Customer service is one of the most important parts of your business, when it comes to keeping customers returning again and again. You want them to keep doing business with you, and if they aren't treated fairly it's likely they'll go to a competitor next time.
Fortunately, there are some great ways you can show your customers how much they matter to you, so they'll come back the next time they need something you have to offer.
The needs of your clients should come first. Naturally, there may be things your business simply can't offer them, or requests you're unable to accommodate. But outside those things, the customer is always right. Finding out what customers expect of you matters, because it allows you to provide more of what your customers will be looking for, right from the very beginning.
Your clients typically have needs that align with your industry, but they may also have experiences with your competitors that have brought them to your company. Keep that in mind when you look at what clients are going to be expecting from your company. You want to give them something more, and reassure them that you understand what it is they require from your business.
While you don't want to be boring, you do want to make predictability part of your communication style. Customers need to know that they can rely on you to answer them if they have questions. If they send a complaint, they want to know you'll address it promptly and fairly. They may send words of praise for an employee, and that employee should know that they made a difference.
When you're predictable in your communications, customers trust your company more easily. They feel like they matter to you, and most people are more likely to spend money with companies that care about them. If they don't feel valued, they may look for a company that gives them that feeling, which will most likely be one of your competitors.
Keeping in touch with your customers consistently keeps your business in their mind. They feel like you care about them, and want to check in. They may also be reminded that they haven't ordered recently, or that there's something else they need, just from seeing your email or newsletter.
You can also send handwritten notes to customers, although that might not be feasible, depending on the size of your business. You also want to consider that a lot of customers may see that as junk mail, and may prefer emails, texts, or other ways of communicating online. Try to "touch base" with customers in ways that work best for their needs.
No matter how well you treat your customers and how much you interact with them, the products and services you're offering have to work. If you're nice and friendly, but your products aren't good, or your services don't give customers what they need, they're not likely to keep coming back to you.
Be sure you follow up with complaints and questions about any of the products or services you provide. When you do that, you help customers understand that you're trying to give them the best possible experience. If you're finding a lot of unhappy customers, it's important to take quick action to address the issues they're facing, so other customers don't experience the same thing in the future.
It really is often the little things that matter. The specifics that a customer asks for are there for a reason, and you don't want to overlook them. Clients are going to be asking you for what they need, especially if you're working on something that's more customized for them. If you ignore what they asked for, and leave out important details, they may not come back to you again.
The details are a great space to show your customers you've really heard what they want and need from you. They can be confident that you're focused on giving them the right experience, and you can feel secure that you're building a business that puts customers first. Those customers will tell others, too, and that can bring more people to your company.
The more you can use innovative technological options to help improve your customers' experience, the more likely those customers will be to come back. Most customers like technology, and if it makes their lives easier it's even better.
Offering text and email communications, a good mobile experience with your site, and the option for electronic signing of important documents can all help your clients get what they need. Be sure to use technology when possible, but offer additional options for customers who may have another preference.
Potential customers who find your website are going to want to have the right information. If you've moved and your address is wrong, or the old phone number is still listed, that can lead to frustration. You also want to make sure your business hours are listed, so customers know when they can reach you. Social media handles and related information are important, as well.
Don't leave your clients guessing when they come to your site. They should be able to navigate through it quickly, find what they need easily, and get in contact with you if they need to. Try out your website on some different devices and browsers, too, to make sure it works well in the mobile space and loads well on as many devices as possible.
If you've given a customer a deadline, make sure it's a deadline you can meet. If you don't stick to deadlines, you could find that your customers are getting frustrated and heading to your competitors. Many of your clients will have their own deadlines they need to meet, and what you're giving them will keep them on track. If you miss yours, they're likely to miss theirs, too.
Naturally, that can lead to problems and frustration you don't want associated with your company. But when you consistently meet deadlines, customers understand that they can rely on you for the long term. If for some reason you absolutely cannot make a deadline, communicate openly and honestly to your client as soon as possible. Look for a solution together. That can help reduce the scope of the problem, and keep your customer happy.
You need to know what customers expect from you, and once you have that information, it's important that you follow through on it. Customers know what they want, in the majority of cases, and you want to take their requirements seriously. If you think they might prefer something else you can suggest it to them, but at the end of the day it's important to give them what they're asking for.
Following through is a big part of keeping your business successful. When customers can rely on your company for their needs, and they know you'll meet their expectations, they don't have a reason to go anywhere else.
By making sure you're giving people what they really want, need, and expect from your company, you have a much better chance of building a loyal customer base. It's not a guarantee, but customer service will translate to a better and stronger business, overall.
When you're open to what customers are looking for, and willing to meet them where they are in their buying journey, you can continue to build your business around customers who keep coming back, and the valuable word-of-mouth advertising their good experiences provides.