5 Ways to Keep Your Customers Coming Back for More
Customer service should be at the forefront of every business' list of priorities, but all too often is neglected. Learning how customer satisfaction impacts your business and adopting methods to ensure your customers' satisfaction will help keep them coming back for more.
At times it seems as though quality customer service is a thing of the past. Some companies just don't appear to care about keeping their clientele happy. If only they knew how damaging this is to their business. Consider the following statistics from the White House Office of Consumer Affairs:
- For every customer who bothers to complain, there are 26 others who remain silent.
- The average "wronged" customer will tell 8 to 16 people.
- 91% of unhappy customers will never purchase services from you again.
- It costs about five times as much to attract a new customer as it costs to keep an old one.
- Each one of your customers has a circle of influence of 250 people or potential customers who hear bad things about you.
In view of these figures, companies that don't make customer care a priority could be losing thousands of dollars. The following are some simple ways to ensure that your customers remain happy and will keep coming back:
1. Say thank you. This is the simplest possible way to keep your customers happy, but it is all too often overlooked. A customer that feels appreciated is much more likely to bring you repeat business and/or refer you to a friend. Your clients are the reason for your business' continued existence, so they should be appreciated. Saying thank you is often enough, but imagine how much more valued a customer would feel if something more personalized was done to thank them, such as a thank you card, or a simple coupon sent in gratitude for their business.
2. Respond to customer inquiries promptly. People simply don't like to wait. Today's world of high speed internet, microwaves and cell phones are evidence of this. If a customer has to wait days to have questions answered by you, they will likely take their business to a company that responds to their inquiries quickly. This situation could be rectified by setting up an autoresponder to answer general questions, leaving you more time to respond to more specific inquiries. If you still can't find the time to respond promptly, then consider delegating this task to an employee or outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant.
3. Know when to say sorry. Learn to be accountable, not only for your own mistakes, but for those of your employees as well. When you consider that it is estimated that 35% of dissatisfied customers would not go to the competitors if they received apologies, you realize the true value of "I'm sorry". We all know that there are difficult people, who will never be pleased, but the vast majority of your clientele are not these people. Being sincere and genuinely trying to make a disappointed customer happy will undoubtedly help you to retain more clients.
4. Value your customers by giving them a little extra. This is a small step that doesn't have to cost you a fortune. It can be as simple as a small, unexpected free gift after a purchase, or providing a little extra service above and beyond that for which you were hired. Going the extra mile for your customers will make them feel appreciated and might even generate some referrals.
5. Personalize your service. Call your customers by their names and ask them how their day is going. Even if your business is conducted over the internet, there are ways to personalize emails to let your customers know that you care about them. If a client feels you know them, even a little bit, they are much more likely to show you loyalty and not move on to your competitors.
Without your customers, you don't have a business. Customer service should therefore be high on your list of priorities. Treating each of your clients with genuine respect and gratitude by following these simple steps is sure to merit your clientele's loyalty.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelly Sims is a Virtual Assistant and President of Virtually There VA Services. To find out more about virtual assistance and how using a Virtual Assistant can simplify your life and increase your profitability, visit her website at => http://www.virtuallythereva.com . While you're there, don't forget to sign up for her free monthly newsletter providing useful information that enhances and simplifies the lives of busy entrepreneurs.