Sometimes it’s easy to forget one of the biggest factors driving your business’ success—customer satisfaction.
I know, for shame right?
However business owners sometimes get a bit of tunnel vision when it comes to their day-to-day operations. Gotta make that money honey!
But keeping existing customers and attracting new ones is an ongoing process and one of the most important to boot.
So, regardless of your outreach strategy, you’ll gain a more loyal (and appreciative) following if you quit annoying your customers. Here are a few tips on how.
In this digital society that puts a premium on convenience, customers have little patience for out-of-date technology.
Update your own; it tells the world you’re relevant and forward-thinking.
- Is your website up to date?
- Is it responsive to mobile?
- Is your point-of-sale system up to date?
- Do you allow electronic forms of payment? (Don’t laugh, you’d be surprise how many small biz joints only accept cash still, simply because they don’t want to pay the fees associated with electronic payments.)
Many business owners neglect to update their technology with equipment that is easier and more reliable to use. Easier, more reliable translates to a smooth transaction that your customer will appreciate.
Cut Wait Times
No one likes to wait, yet customer service call centers, understaffed retailers, and lazy employees insist on wasting customers’ time.
A fast-paced world demands fast-paced service.
Businesses that cut wait times will nab less irritable customers.
Drastic delays could require additional staffing, but if you implement small shortcuts like finding ways to cut down on paperwork, those can add up.
Customers want to feel like they’re being heard.
Even better they want to feel they are important to you. They want to feel, dare I say it? Loved!
After all, if you’re in business, your customers should be important to you… there is no business without them.
Reciting cliché phrases or giving non-answers to customers is as good as letting the phone ring and telling them in no uncertain terms that you just don’t give a donkey’s arse.
So what clichés should you avoid?
Inc.com compiled the five phrases customers hate the most:
“That’s our policy.”
Policy exists for a reason. If you’re unable to accommodate a customer, explain why in specific terms.
“There’s nothing I can do.”
Don’t bother explaining there’s nothing you can do. Find someone who can do something.
“Would you mind holding for a moment?”
Putting a customer on hold is necessary sometimes, but make it quick.
“You’ll have to go to our website.”
As resourceful as computers are, you’re a human with reason and insight. At the very least, you can go to the website for the customer.
“That’s the manufacturer’s responsibility.”
Let’s be honest here. You probably know more about the manufacturer than they do. Get off your behind and take up your customer’s cause; they’ll thank you for it.
Stop Charging Hidden Fees
The traditional airlines have seen a drop in customer satisfaction since 2007, according to a JDPower.com survey, and complaints focus on their hidden fees that make the no-frills airfares not worth buying.
Other industries may not have the data to support it, but it’s pretty unlikely consumers react differently to hidden fees in any other context.
It’s easy to get sucked into a competition to advertise the lowest price, but unless you are willing to deliver on your advertised rates, you run the risk of driving customers away purely on principle.
Not only will you lose a customer, you risk ruining your online reputation if they give you a negative review online. Ditch the hidden rates, even if it means appearing more expensive than the other guy.
It won’t take long for consumers to catch on, and they’ll appreciate your honesty.
Remember, in life and in business- do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Operate your business with integrity and you will soon be more in-demand than you thought possible.
Yes, sometimes integrity is just that rare.
Maybe It’s Just You
Do you pay attention to what people are saying about you?
Have you ever Googled yourself? (Hehe… sorry, that always cracks me up. I know, dirty minds and all.)
Back to business. When you did Google yourself, were the results good or bad?
If your online reputation is bad, maybe it’s time to adjust how you are dealing with your customers. Nothing will kill your business faster than a bunch of bad customer reviews.
If necessary, consider enlisting the help of an online reputation management service such as Reputation.com
At the end of the day, customer service isn’t rocket science folks.
Limit easy-to-fix annoyances, treat your customers as well (if not better) than you yourself would expect to be treated, and God will bless you for it by giving you unprecedented customer loyalty.
Over to You
What are some things that really irritate the crap out of you when it comes to customer service? What are your tips for improvements in general? Drop them in the comments below and take a moment to share this post, if you would be so kind.