5 Tips to Make Customers Fall in Love With Your Business
January 21, 2018
By: Mark Cerminaro
You started your small business because you're passionate about what you do and the products or services you provide for the community. This enthusiasm is often what separates small companies from massive corporations that sell similar products with hundreds or thousands of workers.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs once said, "The only way to do great work is to love what you do." You can show your customers this is true by encouraging them to love your company as much as you do. Here are five tips to consider:
1. Make customer service a priority
An essential step toward making customers fall in love with your brand is establishing and nurturing good relationships with them. According to research from Accenture, 83 percent of U.S. consumers prefer dealing with human beings over digital channels to solve customer services issues. Human interaction is vital to customer satisfaction: Forty-five percent are willing to pay more for better customer service.
If you work hard to treat your customers right, not only will your chances of retaining them increase, but you'll show that you care about more than making sales. People put a lot of value on how personal a brand is. When they have questions, is there an actual person available to talk to? Do representatives address them by name? These small factors can play a major role in how your customers feel they're being treated.
2. Emphasize customer appreciation over pressure
One rule of thumb that all business owners can follow is never put too much pressure on customers when selling your products. Patience is key to ensuring that consumers feel appreciated and valued as they learn more about your products. Shared information can help them to ultimately make buying decisions.
3. Implement loyalty programs
Showing appreciation to your frequent customers is crucial to retaining them. Competitors are everywhere; give customers a reason to stay with your business. Start by creating a loyalty program that offers discounts to your best customers. As part of the program, throw exclusive V.I.P.-style parties or events for your top clients to develop relationships. The more people feel like they're a part of an exclusive group of customers, the stronger the connections they'll have with your business.
4. Pinpoint areas that need improvement
Know which aspects of your business, if any, are causing weaknesses. Keeping track of and analyzing metrics makes it easier to find areas for improvement. For example, measure how much traffic your website and social media pages are getting and how often customers are engaging with your marketing campaigns. It may also be helpful to gauge the success of your business's customer service by asking clients to fill out surveys. Once any weak spots are identified, you can take action, whether this means updating your marketing efforts or hiring more customer service representatives.
5. Keep customers in the know
Repeat positive service experiences can make up for one unresolved negative experience. The trust that's destroyed just once can take a lot of time and effort to re-establish. “Generosity of spirit and a gracious approach to problem solving are, with few exceptions, the most effective way I know to earn lasting goodwill for your business,” writes restaurateur Danny Meyer in his book, Setting the Table. To maintain trust you can be honest about any changes or issues. If there are problems with your products or services, alert customers immediately. If they're affected by these changes before you're able to notify them, trust will be diminished and you may lose customers. Even if there are positive updates with your products, your clients are already accustomed to what they know. Inform them of all large-scale changes, good or bad, to protect the trust and relationships that define your small business.
About the Author
Mark Cerminaro is Chief Revenue Officer at RapidAdvance, a leading online financial services company that offers flexible financial solutions to small- and medium-sized businesses. Mark has spent his career advising business owners on investments and helping them access the capital they need to grow.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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