We live in a very competitive world so if you are lucky enough to have loyal customers, you want to make sure you keep them. After all, it takes time and effort to attract more customers.
Most of us will have experienced good and bad customer service and it’s normally only the bad services that we tend to talk about.
That incredibly long wait on the phone to get a customer service person for Spark or Vodafone…
The dreary music droning on while waiting for the ‘next available person’…
We should continually strive to get it right when it comes to looking after our customers and adding value, wherever possible, is the way to go.
Here are some suggestions that will get you real brownie points with your customers and get them talking about your business in the best possible way. This is still one of the forms of marketing you’ll always want and it generally leads to referrals.
So looking after your customers is imperative.
Here we answer five common questions that will help you understand the best ways to attract more customers to your business.
What core value do you deliver to the customer?
- a principle or belief that a person or organization views as being of central importance.
The core values within your business will reflect in your level of customer service. Your company values start at the top and trickle all the way to the customer.
If you are not upholding strong core values yourself, your customers may not feel as though your service is genuine.
As the definition states, core values are of central importance. Your core values are at the heart of everything you do as a business. They’re there to refer to when making decisions, they give your employees something to strive for, and they will shape your company into what you hope it will be.
When you have strength in your core values, you’ll know exactly what you stand for. The result? A business that offers the best possible service to its customers.
How do you make customers feel special?
We all like to feel special. And when we’re about to spend our hard-earned money on a product or service, we want it to be an experience rather than just another transaction.
The customer experience begins the moment they recognise the need for a product or service. Whether they’ve done prior research or they’ve simply stumbled upon you, it’s your job to show you appreciate them from the moment they come into contact with you.
There are so many things that we can do for our customers to make them feel special.
It doesn’t always have to be a huge gesture, a little goes a long way.
From a compliment to a tangible gift, there are all sorts of ways to show appreciation for your precious customers.
Keep in mind that if you don’t consider your customers to be special, it’ll show in your approach, no matter how hard you try to fool them. Your customers are special and you need to wholeheartedly believe it.
Why is customer value important?
Customer value is the term used to describe the way customers perceive a particular product or service. If a customer doesn’t see your product or service as being worth the money, they see it as being of low value to them. It’s here that they will look elsewhere for an alternative.
If you provide value, you will attract more customers.
First of all, you need to know who your customers are. Once you have identified who will benefit from your product or service, you can then begin strategies to earn customer value.
From strengthening brand awareness to creating excellent first impressions, there are many ways to enhance customer perceptions.
The process of earning customer value takes time and you need to be patient while your customers develop positive perceptions of your business. When you see the way customer value helps to attract new customers, it’ll be worth the wait.
How do you build strong relationships with customers?
Here are a few suggestions on how to do this without too much effort.
Made a mistake? Be the first to apologise and do whatever it takes to fix, so you retain your client. There is no room for egos when you are in the wrong.
Communication: Do you only send out newsletters or emails when you want to sell a new product or service? Why not put your clients on a rotating list and give them a call every few months and say hi, for no reason other than to keep in touch. It doesn’t have to be a long call – five minutes is plenty (a good job for your office manager).
Gratitude: A simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way and while it is basic good manners, there are people who forget or don’t think it necessary. Why not send a thank you card to your top clients or a client who has referred you a good deal of work. It will not be forgotten and they will tell others.
Introductions: Networking, offline or online, is still a popular way to refer people for business. They will appreciate the referral as you are giving them the next best thing to a testimonial.
Listen: This tip is often overlooked and if you get it right it’s gold! Listen to your customers.
What are they saying on social media?
When was the last time you had a chat to a customer and listened to how his business was going?
Customer surveys (keep them short) are a valuable way to let your customers know they are valued.
Best advice you will ever get: listen to your customers.
Generosity: Freely give information that will add value to your customers. If you find a new online tool that saves time and/or money, and would benefit your customers, let them know about it. One company I know has put together a library of resources for their clients. This does take time, but it also serves as your office manual, which is invaluable to your team. You will already have all this information at your fingertips, so collating it and giving access to your customers will be much appreciated.
How do you retain customers?
It’s all very well to attract more customers but if you’re not prepared to put in the hard yards to retain them, you’re not going to gain all that much.
Customer retention is the most important factor in securing customer loyalty and growing your company. But retaining your customers takes as much – if not more – effort than acquiring them in the first place.
So how do you do it? Here are five ideas:
Stay in touch with your customers. With so many modes of communication these days, there’s no reason why you can’t promptly answer their questions or provide follow-ups on purchases.
You’ll know your customers better than anyone else. Ensure you are consistent in your approach to solving their problems through your product or service. If they feel like you could do more for them, go over and above to do it. It won’t go unnoticed.
It’s absolutely essential that you believe in your product or service. If you are not 100% committed to it yourself, how can you expect your customers to be? Being passionate will make selling your product or service effortless.
If you understand the value of your customers, it should be easy to build relationships with them. Relationships build trust which, in turn, will increase customer retention.
Be transparent and honest
You can over-promise all you like but if you can’t deliver, your customers are going to see right through your dishonesty.
Your customers are smart and shouldn’t be underestimated.
Treat them with the utmost respect at all times and you’ll quickly see that honesty truly is the best policy.
If you apply only one of these tips on a regular basis, you will certainly reap the rewards and attract more customers. Value your customers and watch your business grow!
When it comes to customer service, there is always room for improvement. We should always strive to do more for our customers and earn their loyalty.
For online businesses especially, there is a lot involved in achieving customer loyalty.
Here at HPE, we can help you attract more customers through quality content, social media strategies and SEO. Give us a call today to find out how we can boost your business potential.