This week, we feature an article by Kathleen White, an independent business analyst for several small businesses. She writes about letting your customers know that they are important to you and your business by making sure that they feel heard. Running your own business can be amazing – you can control your own working hours […]
This week, we feature an article by Kathleen White, an independent business analyst for several small businesses. She writes about letting your customers know that they are important to you and your business by making sure that they feel heard.
Running your own business can be amazing – you can control your own working hours and make all of the important decisions, but ultimately you are responsible for the success of the business. A business can’t exist without customers of some kind, and whether you provide services or sell products, it’s really important to ensure that your customers feel heard. Not only will they feel more valued, but their feedback can help the business to grow.
One of the easiest things you can do is to send out customer satisfaction surveys. You could do this after a purchase or after they’ve reached out to you. There are plenty of tools you can use to automatically send out a survey via email, even allowing you to choose your own questions and receive feedback as soon as the customer completes it.
This feedback, whether positive or negative, is extremely valuable. As a business, there are always ways to improve the experience for your customers, so learning where any gaps lie gives you an opportunity to fix them. Not only could it generate more business in the future, but any customers who brought up the issue will feel heard if they see their feedback implemented, which in turn can build up a greater sense of brand loyalty.
This one might sound simple, but a ‘thank you’ can really go a long way. As a customer, if you buy something and don’t hear anything from the business after, they’re not likely to stay on your mind. Whereas if you received an email, text or even a call to say thank you for your custom, you might be more likely to recommend the business to others. A small gesture can really go a long way in building the reputation of your company.
When an issue does arise, how it’s dealt with can make or break for the customer. If something has gone wrong with their purchase, make sure that it’s easy for them to get in touch with someone who can help. It can also help to have processes in place for specific issues, detailing any compensation or discount options available.
Receiving some money back can show the customer that their issue is understood and is an additional form of apology. Offering something like a 10% discount may not make a huge impact on the business, but it could help to retain a customer that you otherwise would’ve lost.
It’s not just about the monetary incentives when complaints occur – the customer service representatives are equally as important. Depending on the size of your business, it could be just you responding to customers or maybe you have a whole team. Either way, invest in some training to properly equip your staff to deal with complaints. A friendly, professional person that listens patiently can sometimes be all that the customer needs.
You might find it beneficial to implement some KPIs and metrics in order to track customer satisfaction. Setting KPIs or metrics for the business to work towards can help to provide some direction by having achievable, measurable goals in place. It can be really rewarding to see the improvements these changes can make to your typical statistics.
A great example of a KPI to start you off is “Achieve a customer satisfaction score of X%.” You can customize the percentage to be manageable for your business, perhaps setting it 5% higher than it previously has been. This is measurable through feedback survey results, further reinforcing the importance of collecting regular feedback. If you and your staff start to see a difference in your numbers by implementing any of these strategies, it can be motivating to see that all of the hard work wasn’t for nothing.
Kathleen White works as an independent business analyst for several small businesses. She enjoys writing in her spare time to share what she has learned in hopes of benefiting other businesses.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors, go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: Today’s Customer Has A Need For Speed
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