Have you ever walked into a store, restaurant, or other service establishment and felt taken care of immediately? A sense that the staff genuinely appreciated your presence, that they were excited to see you and ready to serve. When this happens, it feels like home–you’re instantly comfortable.
The best customer experience is one where you feel welcomed, cared for, and respected from the moment you walk in the door. It’s not always easy to create this type of environment, but there are some basic steps any business can take to ensure a great customer experience. These six ways will help your company get started on its way towards providing an excellent customer experience:
Listen to customers’ needs and respond to them promptly
You shouldn’t keep your customers waiting. If you’re selling retractable patio awnings in your area, you should know the different shading options your customers want. Your customer may need a little help deciding how to choose the right product for their homes that answers their needs and fits their budget. When they contact you by email, telephone message, text, or social media: respond quickly and with helpful information to answer their questions.
In many cases, good communication can prevent customers from going elsewhere. A quick response by text or email is also effective. Use all communication channels that are convenient to your customers to reach them when they need you most.
Take the time to build relationships with customers
Your relationship with your customer doesn’t end with the sale. By asking about their lives, and not just what they need from you, you start to build a personal relationship with your company’s customers.
It s essential to know your customer as an individual because this helps you provide better services and products that meet their specific needs.
It’s one thing to respond quickly to customer requests for information. It’s another to remember their name and learn about what they do, the challenges on which they’re focusing, or the interests that they have outside of their day-to-day lives. Doing so requires time and effort on your part, but it will pay off in the long run.
Offer freebies or discounts
Offering rewards for repeat customers that are relevant to them is an excellent way to build loyalty. It’s also a great way to increase your customer base and get new people to buy your products.
If you have their email addresses, send them coupons or offers on products they didn’t buy or even wouldn’t know about. You can also create special discounts and offers for birthdays, anniversaries, or any other event that’s relevant to your customers.
Create an online account so that customers can review your products or services
Allow them to voice their opinions and concerns about your company. This allows you to learn from them how you’re doing on specific products or services. It also gives customers a chance to share their experiences with others by rating your brand online. If they have good things to say, it will spread positive word of mouth for free, bringing you more customers.
Respond promptly to negative reviews on social media channels like Facebook or Twitter. Taking the time to respond to negative comments can sometimes turn a bad situation into a positive one. Even if the review was written and posted in an angry moment, it’s still important to hear what your customers have to say about you, good or bad.
But don’t jump in with a response before you’ve had time to think about what you would say. Consider how the comment was phrased and think about an appropriate response to assure your customers their feedback is valued.
Keep in touch with your customers after the sale
This is where gratitude can go a long way. Send thank-you notes to each customer, thanking them for their business and showing appreciation for their loyalty to your company. They’re still potential customers, and now they have the added benefit of knowing how much you value their business.
Thank you notes can be handwritten or emailed and are an excellent follow-up to any sale that involves more than one product or service. You could even include a small gift with your note (think pens, keychains) to remind them of your brand and products.
Include information on how they can be of help
Encourage customers to show their appreciation by recommending you to their friends or family. This could be as simple as including a link to your review page with each sale. This could be an effective way to build relationships with your customers and spread the word about what you offer.
Include your company’s contact information on each receipt or invoice. Let your customers know they can reach you at any time for a resolution, free of hassle, if there are any issues with their purchase or service.
Investigate new communication channels. Although email and text messaging are still the most reliable ways to reach customers, social media sites may work better for specific demographics. For example, if you’re targeting professionals and homeowners, consider using LinkedIn and Twitter.
These are platforms where people exchange ideas, information, and opinions about current events or company happenings to stay informed on what’s going on in the world.
These approaches could help your company get started on its way to providing an excellent customer experience. Remember, the key is consistency–every interaction with a customer should be just as pleasant, helpful, and accommodating as the last, so they leave feeling like they are part of something special.