How to Keep Customers Happy So They’ll Keep Choosing You
Keeping your customers happy is absolutely vital to the profitability of your home business, not only now but in the long term.
Your customer’s level of satisfaction determines not only whether they’ll choose you and your products again and again, but it has everything to do with your reputation and can be a true pipeline to new clients down the road.
It’s up to you (and any employees) to keep them happy — here are a few tips to turning your current customers into even more customers.
Commit to and stand by “beyond-good” service
Every customer, regardless of their size (as in how much they’re buying, etc.), deserves your steadfast attention to service. That means treating them like “royalty” from start to finish — every interaction and transaction — because like any relationship, this one with customers takes work to keep it thriving.
So set out to consistently deliver what you say you will do, on time, and stick to any other detail in your agreement with the customer. And, in the event you fall short of a client’s expectations, (for example, a late shipment or wrong product) find out right away how to make it right. Then go extra.
Give the “extra” to make it right
Stick to a “we’ll make it right” attitude and go beyond just addressing concerns. Be sure to listen and offer an extra gesture that indicates you care about the details and any concerns. Your special attention makes a customer feel valued and appreciated, which leads to repeat business.
If a customer is troubled over the way a misstep was handled, they might feel their business is taken for granted, and you may not know until it’s too late. Always remember your customers have chosen you over competitors. Any lull in your customer service could point them in a direction away from you. They’ll move on.
Develop customer relationships
It may not always be possible to meet face to face with your customers, depending on your type of business. But watch for opportunities to personalize your service with a customer. It’s one way you have an advantage over large corporations — the ability to develop personal relationships with customers.
Set up face-to-face meetings that are not focused on a sales call but just to build on your relationship. Perhaps an end-of-year coffee or lunch, or plan to meet a customer at a business networking activity in your area (check group event calendars for a date before you ask).
For customers you can’t meet face to face, make time to reach out for a communication outside of the transactions and promotions. Options would be a personal holiday wish or a congratulatory note on their professional or community accomplishment.
Use technology for customer service
Technology affords you the opportunity to provide service quickly and efficiently. You don’t want to keep customers waiting when they take the time to reach out — they’re busy too.
It shouldn’t have to be urgent to get your attention or wait until you’re back in the office to resolve. If you are on the go, make sure you (and your employees) have the level of technology that can help you provide a consistent level of customer service, seamlessly.
Keep customers informed
Make sure your website has all updated and current information about products, services and rates as well as accurate contact information.
Also, there may be customers who want to get on your website to double-check information on pricing, services and products. Consider adding a few FAQs if explanations or expanded details would be helpful to customers. Video content is especially popular.
Tend to the “experience”
Organizations reportedly lose more than $80 billion a year in business due to poor customer “experiences.” And it’s the customer experience, more than price and product, that will set your business apart from competitors, according to a recent national consumer survey.
So if you create a customer service policy that focuses on positive experiences at every turn for your customers, the result will be happy customers and referrals, both of which strengthen your reputation and foundation for long-term success.
Closely related: Learn to Separate Home from Work – Or Your Business Will Suffer