No matter what kind of business you’re in, treating your customers well will go a long way toward attracting repeat business and gaining loyal fans. If you’re looking to improve your customer service skills, here are ten ways to make your customers love you.
1) Add Value
If you want customers to return and keep coming back, give them a reason. Value can be both tangible (such as lower prices) and intangible (e.g., your appreciation or attention). If a customer feels like they have received something of value, they are more likely to buy from you again and recommend your business to others. It’s important to note that value is relative—what’s valuable to one person may not be valuable to another. For example, if you offer free shipping on orders over $50, it might not matter much if someone spends $50 or $100; however, if you offer free shipping on orders over $200 it will probably mean more to your customer if they spend $200 than if they spend only $100.
2) Provide Quality
When you provide quality products or services, it gives your customers peace of mind. Let them know that you stand behind your product. When customers are confident in what they’re buying from you, they’ll feel better about spending their money with you. Keep an eye on all aspects of quality—including safety, reliability and compliance with industry standards. And don’t forget customer service! One survey found that 80% of consumers were willing to pay more for better customer service. So if you want loyal customers, make sure they have a great experience every time they interact with your business.
3) Show Personal Concern
If a customer has an issue with your product or service, don’t try to make excuses—show that you care. Apologize and explain why you made a mistake and how you plan on fixing it in future business practices. Showing that you care about their satisfaction makes customers feel more positive about your company overall, which increases trust and loyalty. This is especially important if you have repeat customers; keep them happy and they’ll keep coming back for more.
4) Listen to your customers
After you’ve built something great for your customers, talk to them about it. Hear their feedback. What would they like that you didn’t offer? What do they find frustrating? Once you’ve heard what your customers have to say, take it into consideration when building your next product or developing new features. And make sure that their voices are heard throughout your entire organization. If your customers don’t feel valued, they won’t stick around for long.
5) Ask for feedback
Most customers are happy to give honest feedback, but they might not feel comfortable bringing it up in a public forum. Take their concerns into consideration and adjust your approach accordingly. For example, if you find out customers aren’t satisfied with one of your products or services, ask them what you can do better next time. If you get positive feedback, let your customers know how much you appreciate it! A little recognition goes a long way.
6) Be prompt
Being on time shows respect for your customer’s time and shows that you value their business. Even if you have only 15 minutes with a customer, be sure to show up on time (or early) and don’t cut corners during your visit. Every interaction counts. If you have an appointment at 9:00 AM, arrive at 8:45 AM so you can make small talk with customers in line before they get inside. It might seem like a small gesture, but it can make all of the difference in building relationships and increasing referrals.
7) Be consistent
Consistency matters. It’s tempting to go all out during a customer appreciation week, but if your customers see that you’re not going out of your way all year round, they’ll start taking you for granted and look elsewhere. Instead, be consistent in showing them how much you appreciate their business—they’ll notice and appreciate it more than sporadic bursts of attention. Be sure to thank them regularly via email or social media, offer discounts or freebies on regular occasions (such as their birthday), and take time to get to know them personally so that you can be more helpful when they need it most.
8) Offer incentives
Think about what your customers want and offer it! This might be a no-brainer, but oftentimes businesses fail to properly listen to their customers. There’s nothing wrong with taking an idea from someone else, as long as you implement it in a way that makes sense for your business. For example, if you are a hotel chain, don’t offer restaurant discounts—offer free Wi-Fi and free coffee in your lobby instead.
9) Avoid overselling/under-delivering
One of most common complaints customers have is that they bought something online but didn’t get what they paid for. To avoid overselling/under-delivering, don’t oversell your product (e.g., make sure that your picture and descriptions are clear about what you’re selling). The same rule applies if you sell a service—if you promise a certain level of quality or expertise, make sure that your work lives up to it.
10) Don’t take yourself too seriously
Being a bit self-deprecating can go a long way with your customers. After all, no one likes being treated like they’re stupid. While you don’t want to constantly talk down to your customer base, you can lighten things up by sharing humorous, witty stories about yourself and what it’s like running your company on social media or in marketing campaigns. This approach will also help humanize your brand and make people feel more connected to you—and therefore more likely to purchase from you.
When people are having fun, they tend to forget about any negative experiences that might have occurred in their past dealings with you or your business—and that can lead them back into your store again and again.