support teams.
This activity isn’t just about learning about the customers, who are deciding to churn. It isn’t just about damage control. This also helps you to identify the most loyal customers you have. It lets you know about the people, who are fans of what you do. These are the people, who will have good recommendations about you. These people are nothing short of being brand ambassadors. They are best people, who can be effectively used to boost your image, strengthen your reputation as well as secure even more customers.
#5 Learn to let go
Many times you will come across some customers, who can simple be classified as a bad customer. There are some people that will never be satisfied, or appeased or happy, no matter what you do. It doesn’t matter how much you cater to these customers, they will be ever demanding. The best way to deal with such people is to be polite and patient and tell them that you are doing your best to help. Just remember to never lose your patience with at all, as this will only serve to worsen the situation.
Also know that you have to at times let a customer leave. When you are sure that you have done everything in your power to help and to cater to the customer, then just politely inform them that they are most welcome to look for services elsewhere. This may be painful and difficult at that time, and may seem like doom, but you have to learn to cope with it. You must realize in time that there is nothing more than you can do for the person. It is possible that you may second guess yourself and your abilities in such a situation but, you need to eventually come to terms with it. Accept it as a part and parcel of business and move on (Stephenson, J., & Thurman, C. (2007).
The main reason for this is that you should never focus on a particular customer alone. You need to realize that you are putting undue energy and effort into a place with no output. You can in fact, put this very effort into pleasing and satisfying different customers. Realize that you are wasting resources in terms of time and effort, as well as human resources. This also comes across as being partial to other customers. This can create a bad image of your customers’ service and perhaps, dissatisfy a customer who could have been, in fact, satisfied.
Always keep in mind that a happy customer is your best recommender, brand ambassador as well as very valuable asset. You have to make sure that you treat them with the respect that is due. Always listen to your customer very patiently. Remember that this is a two-way road, where you will get what you serve. Reward and appreciate your regular and loyal customers accordingly.
By doing this, you will earn their constant respect and trust. This type of customer-business relationship often goes a long way and can prove to be a marker of success for your business. So if you wish to see your business on newer and better height, focus on customers’ satisfaction.