The Most Important Factors For Keeping Your Customers

Aug 6 08:10 2010 Gen Wright Print This Article

Whether you own an ecommerce business or a brick and mortar store, providing your customers with quality products and customer service plays an integral role in the success of any business.

When you have quality products to offer customers and you treat them with respect,Guest Posting they are more likely to return.

Think about it, when you eat at a new restaurant, you are more likely to return if restaurant employees provide you with delicious food and they treat you with respect. You are also more likely to recommend the restaurant to family and friends.

Effective Listening.

This is one important skill every business owner should master. When you listen to your customers, you should be giving them your undivided attention. You can recognize your customers' needs and wants by asking questions and focusing on what they are saying.

In order to practice effective listening, you must have the lines of communication open. For example, when you're company experiences a technical problem with a product, make sure you communicate with your customers as frequently as possible whether it's with a phone call or a follow-up email.

If you have a large customer base with hundreds of customers, send out an email blast informing them that you are currently working on the problem. If you have a customer support line, place a recorded announcement informing your customers that you are working on the issue promptly.

This will give your customers a sense of relief that the problem is being rectified. Just make sure you rectify the problem as quickly as possible.

Customer Appreciation

Make sure you treat your customers like individuals. This involves using their name when addressing them. No one wants to be treated like a number. When you address customers by their name, you're establishing a feeling of trust. Make sure you thank your customers for their business regularly. In addition to sending out your monthly newsletter and product announcements, try sending out a simple thank you note to each one of your customers. This shows them you value their business.

Give a genuine apology.

An apology goes a long way. When you are faced with a challenge and a customer is dissatisfied with a product they recently purchased, make sure you always give them a genuine apology.

Go the extra mile.

If you want to stand out from your competition, keep your customer's happy and give them 'more' than they ask for. For example, think about what you can give to your customers that your competition isn't currently offering. You can find out by asking your customers for feedback and encouraging them to offer suggestions on ways to improve your service.

One way to get customers to participate is by sending them an annual survey for them to fill out. As an incentive, offer them a free gift or 10% off their next purchase. You can provide customers with a mail-in survey or you can provide them with an online survey to fill out and submit through your website.

Greet your customers.

If you own a brick and mortar store, make sure your customers are always greeted as they enter the store. The general rule of thumb here is to greet them (with a smile) within the first 40 seconds of entering the store. According to national surveys taken from reliable sources, consumers love to be acknowledged upon entering a store.

Customers ARE always right.

There is nothing more frustrating for a customer than a business trying to prove them wrong. So, put away your list of 20 Reasons Why Your Customer is Wrong because it certainly isn't worth losing a customer over. Remember, it only takes one customer to badmouth your business. Rumors can spread faster than a virus and one unhappy customer could lead to losing several other potential customers. If you have the mentality that the customer is always right, you will be more likely to gain more customers than lose customers.

Train your employees on how to give good customer service.

If your employees are not well trained in customer service, it will show. So, make sure you invest adequate time in providing your employees tips on how to provide good customer service.

This is a vital step for every company to take part in mainly because your employees are in the front line and represent your business. If they are constantly rude to your customers, this is a poor reflection off of your business.

The same thing applies for online chat customer support. If you have an online chat for your customers on your website, make sure employees (and volunteers) are friendly and helpful towards customers. There's no point in offering customers the option of chatting online with your support team if they are not compassionate towards your customers' needs.

Remember, when consumers invest their money in a company's products or services, they demand respect. Make every effort to properly train your staff on how to provide customers with quality customer service.

It's Okay to Bend the Rules.

Let's say you have a strict return policy that doesn't allow returns on clearance items. If one of your best customer's is adamant about receiving a refund on a clearance item they recently purchased, just give it to them. Bending the rules once in a while to save a loyal customer from going to the competition is definitely worth it.

Quality products and good customer service goes hand and hand...

Although it is vital to focus on having a great product to sell, don't forget about providing exceptional customer service to the people who purchase your product. A business can sell the best designed product available on the planet, however, if your customer service is lacking, you could lose your most important asset -- your customers.

What keeps a business going strong for years? Repeat customers. Although every business owner's goal is to have excellent conversion rates, if you are serious about keeping your customers, you must provide them with good customer service. Without your customers, your business would cease to exist.

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About Article Author

Gen Wright
Gen Wright

Tony Williams is a business communications consultant and the president at Global IT Communications and InternetT1.com, a full service ISP (Internet Service Provider) specializing in Business Communications, Dedicated Internet Access and developing online business. Please visit their websites to learn more about how they can improve the growth and service of your business.

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