Feel free to disagree with me, but customer satisfaction is probably the most important thing for your business. No matter how well your product works, no matter how many degrees your CEO has, no matter how nice your office is, if your customers don’t feel respected and appreciated, they’ll probably be heading somewhere else. A Harvard Business Review study found that a 5% increase in customer loyalty can increase profits from 25% to 85%. Going the extra mile to impress your clients doesn’t have to cost a lot, but it’s clear the extra effort is worth it. Here are some tips to keep your customers smiling.
It’s too obvious, but if you’re honest with yourself, it’s probably the easiest thing to forget. You might not be mean to your customers, but are you truly kind? You’re tired, stressed, maybe hungry. It’s easy to forget the common niceties your mom taught you. Please and thank you. Eye contact. How are you? One of my favorite suggestions is to smile when you answer the phone. The person on the other end can hear it.
Employees that enjoy their job and are engaged in the company and its mission and goals will, by default, go the extra mile for their coworkers and their clients. We’ve blogged before about the importance of company culture for creating engaged employees before. Flexible work arrangements and recognition programs are a couple ways to keep your staff committed to the company.
Give your employees the power to make the customer happy. When someone can bypass the whole “I need to ask my manager.” step, the process goes a lot more smoothly to everyone’s satisfaction. Empowered employees, knowing they are trusted to act on the company’s behalf, are more likely to be engaged employees.
Did you have to refer the problem to a coworker? Did a customer mention their child’s soccer game? Follow up! It will make your clients feel valued and let them know you’re listening.
We all have moments when we fail. A product doesn’t work as promised; an email goes ignored in the shuffle. But when you have a strong relationship with your client, rooted in a history of customer satisfaction, these upsets are only minor blips on the radar and not deal-breaking disasters.