At the core of any successful business are satisfied customers. However, with so many forums for customers to share their buying experience, a few negative reviews have the power to substantially affect the reputation of a business. Technology has given consumers a lot of options to vent their frustration, like online reviews and social media, which can be potentially damaging to a brand.
Here are 5 statistics to demonstrate the importance of keeping your customers happy:
1. It costs 5x as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one.
2. 68% leave brands because they are upset with the treatment they’ve received.
3. On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.
4. 48% of customers who had a negative experience told 10 or more others.
5. 64% of customers cited shared values as the primary reason for a strong brand relationship
For any SME, making your customers feel valued is the basic stepping stone in building your business, and can be what sets you apart in this high competition between SMEs to capture customers. Here are 10 ways you can do that:
1. Put a face to a name:
When you market your business, keep sure to put a face to it. Customers relate more with businesses that have a ‘human’ appeal to them instead of just a name. Now you know what to do if you want your business to connect with your audience.
2. Use tech to engage with clients:
Technology can enforce openness and transparency, breeding loyalty and trust among your clients. Using different technologies to give clients continuous access to useful information is a great step forward in maintaining customer satisfaction. Such a step also allows them to be more involved in your business. Click here to see how smartphones are changing the entire dynamic of shopping.
3. Call your clients regularly:
Communication is definitely a big factor. Schedule periodical calls with your customers to ask how happy they are with your services. However (and this is very important) make sure you do it in a way that does not inconvenience the existing customers.
4. Respond quickly and appropriately:
Keep a lookout for when your business is mentioned online and make sure you respond immediately to any kind of feedback- positive or negative. Keeping your brand in the public eye is good, and responding to customers’ feedback lets them know you care.
5. Add a personal touch:
Adding a personal touch in all your correspondence with your clients is a huge step forward in keeping them happy. It shows that you care and enforces your position at the top of their mind for their shopping needs. It also tells them that you value them and makes it all the more likely for them to return to you.
6. Identify opportunities proactively:
Don’t wait for your clients to tell you what else can be done to improve your performance as a business. Come up with new ideas and strategies to proactively tell your customers how they can get more out of their budgets. This will show your customers that you care about making sure their investment in your business is helping them as well.
7. Handle your mistakes:
Customers are tired of businesses that make excuses. Be better than the others; own up to your mistakes when you make them. Let the customer know that you realize you are responsible and will make sure it doesn’t happen again. If you want to go one step ahead, throw in some freebies for your customers. Most importantly, try to commit as few mistakes as possible.
8. Genuinely interact with customers:
Satisfied customers who get their issue resolved with a business tell 4 to 6 people about their positive experience. That is a way to significantly influence the word of mouth marketing for your business. Don’t act as a nameless or faceless business; genuinely talk with your customers while redressing their complaints. Address your customers by name, and tell them your name at the very beginning of your interaction.
9. Build Trust in your customers:
It takes around 12 positive service experiences to make up for 1 negative experience. That is how sensitive trust is between a business and its customers. No matter your size, keep your customers in the know when it comes to positive and negatives changes to your products and services that affect them.
10. Plan Ahead:
Pleasantly surprise your customers by anticipating their buying needs and planning ahead. Look into analytics to understand your customers and their needs better. Plan your promotions and products accordingly. This will touch an emotional chord with your consumers and they will be elated by your thoughtfulness. Not only that, planning inventory and promotions with the help of data and analytics will reduce wastage.
Last, but certainly not the least, always say “thank you.” As many as 3 out of 4 customers say they have spent more with a company because of a history of positive experiences. Kindness and gratitude for a customer’s business is an undeniable way to further enchant them for the long term. We hope these tips have helped your business grow larger and keep more customers happy.