So you want to keep sales humming along and keep a marketing presence?
Setting up processes or systems for maintain a high level of customer service and getting it right from the beginning is vital for the future success of your business.
Understanding how customer satisfaction affects your business and helps keep your customers coming back is critical.
Have you noticed that customer service is losing its way in business these days? 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 statistics from the Consumer Affairs office:
- 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’ (Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com) 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.
Customer service should be at the top of the list of priorities for every business. Unfortunately, it is often neglected.
Business Development Specialist - Ceebeks Business Solutions for GOOD
I love business and the ability to change peoples lives through them!
At Ceebeks Business Solutions for GOOD, we get up every morning to positively impact young families in business by making their businesses REALLY work so that we all make an even bigger impact together. The rewards that bring allow our team ('the fantastic five') to make small but powerful contributions to impact our local community, our country and the lives of those less fortunate around the world.
You see, something quite remarkable happens when we work together, for example, the gift of water is made when we prepare a tax return, the gift of a goat is provided when we help a new business start-up, the gift of shelter is forwarded when we organise a home loan. When we work together, we actually change the world!
I am a business development specialist with over 36 years experience, a CPA, an authorised representative of MyPlanner Ltd and a credit representative of Outsource Financial Pty Ltd. I have recently co-authored an International Best-Selling Book 'Legacy - The Sustainable Development Goals in Action' and am about to publish my first book - 'Chasing the Dream! - How to Grow a Business in these Amazing Times', host a daily blog/vlog on our small business Facebook community group page 'Chasing the Dream, and with our Team run a monthly event for small business owners called 'The Chasers Meet-Up', where a guest speaker presents a topic and tips and strategies are openly shared.
In 2015, our business won the Change GPS International Member Firm of the Year and in that same year, I was a founding member of the Global Accounting Movement - Accountants for Good. We were recognised in 2016 by Steve Pipe in his international publication - The World's Most Inspiring Accountants and Featured in "The LinkedIn PlayBook" by world-renowned social media strategist and consultant, Adam Houlahan. In 2017, we were in the Top 25 Most Popular Accounting and Tax Services Award for search4accountants, B1G1 Business for Good Top 100 Giving Businesses in the World and a Semi-Finalist in the 2017 Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards. In 2018, we were an Australian Accounting Awards Finalist in "Community Engagement Program of the Year", a Semi-Finalist in the Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards 'South West TAFE & Deakin University South West Regional Achiever Award', a Nominee in the Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards 'Regional Development Victoria Business Achiever Award', and featured in the Top 25 Most Popular Accounting and Tax Services Award by search4accountants.