No matter how innovative your product is or how great your staff are, your business depends on your customers. If you didn’t have any customers, you wouldn’t make any sales. No sales, no revenue, no business. Because the people you sell to are such an important factor, you need to be doing everything you can to make their experience with you a positive one. This comes naturally to some businesses, whereas others need a more proactive approach.
Here, I’ve listed some of the best ways to improve your customer’s experience. Take this advice, and you’ll see the positive effects straight away!
First of all, attentiveness. Although it’s neglected by a lot of businesses, this quality is something your clients will appreciate, and won’t forget. You should be training your staff to treat every customer as an individual, and to make an effort to get familiar with them. Make sure your workers are taking in every little scrap of information about the customer, and applying it to give them a better experience. This is easier to do in customer service environments, but there’s a way to bring it into any business model. Let’s say you were running a restaurant. If someone calls to make a reservation for their kid’s birthday, make sure you know the name of the birthday boy or girl. Have one of the waiters extend your birthday wishes and bring out a complimentary cake. Or, if you notice a regular customer asks for a certain ingredient to be taken out, then make sure all the waiting staff are aware of it. When they don’t have to ask for you to hold the onions anymore, they’re certain to notice and appreciate it.
Recognition is another great way to improve the customer’s experience. You’ve probably been told before that people appreciate it when you remember their name. This is common advice mainly because it’s true! When your staff recognise the customer by name straight away, it’s a small but highly cherished detail. Let’s say you’re running a large office building, with a meeting scheduled later in the day. Make sure the receptionist at the front knows exactly who’s going to be walking in. They’ll then be in a position to make eye contact, smile and say “Good afternoon Mr. Smith.” Knowing who someone is, and making like the entire business is happy to see them, is something no one’s going to forget. This is true for corner shops just as much as it is for large, multi-national corporations. Set the standard high and make sure it stays consistent. Even if it’s the most irritating and rude client in the history of mercantile, make sure they come into your premises and are greeted by a nice warm smile.
So, you’ve set the customer service bar high enough in your building. But what about your website? Company websites have become progressively more important over the past few years, and this isn’t going to change. More and more people are looking to the internet as the first place to find any information on a business. Your site is going to be the first impression you give to your entire target market, so make sure it’s nice and polished! Try to keep the visual design easy to absorb, and don’t oversaturate it with fancy graphics and animations. Make sure the navigation is easy to understand, and that contact info is accessible from any page. The speed of a website is also an important factor to consider. Then most direct fix for this is to splash out on a super-fast server. If this isn’t practical in present circumstances, then try to avoid too many large files on the website. Slow loading times are one of the major reasons websites get a high bounce rate. Finally, make something about it unique. You might want to have add a customer feedback form or client portal to the design.
Finally, be as transparent as possible with your entire customer base. If there’s one thing that will sour the customer’s experience, it’s feeling like they can’t trust the company they’re buying from. If there’s a big slip-up that’s going to affect your customers, then don’t try to hush things up. There may be a leak, which may well spiral into a full-blown scandal. As soon as problems like this arise, tell all the customers that are going to be affected. Follow up with everything about what you’re doing to fix the problem. When a company is seen as honest and open, customer loyalty goes through the roof!