Don’t Forget: Your Customers Are the Key to Developing Your Business
Regardless of what kind of business you own, your customers are and will always be the backbone of your business. If they are not happy, you don't make money. Remember this fact and incorporate it into your every business decision.
Appeal to People, Not Their Dollar
The customer never wants to feel like a cash cow. They should feel that you are doing them a favor, not the other way around. This can only be achieved by giving the customer a superior experience. There is simply no way to fake it. It is true that people want good value. However, it is also true that customers value a company that goes the extra mile in order to make them happy. Man times that means a business needs to treat a customer like a friend. According to Return Customer, “in business, being a friend means asking customers for their feedback. Finding out how your customers see your business is more than just friendly, it’s practical. How else can a company get a subjective view of their quality and service without getting input from those that are on the receiving end of it? It’s much easier to gain perspective on a problem with an outside view, and customers have that vital insight.”
Good customer reviews and testimonials are a must. When you know that you have thoroughly pleased a customer, try your best to get a testimonial from them. This gives you something to use in your advertising so that customers can relate to a real person who is (more or less) just like themselves. According to Podium, “an honest testimonial is usually more important to future clients than expert reviews. This is because these are testimonials from people who have actually spent money and time on your products and services. This is one of the reasons google values reviews so highly when it comes to local SEO.”
The Customer is Always Right
When the customer has a complaint, it can be tempting to just blow off their complaint and cut your losses. However, such an approach is devastating to your business over the long haul. Even one lost customer can be devastating during the early development of your business. Even once you are well-established, you certainly won't do yourself any favors by irritating the people who support you with their patronage.
The Importance of Repeat Business
Just as it is important to make sure that your customers walk away happy, it is also important to make sure that you are their first choice for the goods or services that you offer. According to Square, “research studies have found that when customers come back in, they spend roughly 67 percent more than first-time customers. Making sure people are repeat customers then becomes even more important.” You need to establish yourself not as an option, but the only option. For instance, let's say you are selling bicycles. You want to make sure that your shop is the very first one that your customers think of when they think about bicycles. So how can you do this? Simple. By providing a wide range of services and providing superior quality. If your customers have no need to seek out another bicycle shop, they probably won't do so. That means repeat business for you.
The Importance of Responsiveness
Another important key to customer loyalty is responsiveness. Inevitably, there will be those instances in which the customer has an issue that needs to be resolved. No matter how hard you try, product defects will happen from time to time. It is also impossible to avoid all employee mistakes. Whatever the reason, you can bet that conflict resolution will be a necessity. According to Sales Readiness Group, “learning how to and teaching others how to respond to both positive and negative feedback in the most positive way is a powerful skill to have. When feedback is positive, it’s vital to build up that positive feeling and to continue making the best of a good situation. When a situation is negative, you need to carefully handle the complaint and make sure to not provoke the situation or make it worse.” There is nothing more irritating than a company that won't respond when you have a complaint or a question. The normal reaction is to be infuriated, and one can hardly blame a customer if they react by slamming the phone down and swearing to never do business with that company again. This is why you must make sure that your company is responsive to its' customers. In the end, your company will rise or fall based upon the choices made by your customers. Before you just disregard the importance of taking care of the customer and making sure that they are as happy as possible, think about that. Consider the fact that your entire livelihood depends on your ability to please your customers.
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