Whether you’re a small business or a multi-billion dollar corporation, customer success is essential for keeping and growing your business. Every conversation, engagement and experience with your company must be thoughtfully designed to the very last detail. Because in this day and age, if your customers aren’t happy there is competitor around the corner ready to ease their burden. Here are six ways to get happier customers today.
1. Know your customers
The very first step in building a stellar customer service team is understanding who your audience is. If you’re barking up the wrong tree, odds are you will not be effective. Determine where you have the most traction and follow that path until it leads to fruition. The best way to understand your key demographic is to analyze your current sales, e-mail marketing campaigns, surveys, social media engagements and web traffic.
2. Always be there
Whether you need to hire more customer service representatives or outsource to a call center, every inquiry must be answered as quickly as possible. Every e-mail, call, tweet, post, and letter must be responded to. One way many companies have augmented this process is by implementing a live chat feature on their website such as ClickandChat, Olark, or Pure Chat. If you haven’t already, it’s wise to create a social media account on all popular sites including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram and FourSquare – proving a variety of avenues to accept customer feedback.
3. Embrace feedback and complaints
One of the major reasons customers need to speak with you is to resolve an issue. Rather than shying away from these sometimes negative conversations, embrace it! Be empathetic and patient to their frustrations and approach each call as a prospect, rather than a problem. It’s a learning opportunity for you to understand your client’s needs and improve operations. Teach employees about products, services and most of all the human touch. It’s essential that employees feel as connected to their customers as the CEO, so they can take ownership of each relationship. Employee incentive programs for high customer service ratings are great for boosting morale as well.
4. Award loyalty
Whether on a monthly or annual basis, reward your customers for their loyalty and continual support. Set benchmarks based on when customers reach a certain dollar amount of delivered service or purchased products, a certain number of referrals, or length of time they’ve been a customer. Some great gift ideas include a free item, pre-paid gift catalog, a discount on future purchases and location-based promos in which you can partner with other business to offer discounts or combined packages.
5. Be remembered, be unique
The main reason couples go out to dinner rather than cooking at home is partially for the exquisite food, but mainly for the atmosphere. Everyone wants to feel pampered and special at one point in their life. No matter what business you’re in, you are there to make the customer feel good. And what better way than by adding that special touch. Here are a few creative ways to make an impression on your customers:
- Offer VIP access
- Send hand written thank you notes
- Document their experience with a picture (who doesn’t love a photo booth/ polaroid?)
- Give birthday/ anniversary celebrations (send a card or give a small gift for customers on their birthday or when they’ve been with your company for a year)
- Special seasonal offerings
- Friends and family deals
- Pre-launch events/ beta testing
- Creative get togethers or private events
6. Track your victories
As with any investment, it’s wise to measure your success by tracking progress and keeping the end in sight. Your overarching goal of customer success can be determined by a variety of metrics such as an increase in regular customers, sales, referrals, partnerships, etc. These efforts can be measured via surveys, web traffic, and of course your books. Business intelligence systems like Finagraph can help paint a clear picture of the overall health of your business. Once you’ve documented all of your work, publish a detailed case study and share your knowledge on building an empire with the world.