Your customers keep you in business, so you need to have happy (read: loyal) customers if you expect them to come back. It’s far less expensive to maintain relationships with past customers than to develop new relationships. Your energy is best spent on your customer service strategy.
Here are 10 best practices for happy customers.
1. Emphasize Customer Service First
Make customer service a top priority in your company.
Good customer service means that employees have positive interactions with customers while solving a problem. Customers should be helped quickly and they should always be helped with a smile. By developing a clear and concise customer service strategy, employees feel supported which allows interactions to play out smoothly.
Customer service should be a significant part of your business’s mission statement and core values. When people come on board, make customer service a large part of training. Finally, you need to clarify expectations. When an employee does make a mistake, have a clear process for how to handle it. Recognize what mistakes are trainable and which ones are grounds for disciplinary action.
2. Utilize Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool that can bring people together, including businesses with customers. Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are great if you want to reach a lot of people at one time at a very low cost. Most social media platforms are also informal, allowing you to showcase your personality as a company.
Utilizing your brand voice is important to build trust with your consumers. In order to drive social media engagement, you should create consistent, relevant, and timely content. You can also offer social media exclusive discounts. While Facebook has the most active users of any platform, you should diversify your use of social media by including other top platforms as well, like Instagram and Tik Tok.
Create social media accounts for all the popular social media sites. You can even use a simple tool, such as Frolic, to help you manage all your accounts from one simple location. By communicating to your customers where they are you are they are more likely to hear what you have to say. Taking this step in your customer service strategy is a spot many brands miss.
3. Respond to Reviews
Online reviews are a great way for customers to give feedback. People will write reviews about their experience with your company in a variety of different locations, such as Facebook, Google, and Yelp. Positive reviews can help encourage other people to do business with you.
When people see you have high reviews, it gives you a better reputation. You can even promote some of the positive reviews on your website or social media accounts. Negative reviews can be used to your benefit, too. Use these reviews to make positive changes to your business or service model. Respond to people who left negative reviews with an attempt to remedy the situation. It’s an opportunity to make things right and earn a customer for life.
4. Create a Great Website
We all know how important it is to make a good impression. The same is true for businesses as it is for people. A website is oftentimes the first interaction a customer has with your brand. To make a good impression, you need an attractive website that is easy to navigate and fits your brand.
Most people use a WordPress to build their own sites with little or no coding experience. WordPress offers a variety of templates to make creating your website easy while still being functional and pleasing. There are templates for every business or personal venture imaginable. You will also be able to personalize things to really show your skills and personality. Be careful about the colors and font you choose. Try to balance branding, readability, and aesthetics.
And if you have someone tell you that websites don’t play a role in customer service strategy, they are wrong. This is the first stop in making sure your offerings are clear and questions are answered. Customer service is more than just after a purchase. It is a strategy at every part of the buying process.
5. Create Customer-Focused Content
When you create content to put out there in the world, the foremost characteristic should be relevance. How do your products or services serve the needs of your consumer? The content on your site is made specifically to engage with them. Think about your audience. What will they respond to? Is there something they will enjoy? What is popular at the moment?
Create content that people will need or want. It needs to be informative, interesting, and easy to read. You should also include pictures or videos for people who like visual stimulation. When you post the content, make it shareable. This way, people will be able to share it with others who may not already be familiar with your brand.
6. Provide a High Quality Product
Have you ever bought something only to discover it was poorly made? It’s likely that one interaction with the manufacturer sours you on ever purchasing from them again.
Make sure you offer a high-quality product or service that isn’t going to disappoint your clients. By having certain standards for your product or services, and then living up to them, you create loyalty. If for some reason the item doesn’t live up to expectations, you should offer a replacement.
7. Track and Analyze Data
Tools are available to help monitor website traffic, effectiveness of ads, and other operational processes. Many of these tools are already built into the dashboards of the various sites you use – WordPress, Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc. all provide their own data points. Most of this data relates to your online presence and how engaged your visitors are. It also allows you to parse how many of your visitors are repeat and how many are unique.
You need to learn about the tools available to you and how to utilize them. It’s your responsibility to track these things to be as effective as possible.
When you analyze the numbers, you will be able to execute changes in your business model to be most efficient. Adjust your budget to cut spending where it isn’t working – perhaps in GoogleAds – and increase spending on things that are effective. If you aren’t technologically advanced, you can hire someone else to help use the tools for you. Look for digital marketing experts in your area to learn more.
8. Reward Loyal Customers
Many customers don’t get the impression that the companies they shop with have their best interests at heart. Many times, companies are far more focused on getting new business and forget about their current customers. Don’t let your customers feel that way! You should do something to reward long-term customers for their loyalty.
There are a number of ways to reward your customers. Start simple by offering discounts for people who spend a certain amount of money. You can also develop a rewards program. Use a card or app to track the customer’s activity. When they hit a certain mark, they should get a free item or significant discount. Customers will come back when they have a coupon they can use.
9. Give Your Customers a Voice
Customers want to be heard. They need a way to let you know their opinions. These opinions are invaluable since you are making a product for these people. Ask specific questions about things you may change in the future, such as color or packaging. Leave a blank space for open ended feedback as well.
Start by offering different customer surveys for them to take. Put information on how to take the survey right on the receipt. You can also make it easy for people to reach out to you on the website, too. Read emails with suggestions and make appropriate changes if you notice one particular point keeps being made. You can even post quick social media polls to learn what people think. These tools make customers feel better. They will feel even better if you actually make changes due to their suggestions.
10. Say Thank You
One of the best ways to make customers happy is probably one of the most simple things you can do – say “thank you”. Every employee should thank each customer when they check out. The employee should also ask the customer to come back again. You can thank customers in other ways, too.
Start by writing thank you on receipts. You can also thank people on your website, social media and through personalized emails. Finally, you can thank customers with a gift. As part of your customer service strategy, thank customers for their business with a simple card or gift. Send out a postcard to old customers, especially if they haven’t done business with you for a long time. You can even include a new sample or a coupon in the postcard.
Your customer service strategy is your plan on how to keep customers happy. It’s not enough to keep them happy when they buy a product. You need to keep them happy after they buy the product. So they continue to return to you or send their friends.
Customers like a solid product, communication, easy to navigate websites, and a general good attitude from your employees. Start today to create a customer base that will sustain your business for years.