The Customer is always right.
While I don’t entirely agree that this statement is true 100% of the time, I do believe that the customer is always entitled to respect, good quality and exceptional customer service. Regardless of the size or type of business you own, the lifeline of your business, along with great marketing and financial management, is your customer service skills. Many entrepreneurs, especially miss the ball on this intricate detail. It is essential to have clients rave about your products and services, join your unpaid sales force – that’s right, they love you so much they bring you new clients out of sheer delight with how you work with and for them.
I know that in my world, having started my career in a Corporate Customer Service giant that it is essential to always be thinking of yourself as the customer. When you do, it helps you to create products and services that appeal to them, creating an experience they cannot wait to deepen. When you project this mantra each day in your business, it shows and your customers keep showing up.
Since our inception, we’ve worked with hundreds of clients who come back, over and over again. I have a growing list of clients who have deemed me their business coach for life. I share this not to brag about how wonderful I am but instead to share how much I value customer service and bend over backwards to ensure my customer’s needs and expectations are always exceeded.
When you do make a mistake, know that your customers know you are human and they are simply looking for acknowledgement and courtesy; which goes a long way and saves you from having to spend money locating another brand new customer. And yes, it is so true that when we have a bad experience we tell twice as many people as when we have a good one. So, if you want to avoid the backseat banter of clients’ gone AWOL, try these juicy customer service strategies:
1. Create a contact list of all your customers (a customer is someone who has made a purchase from you during the lifetime of your business). From that list, periodically send cards or make phone calls just to touch base with them and to see how they are doing. Let them know about what is currently happening at your company. This will go miles and miles towards keeping them engaged in your offerings. Remember, it should be your goal to make 5 calls each day and send a minimum of 5 handwritten notes each week.
Create a systematic way of staying in touch with your clients and increase your productivity through the automation.
2. When a new customer purchases from you, maximize the first 30 days of their experience using an immediate thank you card or hand written note, or perhaps a video, and of course an auto-responder system that checks in on their progress and lets them know what they should purchase next to deepen their learning. Tell them what to do next by creating an engaging new customer experience.
3. Statistics show that most consumers who enjoy a product or service would like to hear from the company at least twice each week, to that end be sure you have a systematic approach to staying in touch with your customers on a weekly basis.
4. Require some form of client information sheet so you can capture key personal data like each client’s birthday, anniversary and children’s names. Call them, email them or send them notes on each of those key days or mention their children in cards, calls and other notes. There may be times that you will be the only birthday or anniversary wish they receive and as sad as that is, it will definitely build customers for life.
5. When you offer a special incentive or offer savings on your products and services tell them immediately. Also, send periodic coupons via the regular mail with a longer expiration date.
Bonus: And when they order from you, always offer some form of bonus and free gift with purchase, they will LOVE it and keep coming back for more!
My personal recommendation is to create a customer service plan, a systematic approach to keeping your customers engaged, equipped and informed about how you have created products and services just for them. In creating your plan include these elements as well as others that help you to deliver impeccable service to a group of people who understand your value, evidenced by them being your clients. Creating a plan to service them will help you to be more productive in your business. Your plan should include the steps and sequences you will take to serve them with detailed processes that makes this level of interaction in your business easy for your team to duplicate.
It’s true we are only as good as the number of customers who buy our products and services. Don’t have any customers; you better check your customer service.
©2011 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, The Incredible Factor Business Mentor and Coach, is the founder of IncredibleOneEnterprises.com and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System® a proven step by step program for turning your passion into profit. For more information and a FREE audio CD “How to Use Your Incredible Factor to Attract MORE Ideal Clients” visit https://www.incredibleoneenterprises.com.