Women in Business: Common Challenges: No.2 - Customer Satisfaction
"The purpose of a business is to create a customer." - Peter Drucker
So we all know that the most important people in our business are our clients right? Whatever you sell, creating and keeping customers is the most important task on your to do list. It is much easier to sell a new product or service to an existing client than it is to create a new customer from scratch - so we need to pay attention to keeping our most loyal customers as well as continuing to grow our business.
There is nothing more feel good than happy customers. In my work, nothing means more than hearing back from clients about the improvements they have made to their lives and businesses that they attribute to our work together.
Today, I want to share with you three important tools to help you turn happy customers into raving fans.
1. Recommendation: The Ultimate Question
2. VIP Membership
3. Keeping your promises
1. The Ultimate Question
The question "would you recommend me to your friends and family?" is what is known as The Ultimate Question. Why? Because even in this age of instant and sophisticated online marketing, the messages we most trust are recommendations from people we trust. The people who rave about our services and products are known as 'promoters'. They act as free PR for you, telling your future clientele why they should work with you.
So, question - how do you turn your customers into promoters for your business?
What more could you do to tip your clients from happy to very happy? The difference between a happy customer who says nothing and one who promotes you to others is quite small - what could you do to nudge your customers along?
One great way to think about this is look at the journey you take your customer on - what are all the different points of contact at which you could delight them and exceed their expectations? Think about it a bit like dating - you want to continue to be impressed beyond first impressions - what could you do to be memorable and impressive? I just switched banks from Santander to Barclays and I have to tell you, they are impressive! The switch was simple, easy even, surprisingly fast and they kept me up to speed by text and personalised phone call.
2. VIP Membership
We all like to feel like we are part of something special. Whether we are Lady Gaga's little monsters or getting an exclusive preview of a season of fashion before others do, most of us get a real buzz out of being in the 'in' gang. Think about your business as a secret society...if your clients were members, what kinds of privileges would they get? Think exclusive member's club...then work out how to make them feel precious....
One great place to start with this is how much you know about your customers. When is their birthday? What's their favourite product? How do they take their tea? Demonstrate your knowledge and show you care....
3. Keeping Your Promises
There is nothing that builds trust faster than keeping your word. Conversely, we have all had the experience of trust breaking down because someone did not do what they said they would. The same is true for our relationship with our clients.
Here are some quickfire ways to build trust....
a. Do what you said you would do, when you said you would do it, no matter what. I recently ordered some materials from a printing firm who were not only cheaper than everyone else but also said they would deliver within 24 hours at no extra cost. And they did. And now I recommend them to everyone. www.solopress.com
b. Be clear - set out your terms and your process, end-to-end, before someone buys from you - that way they know what to expect and there are no nasty surprises. This also helps you to set effective boundaries - like asking for a deposit or payment up front. This is particularly important if your product is of high value or bespoke as you will need to invest a lot of time or money on the back of the agreement you make with a client. And they need to know what they will get and when. Terms and Conditions therefore safeguard you both.
c. Make an 'experience promise'. An experience promise is about how I will feel when I deal with you as a business. Look at the brands around you - smoothie company 'Innocent' promises health and fun, 'Legal & General' promise security. Identify your promise and find ways to demonstrate and keep it. Then keep on keeping it... so if you promise luxury, keep finding new ways to be luxurious. If you promise efficiency, let your customers help you find ever more ways of being efficient.
Next week - how to sell your products, services and general superduperness with confidence and sass!
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About Erica Sosna
Erica Sosna is a published author, career coach and expert in the 21st century world of work. Erica helps people all over the world to discover and design a working life that matches their skills, passions and lifestyle.