'Date' Your Customers: Keep Them Coming Back
In business, the customer is always right – sometimes confused, misinformed, rude, stubborn and changeable, but never wrong. Ever date anyone like that?
Customers are the reason you have a business. Without them, no matter what you do, there isn’t any business.
Therefore, you should approach customer service the same way you approach a date. Nurture it with good habits and relentless care. Each date builds on the previous one. Each sale does the same in building customer retention.
So, here are the simple suggestions for “dating” your customer and enhancing your business relationships.
* Dazzle customers with your service. The key to good customer service is treating all your customers well but not necessarily the same. Respond to their needs as individuals. While one customer might need a ton of help and attention, another might prefer an opportunity to browse with privacy.
* Anticipate the needs of your customers by emphasizing service over sales. Good service sells. But pushy service people who are always trying to sell more can be a major turnoff to all customers.
* Treat your customers well by being a problem solver. If you can’t help the customer, help him or her find someone who can. Customers appreciate your help – even when you aren’t directly profiting from a sale. Just consider it an investment. They’ll appreciate the advice and remember your business the next time they need your goods or services.
* Innovate by understanding that most rules should be flexible. Don’t ever say, “No, that’s against the rules,” to a customer who’s making a reasonable request. Your main rule – one that should never be compromised – is to keep your customers happy and satisfied.
* Nurture your employees by giving them the care and respect that you want them to give your customers. If you treat them well, your employees will be great ambassadors of service. If you treat them poorly, they’ll treat your customers badly in turn.
* Guarantee that your customers keep coming back. Have a great customer service plan and post it in a central location for all to see. Once employees understand the importance of great customer service, you will have customers returning over and over.