“The customer is always right” is more than just a catchphrase. Everyone on your staff must be trained to make clients feel welcome and important, and that their needs are a top priority. After all, without your regular buyers, your business isn’t going to be very successful. Returning shoppers are the same ones who typically leave reviews and spread the news about your brand to others.
According to Edeman, 81% of customers decide whether to buy from a brand based on how much they trust them. Your first step in showing people you care is by becoming trustworthy. Once you’ve established transparency, there are other things you can do to show clients they are your top priority.
1. Create an Amazing Experience
Customer experience (CX) is everything when it comes to how people interact with your brand. They shouldn’t have to hunt for the information they need. When they land on your website or walk into your store, everything should be marked clearly. Simplify and cut things that don’t serve an obvious purpose.
O’Neill does a good job of narrowing down options on its landing page, so the consumer sees clearly where to go. It offers three options: men’s clothing, women’s clothing or customer service. There isn’t anything to distract from the main goals of the page.
2. Respond Quickly
Have you ever contacted a company and waited days for a response? It doesn’t exactly scream that they care, does it? If you want to prove to your customers that they are your top priority, respond as quickly as possible.
You could add live chat to your website, for example. You’ll need to staff it with agents during business hours, but preferably 24/7. You could also start a policy of responding to emails within an hour. The faster you answer questions or concerns, the more responsive you’ll seem.
3. Offer the Right Tools
Unless you really know who your customers are, it’s difficult to give them the tools they need to solve their problems. Start your journey by creating a buyer persona representing your average customer. You can create more than one, if needed. Utilize analytics, surveys and information you’ve collected in your database to ascertain who your customers are.
Once you know who they are, it will be much easier to figure out why they might visit your store or website. You can immediately offer tools to help them on their journey.
Thompson Machinery knows many people who come to its website want construction equipment. While it marks information about hours of operation, buying new equipment and rentals, it also adds a box to the right of the screen labeled “Search Used Equipment.” Users can easily narrow the results to the heavy equipment they need and find out what’s available.
4. Follow Up
Anytime someone makes a purchase, follow up with a personal phone call, card, text message or some other communication. Reaching out, especially to new customers, ensures they are happy with the item and allows you to show them you care whether they are satisfied.
5. Incorporate Reviews
You can tell customers all day how great you are, but they are much more likely to believe what their peers say. Look for ways to add reviews and testimonials to your promotions. On your website, you can link to your Google reviews or share comments from Facebook. You could also install a reviews app on your page and allow people to write them directly on your site.
REEDS Jewelers adds a box in the lower right of the screen, just above the fold, that showcases Google reviews. Site visitors can click on the box to pull up additional details and read more from other customers.
6. Offer Omnichannel Support
More customers expect to be able to access you via different channels. For example, if they order an item online and it doesn’t quite fit, they want to be able to bring it to your store for a quick refund or exchange. Look for ways to create cross-channel experiences and make life easy for your customers.
Consider Amazon’, which allows some orders to be returned to Kohl’s or other locations. Letting consumers return items locally without having to print a bunch of labels and simply show a barcode on their phone eliminates much of the hassle of trying something out.
7. Offer Direction
If you have a unique product or service, your customers may need to go through a bit of a learning curve. Provide webinars, articles and instructions to help them through each step of the process. If they still need additional guidance, live agents should be available to chat with them. Do everything in your power to make the experience as positive as possible so they remain with your company for the long term.
Lightning Tools offers software syncing up with services such as Microsoft SharePoint and Teams. It helps companies become more productive, but if customers can’t figure out how to use the features easily, then it becomes more of a hindrance than a help. Fortunately, the company has developed webinars to help teach people how to use its product. In addition, it offers the opportunity to submit a support ticket or engage in live chat for more help.
8. Develop a Customer-Centric Culture
Your company culture can determine how your staff treats clients. Put the focus on how the customer is the most vital aspect of everything you do. Host training sessions about how to better serve people, reward employees who go out of their way to make a new client feel welcome and share why your users are the most important part of your company.
9. Reward Loyalty
Some customers may buy from you often or place big orders a couple of times a year. Others might buy smaller amounts but send you many other referrals. Take the time to reward people who are loyal to your brand and help you build it. Send them a small token of your appreciation. Pick up the phone and call, thanking them for referring others. Show your clients you appreciate their efforts, and they’ll reward you with continued allegiance and word-of-mouth marketing.
One of the best ways of making sure your customer service is top-notch is by putting yourself in your customers’ shoes. If you were them, what would you want from a brand? Ask for feedback, be open to big changes and thank people along the way. Never forget it is your clients who put you where you are. Without customers, you wouldn’t even have a business, so be sure they understand what they mean to you.