By Louise Botha – Recruitment Specialist HR Company Solutions
Customer satisfaction is the ultimate success in business. A happy customer is a returning customer. You will get repeat business, good reviews, and recommendations which all grow your reputation and brand your company to the world.
Is the customer always right? To them, they need to feel that they are – or treated with respect when not. That means that they need your guidance and opinion on the expertise within the field of what they hired you to do. So, how do we keep them happy if or when they are not always right in our professional opinion?
You need to adapt your style and approach that you use to communicate with each of your customers as they are all different. You need to nurture and build on your customer relationships in order for them to last. Apart from building long-lasting relationships, there are many other benefits:
- When you invest in your customers, you need to listen and understand their needs in order to meet their demands. If you offer a great service, you will get repeat business and loyalty from the customer. This will ultimately reduce your marketing efforts and costs. You can spend more time on your customers than trying to get more once off business. Keep an existing client base happy and you will save overall.
- A happy customer is a great marketing tool to promote your brand. Look after your customer and they will look after you. Your reputation is what keeps you in the game and it will increase awareness of your great service and business.
- Use your network. Now that you have the relationships, use them to build on your own experience and extend your knowledge of what you can offer to more and other customers.
- Get your customers to leave recommendations. There are many platforms, including your own website, where it is important for you to have your satisfied clients leave positive reviews to accelerate your business growth. Perhaps ask them to email you their thoughts too!
WAYS TO KEEP YOUR CLIENTS HAPPY
- Listen – To build any strong relationship -personal, business, social – you need to listen. Give the other party the time to share their thoughts and needs. You need to listen carefully to understand them. Avoid being overpowering with words and use your listening skills to identify where and how you need to respond to make an impression.
- Regular updates and communication – Just because you have established the relationship with your customer now, does not mean that you just leave them and wait for them to approach you when they need you. They might need you, even when they don’t know it yet. Maintain your relationship with regular updates and checking in by communicating effectively.
- Be an expert – Always do your homework! Research! You don’t want to be left with no words or answers when you approach or communicate with a client. You will save time for you and your client if you already know their background and idea of their requirements as well as what is happening in their sector. Leave them impressed. It will show your expertise and make them feel that they are in good hands. Do not rely on the client to provide you with all the info, ask questions and cover what you were not able to find.
- Manage expectations – Never overpromise and underdeliver. Be open to your client on what are reasonable expectations. Many clients can be demanding, and you can be tempted to give in to that and promise results before you know you can attain them. Explain to the client why it will take longer, if so, and that it will ultimately improve the service you offer to them to make them feel secure that you can commit to the deadline.
- Personalise your approach – Not all clients are the same, so you will have to personalise the needs of each one. Where you identify the way you work with one, can help you to handle the next. This will make the client feel worthy and that you are not just offering a service, but a partnership and interest in their business.
- Feedback – Do not underestimate the need for you to get a client’s feedback. You might be moving forward. But when you have the relationship, it opens a door where there can be transparency and feedback on your performance and service can be shared with ease.
Knowing where you can identify and work on areas will improve your service and allow you to be better than the best!
In the end, it’s all about regular communication – the long term benefits will surprise you.