In today’s economy, business has become increasingly uncertain. Customers are becoming more cautious of every dollar they spend; if at all they are spending. The business owners’ main task, among others, is to give customers assurance that every dollar they spend is worth it. A happy customer makes for a happier bottom line.
To ensure that your customers are spending their dollars with you, here are a few ideas to keep your customers happy:
Promise only what you can keep.
When you are trying to win over a client, avoid promising them the moon and the stars just to get their business. Know what you can really do, then deliver what you promise. The relationship with your client will be doomed if you give them false promises and expectations right from the start. If you are a public relations specialist, don’t tell your clients that you can get them featured at the Today Show when the most you can do is to publish their press release in your local newspaper. Clients will be happy when you deliver – and go beyond — their expectations.
Read the article Secrets of Selling: Build Trust and Rapport
Be reliable and consistently good.
If you want your customers to patronize your business again and again, the only way is to provide a consistently good performance. Your restaurant can’t serve customers a fantastic full-flavored steak one day, and offer a hard-to-chew steak the next, and expect these customers to come back again. Set high standards of service right from the start, and make sure that all your employees (if any) adhere to that same high standard.
Read the article How to Get and Keep Customers and Clients
Avoid giving customers the run-around.
Customers complain for a variety of reasons, some of which you may consider valid, while others trivial. Nonetheless, you need to make your customers feel that they are important to your business by listening to their complaints and to the extent possible, solving their problem quickly. Do not give them the run-around, passing them on to one person, then to another, as this will only heighten their frustration. If you or your employees cannot immediately solve your customer’s problem, assure the customer that you will be looking into the problem. Then devise a follow-up system to appraise the customer of the status of their complaints. You will have happy clients if they know that their opinion and concerns are important to you.
Read the article What to Do When a Deadline Can’t Be Met
Open your lines of communication.
Make it easy for your customers to contact you. Technology should be used to provide logistical support, not create logistical blunders. If your business is online, have a “contact us” form at the very least; or put the contact numbers that customers can use to reach you. Avoid the voice mail trap, where your customers are put through an endless stream of voice mail options. If you are using voice mail it is advisable to offer an option that would allow your customers to speak to you or your employees. If you would rather use an answering machine to receive calls (e.g. you do not want customers to hear the cry of your infant), be sure to return calls promptly, preferably before the day ends.
Read the article Are Your Telephone Manners Turning Off Customers?
Have a comprehensive customer service policy.
Customers should be your number one priority. Hence, your business must have clear guidelines on how to effectively please – not just serve – your customers. Your policy should cover every touch points with the customer – e.g. giving customers as much information as you can, extending them courtesy and respect, even admitting your mistakes. Make sure that your staff and employees are all aware (and practice) your customer service guidelines.
Read the article How to Create a Bond With Your Prospects & Clients
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Recommended Books on How to Keep Customers Happy:
- Happy Customers Everywhere: How Your Business Can Profit from the Insights of Positive Psychology
- The Best Service is No Service: How to Liberate Your Customers from Customer Service, Keep Them Happy, and Control Costs
- Customers for Life: How to Turn That One-Time Buyer Into a Lifetime Customer
- Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000: Running a Business in Today’s Consumer-Driven World
- The Cult of the Customer: Create an Amazing Customer Experience That Turns Satisfied Customers Into Customer Evangelists
- The Enthusiastic Employee: 16 Myths on Employee and Performance Management
- Hiring and Retaining Good Employees
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- 12-Step Template to Write an Effective Sales Letter
- How to Create an Effective Marketing Plan