The longevity and success of your small business depend largely on your ability to keep customers happy. Dissatisfied consumers don’t buy. Even worse, they can prevent others from doing so by word of mouth (aka negative reviews), which means very few sales for you.
To avoid finding yourself in this tough situation, consider 11 things you can do to improve your current customer satisfaction rates and build up your loyal client base.
1. Deliver What You Promise…And Then Some
You could be doing everything else right, but if you don’t deliver what you promise, shoppers will not be happy. So, first things first, make sure that your products and services do exactly as advertised.
Yet, you don’t have to stop there. Could you wow consumers with exceptional customer service? Offer a feature that competitors don’t? Throw in an unexpected gift or perk every now and then? If there’s a way you could deliver a little extra, go for it.
2. Humanize Your Company
Technology and automation have become a huge part of daily life and business, but, as you probably know, not always a positive part. There’s nothing like being stuck on a less-than-helpful automated customer service call when all you really want is to talk to a living, breathing person.
Don’t allow your customers to feel that kind of frustration. Promote human interaction throughout your lead nurturing and sales processes, whether through live chat, free consultations, or prompt callbacks.
3. Personalize Your Interactions
Let’s set one thing straight as a follow-up to the last point: Allowing for human interaction isn’t necessarily the same as personalizing your interactions. Personalization involves making each customer feel like they’re your only one or, at least, highly valued. In what ways could you customize the experience you provide?
Through dynamic website personalization, you could tailor your site browsing experience to each website visitor. Your emails, even if you send them out in bulk, can be set to include the name’s of your contacts. You may even endeavor to memorize the names of your regulars.
Whichever route you go, remember this: Personalization pays off!
4. Show Genuine Concern
People like to know that you care about them, their needs, and their best interests. Show that you care. Draw these things out of your customers, getting them to share the problems and challenges they face, the things they desire, and so on. Get their thoughts on how you can help or make things easier for them.
Whether directly related to your business or not, showing real concern as you interact and converse benefits your business by creating a positive perception of it. Then, when you actually solve for those problems, that positive perception glows even brighter.
5. Educate Your Audience
In many cases, people prefer businesses that educate them over those that simply serve them. Be an educator, providing valuable insight into topics your audience is interested in. While this could include general information about your industry, it may also extend to company-specific info. Helping shoppers understand how your business, products, and services work will keep customer satisfaction high.
6. Treat Everyone Like a VIP
Whether they spend a dime or a dollar, whether they’re your newest buyer or your oldest, everyone should be treated the same. Every customer should be treated like your favorite. This is an approach that’s not only endearing but also one that’s often expected of small businesses.
7. Show Them Their Value
If your customers don’t feel or know that they’re appreciated, what will they do? They’ll be on the lookout for a competitor of yours who will make them feel valued. You don’t want that! So find ways to show your them how much they mean to you.
You could ask for honest feedback, which implies that their opinions are valued. You could offer a perk, which says that their business is appreciated. Or you could even ask for advice/recommendations in a social media post on something your audience is interested in. While it’s important to show your expertise, asking for help in an area your audience may have expertise in is a great way to show that you value them.
8. Respond Promptly to Communications
Whenever a customer comes to you with a question, concern or complaint, respond promptly and politely. You can be sure that keeping them waiting and failing to resolve issues quickly is not the way to boost satisfaction. Do the opposite!
9. Own Up to Mistakes and Shortcomings
Resist the tendency to shift blame or even to deny the existence of issues altogether. When a mistake or shortcoming is brought to your attention, acknowledge it, apologize for it, and assure the customer that a resolution is on the horizon.
10. Listen to Feedback
Continuing the previous point, don’t simply say that you’re working on a solution to the issues they raise. Actually use and apply their feedback.
At the end of the day, the customers are the ones you need to please. What better way to do that than to take into account their concerns and comments?
11. Prioritize Employee Satisfaction
Happy employees make happy customers. How so? When employees are less-than-enthusiastic about their jobs, it shows. Whether they simply have a drab demeanor or are impolite in some way, it shows. And it pushes away people who may have otherwise made a purchase.
By creating a healthy company culture, promoting a core mission, and making employees feel valued, your customer base benefits. They receive far better service and are more likely to continue doing business with you as a result.
How Satisfied are Your Customers?
As you can see, there are plenty of things you can do to make and keep customers happy. There’s no reason they should be dissatisfied!
If they’re currently not thrilled about doing business with you, take action to change that right away. If they are happy, there’s always room for improvement and it never hurts to improve the experience you offer! No matter which boat you’re in, the methods above can help you boost and maintain customer satisfaction.