While getting a new customer is always an objective, keeping that relationship through every single touch point is a process. Customer loyalty is the result. Here are six guidelines for how to create customer loyalty from your very first interaction.
Entrepreneurs, take lessons from big companies about how to do (or not do) certain things. When it comes to customer service, United Airlines has provided a treasure trove of lessons for small business owners. Not necessarily to follow, but to learn from!
Customer satisfaction is a result; usually, of successfully executing a series of fundamental processes, procedures, and guidelines in multiple areas of the company. Focus on the getting the processes right and the result will follow!
Most entrepreneurs assume that they have happy customers. They want customers to love their product and company. Few know what customers are feeling and fewer still elicit or solicit the love they seek. Learn 5 tips how you can improve your customer care.
Too many small businesses, don't realize that change is inevitable if a company wants to grow. And that change, often, involves making hard business decisions that, just as often, impact customers. But how that change is communicated to them is critical.
Almost every entrepreneur, at one time or another, proclaims that their service and support is what separates them from their competition; what makes them special. But, too often, help desks don't help and customer support, doesn't.
"Going the extra mile" for a customer, often, is what defines the culture in many small businesses. But like in any relationship, the "love" has to go both ways...as does the respect and the responsibilities for the relationship to succeed and grow.
Customer service is more than a good voice answering the phone; more than a couple accolades from some satisfied customers. It has to be part of the culture of the company. But for many entrepreneurs, it's mostly "all talk, no walk."
A customer-centric culture is where the customer comes first and the prime focus of everything the company does, externally. That starts with how you treat your employees, internally. You show your customers the love, by showing your employees the love.
The phrase "the customer is always right" has been gospel for nearly 150 years. But for entrepreneurs, always trying to "go the extra mile" to please a customer, there are customers who will take advantage. Sometimes, you have to "fire the customer!"
A Bob Dylan song, "Positively Fourth Street," had a great line in it - "...I wish that for just one time, you could stand inside my shoes, and for just one moment I could be you." Have you ever thought about trying to stand in your customer's shoes?
Great customer service is critical to the success of any small business. However, so is a quality product. They are two sides of the same customer experience coin. You have to be focused on both or you won't keep customers, long-term.
A line from "Cool Hand Luke" that is, often, what causes negative customer relationships. Not just with direct communication with the customer, but, as likely, with the internal communication (or lack thereof) within a company that affects that customer.
A very Zen-like expression, don't you think? Zen emphasizes the attainment of enlightenment and wisdom gained through direct insight. And that is exactly what you need to build a market and create and sustain successful customer relationships.
Virtually, every entrepreneur says they are a "customer-driven" company. But often their actions speak far louder than their words. Wherever you are in your growth cycle, your actions dictate how important customers REALLY are to your small business.
Every entrepreneur I have ever known has always put "great customer service" at the top of any list of company strengths. Yet, often, this same entrepreneur is doing things that are subliminally undermining critical aspects of good customer service.
Sales is the lifeblood of business growth, but is followed very closely by customer service. Just so we're on the same page, my definition of customer service is building and maintaining customer relationships (the C-R of CRM).