If you want a successful online business these days, it’s not enough to simply close the sale. You’ve got to help your customers fall in love with your business.
One thing I’ve noticed lately is that everyone is talking about making a business and its marketing “customer-centered.” But when you get right down to it, not all that many brands are actually doing it.
It’s a great opportunity for an agile brand to outshine the competition and achieve ever-higher levels of success.
In fact, 81% of companies who provide great customer experiences and customer satisfaction do much better than their competitors, according to the 2009 “Customer Experience Maturity Monitor” report from the Peppers & Rogers Group
It costs more to get new customers than it does to keep the ones you have. So, you must nurture and care for your customers.
You need to make your customers happy. You need to turn them into repeat customers who will bring their friends. If you have unhappy customers, they might share their negative experiences with others.
Essentially, you need to make your customers fall in love with your business. You need them to be so enamored that they’ll buy into your brand, share it with others, and not turn to a competitor.
But, how do you make customers happy? Try these six tips to make your customers fall in love with your business
01. Learn How to “Manage” Distraught People.
One of the least pleasant things you’ll have to deal with as a smart business owner is a very unhappy client or customer.
Don’t shirk responsibility for this part of the job and don’t let your fear of confrontation color the way you respond.
To help solve the problems future distraught customers can cause, create a customer service policy and loyalty program based on your brand’s core values.
Basically, you want to figure out, in advance, how you’re going to deal with unsatisfied customers.
Your plan should include action steps to be followed. If you’re consistent and fair in this process, you can turn even the most unhappy customers into your strongest advocates and loyal customers.
Specify what you’ll do to make things right for your customers in various situations. You probably already have some idea where things can go wrong in your business model.
Plan ahead to ensure service quality, so that when a customer complains about those things, you’ll be ready with the appropriate fix.
Don’t be afraid to go the extra mile. For instance, you can send a loyalty card or small discount after the problem is resolved.
Above all, listen well and offer empathy and compassion — not the fake “oh I’m so sorry you’re having a problem with that” kind of compassion, but an honest attempt to see things from the customer’s perspective.
Then you’ll be in a much better position to turn the situation around, both for the complaining customer and for your business.
If you can do that, you can make even the most hard-to-impress customers fall in love with your brand.
You’ll notice that nowhere in this article did I say “the customer is always right.”
There’s a reason for that. Sometimes, the customer is not only wrong, but has crossed a line. There’s no excuse for abusive behavior, for example.
Set clear boundaries for customer support. There’s no requirement that you have to accept being abused or harassed, and it goes without saying that you should never let employees be abused or harassed.
So, no, the customer is not always right.
The customer is, however, always human. Keeping that in mind can help you develop and communicate empathy, which can quickly pacify unhappy customers
02. Learn About Customers
To get your customers to love your business, you first need to know what they want. Find out what your customers really want by doing a market analysis.
During a market analysis, you research your target customers to learn about their needs, wants, interests, and demographics.
Once you know what customers want, you can give it to them. You can better position your business to attract and keep your target customers. When customers get what they desire, they’ll be happier
03. Treat the Customer Like Royalty.
Your business depends on how well and how consistently you put your customers’ needs at the forefront of everything you do.
What’s scarier is that when they have a bad experience with a brand, 58% of consumers tell their friends about it — many of those on social media, where bad news does indeed travel at the speed of light.
And that’s how WOM can damage your brand’s reputation to the point of failure.
The best defense to a loud and angry customer is a speedy response time to complaints and questions. Almost half of all consumers around the world say that the time it takes a company to respond to an inquiry or complaint is a crucial part of the ideal customer experience.
The first rule of good social media customer service is to simply respond, as quickly as possible, to every single question or complaint you receive. You wouldn’t ignore the king or queen, would you?
It’s the same with your customers. Don’t ever fail to respond, because it’ll only get worse.
As much as really excellent customer service experiences go viral on occasion, accounts of bad customer service can do a lot of damage, even if they don’t go viral. This erodes the brand loyalty program, and damages customer retention rates.
it’s very difficult to come back from a truly significant screw-up. Just ask any of the brands involved in the top ten social media fails of 2014.
Another trick to treating your customers like kings and queens is to add value without raising cost wherever possible.
If you do need to charge more for a planned upgrade, then do some due diligence first. Before you add features or services, make sure that they’re wanted and priced appropriately — and give plenty of warning to existing loyal customers before prices go up.
04. Be Patient
Customers won’t always like how you do things. They’ll have issues with your products or services and sometimes they have to yell out you but you just have to be patient.
When a customer comes to you with issues, be patient with them. It’s easy to brush them off and quickly push them out the door. But, take time to listen to the customer. Be patient with them and hear everything they have to say. Patience is part of good customer service.
After the customer is done explaining their issue, then you can respond. Don’t be rude and treat the customer as if their thoughts don’t matter. Thoroughly address the customer’s issue.
You can connect with customers by being personal with them. Talk to your customers like they’re your friends.
Even if you don’t have a one-on-one connection with customers, you can still add personal touches to your business. You might use customer names in emails. You can try engaging customers through social media. like facebook, instagram, twitter etc.
If you want to be personal with customers, don’t be a robot. Don’t give generic responses that are obviously automated. Find ways to show your business’s personality and include customers in it.
People love sales and deals. When people get more for their money, they’ll be more likely to come back.
You might hold holiday or other seasonal sales. You can offer free trials or buy-one-get-one-free deals. The sales encourage customers to keep coming back to your business. When people love your deals, they’ll love your business more.
Even though the sales might cause you to lose some revenue now, the repeat sales from customers should increase your company’s bottom line over time.
Make sure you advertise these deals to your customers. This tactic only works if customers know about the offers
07. Keep Customers In The Know of you
Communicate and be transparent with your customers.
When your business has news, updates, and events, let your customers know. Tell them about the exciting things going on and create excitement.
Also, tell your customers about bad things, such as product shortages and delays. Be honest about what’s happening within your business.
Customers will appreciate your honesty. They will get excited when good things happen and be understanding when bad things happen
08. Add A Loyalty Program
You might try adding a loyalty program to your business. For example, a customer might earn discounts or free items after they spend a certain amount or visit your business a certain number of times.
A loyalty program for small business gives customers an incentive to keep coming back to your business. And when they get rewards, they’ll feel good. This is an easy way to make customers feel cared for