Your business success depends in large part on your customers. You may have what you think are the best products and services under the sun, but if you can’t connect with and gain potential buyers’ trust, your business won’t survive. Of course, you’ve heard about how important it is to ensure a positive customer experience, but do you really know what that entails?
By KEVIN DEVOTO
Take a look at some top tips for delighting your clients and see which ones will work for you.
Streamline Your Customer Interactions with Technology
Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms allow companies to seamlessly integrate customer service with marketing, sales, and all other aspects of client interaction. These systems optimize behind-the-scenes information-sharing, saving time and effort for the whole team while providing a top-notch customer experience. Check out various CRM examples to see how your company, big or small, could benefit from this dynamic technology.
Using the right CRM for your business will go a long way in streamlining your efforts by organizing and analyzing customer interactions. CRMs can even produce reports and predictions to help inform your future business decisions. As helpful as technology can be, however, don’t forget that customers are people, and they also require the human touch.
Nurture a Customer-First Culture
Create a customer service culture at every level of your business, from the owner to the person who answers the phone. Laying out expectations and providing robust training are critical first steps. You should still follow this up with frequent team meetings to reinforce how seriously you take providing great customer experiences. Everyone on the team should feel empowered to discuss the challenges they’ve faced when dealing with customers and brainstorm creative solutions for the future.
Working with customers can be both challenging and rewarding. Listen to your team members’ concerns but make it clear that poor customer service will not be tolerated. And focus on modeling the behavior yourself in every daily interaction. No one is perfect, and there will be mistakes, but your business’ commitment to exemplary customer service will not go unnoticed by your customers.
Listen Carefully to What Your Customers Have to Say
Even with motivated employees and the best training plan, you can’t be sure your customer service efforts are truly successful unless you ask your customers. Develop an ongoing method for collecting feedback from them. Don’t be afraid of negative comments. Your goal is to determine the level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction among your customers so you can leverage that information to improve your performance even more.
There are many options for gathering customer feedback, from a quick rating at the time of purchase to an emailed survey to a focus group. A customer focus group, which can take place online or in-person, takes more planning and effort than some other methods but can be extremely informative.
Beyond simply listening to your customers, you should act on their insights. Reflect honestly on the feedback you receive and think through how it could be applied to make your business even more appealing to your customers.
Show Appreciation for Customer Loyalty
Remember that it is easier and less expensive to maintain a relationship with an existing customer than to build a new one. Show your loyal customers that you treasure their business by offering perks and special treatment from time to time. Depending on your particular business, you could create a special rewards program, offer incentives for referring new customers, or write an informative blog that provides helpful tips about your field of expertise.
Operating a business requires you to focus on a lot of variables at the same time. One aspect you should never lose sight of is the importance of providing an excellent customer experience. Your customers can make or break your business, so do everything in your power to leverage technology and people’s power to delight and impress them at every step in their journey with you.