by Brittany Willes, Plastics Decorating
Your customers are the lifeline of your business. Their satisfaction with your products and services determines your revenue stream. Happy, satisfied customers mean a more profitable business. How can you make sure your clients are happy, and remain that way, to boost your bottom line? Here are five ways to show your clients that you value their business.
1. Pay attention
Your customers need to feel that you are listening to them, which involves much more than simply waiting to hear that they are satisfied with your products and services. Paying attention means learning to anticipate your clients’ needs, knowing their expectations and being able to interpret those needs in a way that ensures all parties are satisfied with the end goal. Pay special attention to any concerns your client has expressed. Few things are more frustrating than feeling as though apprehensions are falling upon deaf ears. By paying close attention to your customers, you demonstrate that they are valuable to you, reinforcing their trust and confidence in your business.
2. Multi-tasking myth
We live in a society where attention deficit is common place – expected even. Multi-tasking is considered one of the most valuable jobs skills and perceived as a necessary business practice. Its no surprise then when businesses take on more work that is wise, encouraging employees to multi-task projects in the misguided belief that it will save valuable time and resources. As a result, full and complete focus goes out the window. Juggling multiple projects means no one project will receive the concentrated attention it deserves. This can lead to reduced quality and dissatisfied customers. So, slow down. Dont take on more projects than is reasonable to ensure customers receive the best quality you can offer.
3. Dont play the blame game
No one likes to admit when theyre wrong. Your first reaction is usually to cringe, deny and look around for the nearest scapegoat. If you make a mistake, dont try to slough the blame off onto someone else – especially the customer. Acknowledge your error and reassure your customer that you will do everything you can to rectify the situation. Most clients understand that mistakes happen and no one is perfect. Trying to stop looking bad by avoiding responsibility actually makes you look worse in the end. Customers are less likely to trust your word or your professional abilities. As a result, they will be less likely to seek you out in the future.
4. Remind your customers that you value them – and, that they should value you as well
Like you, your customers get busy and may not always remember everything you do, or have done, for them. Theres nothing wrong with a friendly reminder that they have one less thing to worry about because of your customer service. This can take the form of a quick phone call, a friendly email or even a monthly newsletter. Keep your customers happy by reminding them that while you do value their business, they also should value yours in return.
5. Dont forget the personal touch
Technology has made it easier and more convenient to communicate with anyone, anywhere, at practically any time. Yet, how often do we become frustrated when reaching a voicemail or automated recording instead of an actual person? Or while waiting for a response to an email sent a week ago? Keep your customers happy by keeping it personal. When possible, arrange to talk to your customers in person. Make use of emerging video messaging technologies so that your customers always have a face to put with your name/voice. While it may seem old fashioned, dont discount the value of a handwritten note or thank you card sent to your most valued customers. Let them know how much you continue to appreciate their business by adding a personal touch to your business relationship.
Some items on this list may seem obvious, but that doesnt make them any less valuable or that youve been practicing them effectively. The best time to determine if youre keeping your customers happy is now. So, take stock. Have you established a personal connection with your clients? Do you devote your full focus to each project you undertake? Are you hearing clients when they express their concerns, as well as their satisfaction? If not, its time to devote more of your efforts to keeping your customers happy to keep your company growing.