Relationships with your customers mean everything to your business. Furthermore, nurturing those relationships is vital to growing and retaining your customer base. Since the business world has turned primarily towards automation and online interactions, it’s often very difficult for customers to feel like they’re valued. That’s why this should become a major part of your strategy.
According to an American Express Survey, 7 out of 10 Americans said they would spend more money with a company if they felt like the customer service representatives really valued them. Customers recognize businesses based on their experiences, and they reward those that make them feel truly special.
Does your business cater to the desires of its customers?
1. Don’t just give customer appreciation gifts—personalize them.
Customer appreciation gifts are a great way to say thank you and encourage further purchases. However, they aren’t always successful. A gift that a customer can’t use or is unappealing doesn’t provide much value. On the other hand, gifts that cater to customer preferences stand out and inspire repeat visits.
It’s hard to appease customers when you don’t know them personally, but there are small things you can do. For example, you could send birthday gifts tailored specifically to men, such as portable toolkits or shaving sets.
2. Treat customers with genuine care.
Are you simply going through the motions with your customers or are you engaging with genuine interest? Customers who feel like representatives hear their complaints and resolve them with compassion are much more likely to tell their friends.
As a general rule of thumb, talk to customers like they’re people. This might seem obvious, but it’s tough to deliver a great experience when you’re talking on the phone or trying to get through the workday. Personal contact will have a much higher impact on customers than robotic interactions.
3. Show respect through every interaction and don’t come on too strong.
Rude customer service can kill a business. Not only can one bad customer experience prevent repeat customers, but dissatisfied customers also tell their friends, preventing you from gaining new leads. Treating every call with respect is paramount to building your reputation.
Additionally, don’t come on too strong with sales pitches during the call. Customers usually want their problems solved when they call in, and you can respect them enough to back off when they express disinterest in further purchases.
4. Remember names when addressing customers.
Always begin every customer service call with your name and ask for the name of the caller. Use the name several times throughout the conversation. It’s a small thing that makes a big difference. As Dale Carnegie liked to say, “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
5. Continue to satisfy and offer value.
After the customer service issue has been resolved, maintain a strong reputation through continued value. There’s never a reason to slow down or stop offering value to your audience. Having a nice chat over the phone helps, but isn’t enough to secure return visits.
Aside from offering ongoing support, point out specials that make the customer feel valued. Special coupons that are only offered to select members, sweepstakes, giveaways, and social media contests all help a customer see you have their best interests at heart.
6. Plan a customer appreciation day.
Nothing says “I appreciate you” like an entire day of commemorating customers. For physical businesses, an event with free food and activities can aid your customer satisfaction goals. Online businesses can achieve a similar effect with social media contests, activities, and special discounts on purchases.
7. Express appreciation for purchases.
Do you say a personal thank you after a customer has made a purchase? Your version of appreciation could be as simple as an automated email message following a purchase or as extravagant as a small gift packaged with the customer’s order.
Gratitude can singlehandedly build your reputation and make customers respect your company