But, what if you only had customers and clients who did business with you just one time? You’d find it much harder to make money, to estimate earnings, your marketing budget would of necessity have to increase and your business would, in general, be a struggle.
The most significant difference between a business that struggles and one that increases revenue and make profits more readily is loyal customers who purchase products and/or services again and again.
To gain a loyal customer, however, involves building a strong customer relationship. Even before you can build a relationship, you must deliver an outstanding customer experience from the first contact, whether that’s on the phone, on the Internet, or in a one to one setting.
1. Make It Easy to Contact You: Have you ever gone to a website and clicked around without finding a name, telephone number or an email address? Yes, the Contact Us page may be there, but for an initial contact it can seem impersonal, especially when the name of the owner of the website or business is missing.
When my company creates websites for small business owners, we make sure that their telephone number is on every page. For entrepreneurs, we make sure that it, along with their name, is on the About Us and Contact Us form.
Since tech-savvy prospects and customers often do their search online, you may feel that a telephone number is not a necessity. Not so.
This means that there are still 28% of customers who want the option to speak with someone. Note also that the 72% mentioned in the report prefer self-service. It means that it would be in you and your customer’s best interest to have a section on your website designed to answer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s).
Failure to make it easy to contact you could result in loss of business.
The same is true if you have an offline business. It may be a brick and mortar, or you may work from home. Either way, make sure that people have several different options to get in touch with you. It makes for an outstanding customer experience.
2. Greet People with a Smile: Imagine being invited to someone’s home or office and when you arrive the hostess barely looks you in the face, and avoids your eyes; does not greet you a smile and just managed to say, Hello. How would you feel? Pretty uncomfortable, wouldn’t you? You probably would take your leave as quickly as possible.
This, in effect, is what happens when we fail to greet customers, clients, and prospects with a smile. The invitations- flyers and ads – looked great, but the reception leaves a lot to be desired. People want to feel that they are welcome into your business, and a simple smile conveys that thought.
Remember that a smile can be heard in your voice over the telephone, so smiling on the phone is not a wasted exercise. It infuses your voice with warmth and charm, and attract others to you.
Closely tied in to greeting customers with a smile, is reaching out to them. There is a huge difference from sitting back and waiting for the client or customer to come to you. “How may I help you?” in a warm tone can be five delightful words to someone who knows they have a problem or challenge, but is not sure what to do to fix it.
There are so many directions I could take the next point on delivering an outstanding customer experience, but I’ll keep this point simple.
3. Provide an Outstanding Experience So Your Customer LEAVES with a Smile: I’ll never forget the day I watched the first “Rush Hour” movie. I recall getting out of my seat at the end of the movie and walking through the door of the theatre with a big smile on my face. I kept thinking, ‘That was so much fun. I can’t remember the last time I left the theatre with a smile on my face.” (I do like tear-jerkers and epics, like Titanic, so this was a welcome change.) It’s been over 15 years and that experience has stayed with me.
That’s the kind of feeling you want customers to have when they leave your business or hang up the phone. The interesting thing is that even if there was an issue and it was not resolved to the total satisfaction of the customer, because you listened to them, you showed them respect, and made it clear that you value them as a person and a customer, in 98% (my assessment) of cases, you would have created an outstanding customer experience for him or her so that they’re happy at the end of their interaction with you.
These are only three of the many ways that you can deliver an outstanding customer experience. By implementing these strategies, you’re laying the foundation on which to build a strong relationship with your customer and allow them to get emotionally attached to you so that they become loyal customers and advocates.
Building customer relationships is one of the pillars of your business, and I invited you to visit http://blueprintforbiz.com to claim your Entrepreneur’s Success Kit, which includes an audio discussion on the importance of building customer relationships.
Thank you for reading my blog post and please leave your questions or comments below.