Every business has keeping customers happy as one of its goals. Several factors affect their level of satisfaction, including interaction with employees, the company’s response to problems, and the customer’s expectations when doing business with you.
The manner in which your employees communicate with the customers has a definite effect on profits. People enjoy being around cheerful, knowledgeable employees who seem to genuinely enjoy their job. Employee training should include leaving personal problems at home, and displaying a professional demeanor at all times in the customer area. Your employees must also know about the products or services you sell, so they can address any concerns or questions your customers might have.
Most customers will forget what you told them shortly after leaving. Many people are poor auditory listeners. This can cause problems for you as a possible miscommunication of “he said – she said”. Create a small “customer care” card and jot down the info your customer needs to know.
Put important information in writing. For example, you could type a little info sheet of the most frequently asked questions, as you see on many websites. Post a copy by the register or other prominent place, and keep a few copies for new customers. Post it on your company website. Thorough communication is crucial for excellent customer service.
Happy customers know what to expect from you. Complaining customers have paid for one product or service but received something less. For example, a fabric store sells different qualities of fabric. It advertises quilt fabric in the dollar bin, which usually costs $8 and up per yard, and has a stampede of women at opening time. However, if it puts low quality fabric in the bin, too thin to quilt, then the customers will feel misled and shop with the fabric store’s competitors. They will also trash the business to their friends. Make sure that your advertising accurately reflects what you offer, and that you can meet any promises you make.
While every business owner wishes that all of his products were the perfect fit for each customer, the reality is that a certain percentage is regularly returned. While your company most likely has a return policy posted at the register, some businesses go a little beyond that when the return is the fault of the company. A small incentive keeps your customer happy for his inconvenience.
The physical premises have an effect on your customers. You do not have to spend a fortune decorating the customer area. Some fresh paint, silk potted plants, freshly scrubbed carpeting and polished floors present a clean and inviting appearance. Some colors are more likely to invoke happiness in your customers, including the warm tones of red, yellow and orange.
Stay in communication with your regular customers. Some companies have opt-in email newsletters, while others prefer to mail a monthly or quarterly newsletter. Consider what your targeted customer enjoys when choosing articles for the newsletter. Include a coupon that gives them a discount for making a purchase. A customer who feels special is easy to keep happy.
About the Author
Heidi is a social media maven and a freelance writer for Kanetix.