The customer’s experience has always been important in any business model, but as competition grows more and more intense, satisfying your customer has become the ultimate goal. A satisfied customer provides so much value in terms of repeat custom, reviews, and word-of-mouth recommendations. On the flip side, a customer who is angry and upset about something can put off plenty of other would-be purchasers with damning reviews, social media comments, and verbal complaints to their friends. Obviously, then, it’s really important that you strive to keep your customers happy – and here are a few ways you can try and do that.
1) Motivate Your Team
Your team of employees are the ones who most frequently communicate with customers, so it’s essential that you get them on board with your stance. They need to feel, as strongly as you do, that customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal of any transaction or conversation.
Motivating your team can be done through training, and also through recognizing those who have done well. If you monitor communications with your customers, you can reward and acknowledge outstanding work, which will help your team develop their skills, and motivate them to always improve their services.
2) Review Customer Experience
You cannot afford to let this be a half-hearted step that you tick off once and then ignore the rest of the time. You need to regularly and critically review your customer experience, thinking about what they feel and see when they deal with your company. Test out different parts of your business, and search for ways to improve them.
If you have recently redesigned the layout of your store – is it easier for customers now? Can they find things more quickly? Have you made it harder?
If a customer needs to contact you about a problem – have you made this easy, or not? Is it quick, straightforward, reliable?
Constantly reviewing your customer experience will help you identify areas that are lacking so you can attend to them.
3) Encourage Communication
Who can better tell you what you’re doing well and what you could improve than those you are serving? Encourage your customers to talk to you, ask them what they think, what they would like, what they hate. Make it very easy for them to review your service, and try to get as much detail as possible so you can take action on the information.
Maximize communications between all your employees and the customers – even employees who rarely have to deal with them should have some contact. Seeing the people they are serving can really help keep employees focused on the end-goal, and also ensures they feel they are making an active contribution to the company. If your employees have ideas about how you could improve, encourage them to talk about these.
4) Improve Something
Sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to decide where to start, especially if you run a big business, have lots of employees, or have a broad customer base with varied needs. Take a look at your processes, and choose one thing you can improve on. You might try to reduce queues at tills, or keep your customer service line open for an extra hour on Saturdays. You could increase the number of staff dealing with customer problems, or improve the functionality of your website.
Whether you choose something big or something small, make the change and stick to it before you start implementing something new. Don’t overwhelm your system by trying to do everything at once, but build up great customer service over time.
5) Aim For Awards
If there are any awards going in your area for providing great customer service, try to get yourself entered for these. They give you great publicity, and they’re also an effective way of motivating your team – and even yourself – to stick to the standards set and ensure your customer experience remains exceptional.
Never put your customer last. Consider their experience whenever you make a decision. Listen to their feedback, identify problem areas within your business, and seek to solve these as quickly and effectively as you can. If something isn’t working, it needs looking at – and if something is working, let everyone know so you can keep the standard high.
Martha Jameson is a content editor at Academic brits. She used to be a web designer and a manager as well. Martha’s main goals are to share her experience, motivation and knowledge with her readers.