Have you noticed that customer service is losing its way in business these days?
Customer service should be at the top of the list of priorities for every business. Unfortunately, it is often neglected. Once you realise how customer satisfaction affects your business, you will want to adopt some of the methods below to help keep your customers coming back.
Some businesses just don’t seem to care about keeping their customers happy. If only they knew how damaging this is to their business!
Consider the following:
- For every customer who bothers to complain, there are 26 others who remain silent
- The average ‘wronged’ customer will tell 8 to 16 people
- 91% of unhappy customers will never purchase services from you again
- It costs about five times as much to attract a new customer as it costs to keep an old one
- Each one of your customers has a circle of influence of 250 people or potential customers who hear bad things about you
Lack of quality customer care could be costing businesses thousands of dollars! Kelly Sims in her article ‘5 Ways to Keep Your Customers Coming Back For More’ has these suggestions for improving customer care:
Say ‘Thank You’
This is the simplest possible way to keep your customers happy, but it is all too often overlooked. A customer who feels appreciated is much more likely to bring you repeat business and/or refer you to a friend. Your clients are the reason for your business’ continued existence, so they should be appreciated.
Saying thank you is often enough, but imagine how much more valued a customer would feel if something more personalised was done to thank them, such as a thank you card, or a simple coupon sent in gratitude for their business.
Respond to enquiries promptly
People simply don’t like to wait. Today’s world of high speed Internet, microwaves and mobile phones is evidence of this. If a customer has to wait days to have questions answered by you, they will likely take their business to a company that responds to their enquiries quickly. This situation could be rectified by delegating this task to an employee.
Know when to say sorry
Learn to be accountable, not only for your own mistakes, but for those of your employees as well. When you consider that it is estimated that 35% of dissatisfied customers would not go to the competitors if they received apologies, you realise the true value of “I’m sorry”. We all know that there are difficult people who will never be pleased, but the vast majority of your clientele are not these people. Being sincere and genuinely trying to make a disappointed customer happy will undoubtedly help you to retain more clients.
Give your customers a little extra
Value your customers by giving them a little extra. This is a small step that doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. It can be as simple as a small, unexpected free gift after a purchase, or providing a little extra service above and beyond that for which you were hired. Going the extra mile for your customers will make them feel appreciated and might even generate some referrals.
Personalise your service
Call your customers by their names and ask them how their day is going. Even if your business is conducted over the Internet, there are ways to personalise emails to let your customers know that you care about them. If a client feels you know them, even a little bit, they are much more likely to show you loyalty and not move on to your competitors.
Some other ideas
- Your customers will be happier if you promise less and deliver more. They’ll also likely tell their friends about the good service if you keep your word.
- Customers feel great when they save money unexpectedly. From time to time, slip in some unadvertised sales to give your customers a pleasant surprise.
- Make sure your employees are properly trained in how to handle a customer complaint. Give them guidelines and make sure they know what to say and do to make that customer’s experience a positive, pleasant one.
Without your customers, you don’t have a business. Therefore, customer service should be your top priority. Your customers will really appreciate being shown respect and sincere gratitude. In return, you will likely receive their loyalty.
When customers walk away from dealing with you with a smile on their face, they’ll be less likely to take their business to an unknown competitor.
YOUR ACTION PLAN
– Put in place a method of obtaining regular and reliable feedback from your customers.
– Actively promote high quality service and ongoing improvement in your business.
– Perhaps tailor some of the ideas on these pages to your own business and put them to good use!
Contact the Eclipse team today on 9531 0922 for assistance with this action plan!