Happy, satisfied customers are essential to the health of every business. Increasing competition, online review opportunities, and unlimited access to information up the ante on the importance of quality customer service. Here are some tips to help your business thrive by meeting and exceeding your customers' expectations:
- Truly understand your customer and their needs. As best you can, put yourself in your customers' shoes and hone in on the need they are trying to meet with your product or service. Understanding their core need will help you with delivery timelines and provide a clear picture of what it will take to ensure they are satisfied enough to come back.
- Set clear goals and expectations. Once you understand their needs, be clear and transparent regarding the process to deliver your product or service. Set realistic goals and discuss potential delays and pitfalls. Your customers will appreciate the honesty and may even be more understanding if things don't go according to plan.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. Keeping your customers from feeling in the dark is imperative to their satisfaction. Be proactive in your communication. The more forms of communication, the better - phone calls, text messages, emails and social media messages. Even if everything is going to schedule, regular "progress" messages will help them feel at ease.
- Go the extra mile. Put in the extra effort to go above and beyond what your customers are expecting. At the end of the day, you want your customers to feel like they get what they pay for, and more. If a problem arises with the product or service, show them you care by prioritizing and rectifying the situation. If at all possible, consider adding something of value to leave a positive impression.
- Add a personal touch and be authentic. In a world of social media bots, augmented reality and alternative facts, authenticity goes a long way. Showing your customer you care builds trust and loyalty that leads to repeat business and referrals. Birthday greetings, holiday cards and customer appreciation events can show your customers they mean more to you than just revenue.
When times are busy, it can be easy to focus on the work and not the customers. Hold on to these tips as a reminder to keep your customers' needs a top priority.