10 Ways To Keep Your customers Happy
10 Ways To Keep Your Customers HappyIn a world where everyone tries to delight us, why are we not so very delighted?Companies lose customers because they go elsewhere. And the reason why customers go elsewhere is that the people who serve them are indifferent to their needs.Isn't it extraordinary that while everything seems to be getting better and better... it also seems to be getting more and more the same!
Here are ten ways to keep your customers happy:1. Understand what people wantYou must keep asking questions of yourself: 'What's the unmet need...?' 'How are we doing...?' 'How can we do better...?' 'Why do people buy our product at all...?' 'Why do they buy it from us...?' 'How are we different from the competition...?' More importantly, ask these questions of your customers and listen to the answers.2. Engage your customersAt all levels of the relationship, try to engage the customer. They do not want to feel like mere numbers, they want to be treated like individuals with individual needs. Treat them how you would like to be treated yourself. Talk to them and listen and create real relationships.3. Real relationships blow away the institutional hypeConsumers are fed up with mass-produced mediocrity. They are fed up with discovering that something that they thought was personal or local (like an Irish bar or so-called farmhouse cheese) turns out to be manufactured by the big fat cats. They feel conned and ripped off when this happens. 'Authenticity', a genuine product rather than a created manifestation from the brains of the marketing department, will generate 'customers for life'.4. Infect your customersDo you want your business to be seen as ordinary, average, run-of-the-mill boring and dull? Or do you want it to be an exciting, energetic, memorable, extraordinary, 'wow' experience for your customers? If you want to leave a legacy, then why not make it a powerful one. And your customers will love to be part of it.5. Infect your staff with your enthusiasmInfect your staff with your enthusiasm and passion for your business. Just like you hate to be served by a bored waiter in a restaurant, so your customers will want to be served by your willing and attentive staff. Make sure that you know what goes on between the staff and the customers - spend a day a week working with customers! Get staff to positively touch customers with the pride that you invest in your work.6. Create memorable 'wow!' encounters that inspire customers to spread the 'legend' to othersLook at every part of the customers' interaction with the business. Score it on a scale from 'worse than the competition', to 'as good as the competition', to 'better than the competition', to 'wow!'. How much of your service will make your customers go 'wow!'? Find ways to make your service significantly better. Think of the impact this would have on sales!7. Forget about sellingCustomers hate to be 'sold at' but they love to buy. Figure out how you can help people to buy from you. Why should people bother to buy from you? What makes you different? What makes you special? And do you communicate this effectively?8. Make everything simple and easy to understand for your customers and for yourselvesScore yourself (out of ten?) on this one. Can you think of simple ways that would significantly improve your score?9. Create a culture where people find real pleasure in giving service to othersYour people should act spontaneously from the belief that delighting customers is their real job.10. Never forget that what customers value most are attention, dependability, promptness and competenceIs this really so very hard to deliver? Evidence would suggest that it isÂ…. But think of the benefits to you if your business could deliver this way!And, the best kept secret of customer service?Service tends to be bad because it is really very hard to do, perfectly, all the time. Try being a waiter for a week!However, the really hard part of providing excellent customer service is everything but the service. The hardest part is to do with how the company thinks about what it is doing. Most train operators and airlines offer bad service and bad food because they don't think of themselves as service organisations; they see themselves as machines for generating revenue from seat miles.THINK SERVICE FIRST!Robert CravenThis article was originally posted on The Directors' Centre Business Club. You can go to the www.directorscentre.co.uk to download a PDF Copy of the article.
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