What is the secret to business success? Is it the wow-inducing business idea? Is it the high profile startup founders? Is it the well-crafted business plan? Is it the business’ viral appeal?
All of above factors help a business achieve success. What really drives success in business is simple: make your customers happy.
However, Brian Tracy, in his book Personal Success (The Brian Tracy Success Library) says that a business needs to go beyond that. Instead of just making customers happy, a business need to strive to make customers happier. He explains that the key to business success can be summarized in two letters: ER
There are a number of things that you can do today to keep your customers happier.
The first thing is to start by giving more than expected, which will help elevate your business above the competition. Susan Friedmann in her article 10 Commandments of Great Customer Service gives three points to help you do this:
- What can you give customers that they cannot get elsewhere?
- What can you do to follow-up and thank people even when they don’t buy?
- What can you give customers that is totally unexpected?
In the article “How to Keep Customers Happy,” Jennifer Fulbright advises:
- Promise only what you can keep
- Be reliable and consistently good
- Avoid giving customers the run-around
- Open your lines of communication
- Have a comprehensive customer service policy
From the article “Customer Service: How to Knock the Socks Off Your Customers,” here are some additional ideas to keep your customers happy:
- Take good care of the look and cleanliness of your place of business, which is a non-verbal communication signal that tells your customers how you value your business and put premium on your customer needs.
- Know the needs of your customers by listening to what they say, and not making the mistake of assuming what customers want.
- Provide special services offered to customers, especially at “no charge”
- Deliver what you promise
- Show care in the packing of the customer’s purchase
- Ooze with professionalism — from your ads, marketing, business cards, website, etc. to the way that you deal with your customers and clients.
- Send out handwritten thank you cards to customers on special store stationary.
So what can you do to make your customers happier today?
Recommended Books on How to Keep Customers Happy:
- Happy R.A.V.I.N.G. Customers!: Six Powerful Steps to Grow Your Business with Exceptional Customer Experience
- Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary
- The Happy Customer Handbook
- You Will Be Satisfied: Ford Motor’s Top Salesman Shows You How to Turn Happy Customers into Fanatical Loyalists and Leave Your Competitors in the Dust
- The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service