“The customer is always right…” or so they always say.
This phrase may have been coined a long time ago, but it is not too far off.
Customer satisfaction is one of the most crucial aspects of your business. If you really think about it and compare it to some of our friendships, it will be observed that we tend to forgive and return to friends that are incredibly nice to us, as opposed to friends that treat us like we do not matter.
So should the customer be treated differently?
As a business, you should aim to be your customers’ friend, cater to their needs as they have come to obtain the best that you can offer them, even whilst still being courteous of your services. Hence do not underestimate this your customer service efforts, as superior customer service has many rewards. Some of them include:
Free word of mouth advertisement.
McKinsey found that an unhappy customer tells between 9-15 people about their experience. In fact statistics shows that, 13% of unhappy customers tell over 20 people about their experience.
Simply imagine if that was a good review as opposed to bad news circulating about your business. So it is very possible that at a snap of your finger, you could have new customers and it won’t cost you much or a kobo to gain them.
It is inexpensive to retain old customers than acquire new ones. This is a tried and tested philosophy, so you could probably cut down on some costs by paying attention to this important fact.
Those who already know your business have a certain level of trust, and tend to buy from you regularly if you are good to them and render great products and services. However, converting a new client or customer requires that you invest in starting again several trust cycles, and this sometimes yield no profitable results, with wasted efforts and resources. Existing and new clients or customers are equally important, but it takes a lot less to assure old customer or clients than new ones.
Statistics also shows that 68% of customers leave businesses because they are unhappy with the customer service experience.
More often than not, these are the people who may have been aiming to patronize your business. These individuals know people who know other people, and as we already know “Word of mouth” is pretty powerful!
So here are three pointers on keeping your customer happy, and in turn, keeping you happy and your business profitable with much growth.
- Focus On Effective Communication: This is the most vital aspect of customer service. It is pertinent to learn to pay attention to what your customers want and make their concerns your top priority by being proactive in addressing them. Communication can be optimized and improved simply by having a telephone style that works perfectly when diverse customers call, making eye contact with the customer when speaking and providing them with information that truly informs and not simply deflects them. This may require some form of orientation for you or your staff, but works greatly once these soft skills are mastered. Always make the customer feel heard and keep him/her updated about your progress about their concerns as much as you can. Remember, everyone likes to know that they are heard and have a very receptive audience that keeps them in the loop, so do customers.
- Build Strong Virtual Relationships: With the evolving changes online, social media influences greatly the playing field of businesses, such that bonds can be created between businesses and clients. With social media, staying in touch with customers becomes easier if worked upon intentionally. Efforts should be made to integrate the most popular and commonly used social media platforms, where existing and potential clients can be found. This efforts, also exposes your business to a larger community of users online. Be strategic enough to integrate those online platforms used actively by your clients and ensure it is built to project your business dealings as well as strengthen your interaction and networking efforts with your customers. Ensure that you continue to build valuable and relevant content on those social media platforms created. It is also essential that you share your thoughts on topics, and engage with clients who leave real-time comments or feedback. This helps to keep your brand active in the mind of your customer and allows you build good relationships. In addition, this gives you yet another way to easily recognize challenges encountered by your customers in their business dealings with you and their perspectives on various aspects of your business. This indeed gives you an opportunity to act quickly on those identified areas flagged at you or your business.
- Give It 200% Efforts: Many companies overlook the importance of going the extra mile, but this is a wonderful way of building sustainable relationships. As a business, you have immeasurable opportunities to woo your clients and become much better than competitors who do less. This strategy helps you build customer loyalty, because once your clients understand that you would always give them your very best and much more, they will stay loyal, even when other competitors approach them or there are certain economic changes that are most likely to influence customer decisions as well as purchase decisions. Going the extra mile often helps you fix challenges on the onset that could evolve to bigger problems in the future if not attended to swiftly. This practice is often is an uncomfortable, especially if going the extra mile is not a business culture or core value, but the rewards of doing this for your clients is invaluable compared to second-rate business services and interactions with customers.
Customer service remains the most significant experience to clienteles when it comes to business. Unfortunately, with the rise of business transactions, enterprises, SME’s and corporate institutions, accountability for bad customer service continues to dwindle, especially for large corporations. Identifying individuals who misrepresent their organization becomes much more difficult and in the long run results to loss of customers to other competing brands or businesses.
So, good customer service is a tool that could differentiate your business from the competition and so this must never be taken for granted.
It is also important to not assume that you’ve got no competition, thinking this way is unsafe and keeps you in the dark about the reality of the business world. Even if you currently lead your industry or have a monopoly structure, you must always give it all you’ve got, because change is constant in the world of business.
Good customer service is a free and precious commodity and principle that can be applied to all forms of businesses, big or small.
Work on implementing these principles shared and watch your business grow in leaps.