Did you know that is costs more to acquire new customers than it does to keep existing ones? But growth is also essential for the health of your business. In an ideal situation, you can grow your business while keeping current customers happy.
Provide Red-Carpet Customer Service
Customer service expert, Donna Cutting, (LINK http://redcarpetlearning.com/) says that to stand out from your competition, you must provide red-carpet customer service. Imagine if George Clooney walked into your place of business. How would you and your employees treat him? Like a star, of course! Now, imagine if you treated your customers as if they were stars worthy of special care and attention. Wouldn’t that make an impact on how your customers feel about your business, and in the long run, your bottom line?
Some other tips from Cutting include:
- Call your customers by name
- Remember unique details—such as their favorite hobby—and refer to them
- Cater to their special preferences
- Respond immediately when an issue arises
- Always be on the lookout for little ways that you can make your customer feel like a celebrity
Resolve New Problems
When you first started your business, you identified a need or a problem that customers had, and then you solved it. Now, you help your customers solve this problem again and again. That’s great! But chances are, you can help your customers with other issues as well. So, keep your ears open. Listen to your customers, and if you notice a problem that continually arises, find a way that your business can solve it.
Surveys and social media are great ways to get information on your customers’ evolving needs, but so is listening every day. Talk to your employees about what they are hearing from customers. And don’t hesitate to have one-on-one conversations with your customers to get feedback on how your business can make their lives easier.
Be Transparent, No Matter What
Never lie to a customer, or they won’t be a customer for long! It’s a huge mistake to overpromise and then underdeliver. If you can’t provide something a customer is asking for, tell them. If you make a mistake, apologize and make it right. Above all, communicate clearly with your customers at all times and be honest about your capabilities.
Start a Rewards Program
Does your local sandwich shop offer a free sub after you buy ten sandwiches? Doesn’t it feel great when you finally get that free sandwich? You can do the same thing for your customers even if you don’t serve food. You can offer a discount, freebie, or bonus after a customer makes a certain number of purchases, or if they refer someone new to your business. Make your rewards program attractive to your customers and easy for you to track.
Keep in Touch
How often do you communicate with your customers? If the answer is only when they frequent your business, then you have some work to do. Social media is a wonderful way to communicate with your clients. Remember, it’s SOCIAL. You must respond to comments and questions for your social media presence to be effective. Monthly newsletters keep your customers informed on sales, events, and what’s going on with your business. And don’t be afraid to show your personality in your newsletter! You want your customers to feel connected to you. Want to really wow a customer? Send a card via old-fashioned snail mail to wish them a happy birthday or to recognize other milestones in their lives, such as a graduation or anniversary.
You can grow while keeping current customers happy! It just takes a little planning and a lot of customer care.