As small businesses, we sometimes struggle to get new customers. There is so much competition out there. So how do we keep customers coming when there is so much competition? We may agree that reaching out through social media, Google Adds, and other ways we will find them. Some of the user content marketing to attract more customers. That is all good. However, how much do your customers really understand you?
It is important for every business that our customers understand the value we provide. However, they are looking for customer care as much as solutions. That is something that we often forget. We try to deliver what we promise, but often find our customers are not as happy as we expected –even when we have been trying hard to be perfect. If only we knew how to make all customer happy! By having highly satisfied customers we will get good reviews, which will evidently help our business. Moreover, it is easier to retain a current customer than to get a new one. What we need to do is shift our focus from expecting our customers to understand us, to understanding the needs and concerns of our customers.
Here are 3 steps to creating a great experience for our customers and obtaining great reviews:
#1 Listen actively to your customer
We think we are good listeners, but most of us are not. That is because we have trouble detaching from our thoughts and interests when listening to others. It takes extra effort, but if we can do this, we will be able to perceive the nuances, and even identify who will be a good client and who will just be a pain. The latter is often best to let go, as they will drain our energy, which we could use much more wisely to keep good customers happy.
#2 Be clear about what you CAN and CANNOT do for them
When trying to engage a new customer, we tend to say yes to everything. Once the client is locked in, we do the things we can do, and leave out what we cannot. The consequences can be tremendous. A customer may become (understandably) upset, give us a hard time, and may even file a complaint! We might then even have to renegotiate the price to our detriment in order to prevent the complaints from escalating. The best policy is, therefore, to be clear about what you CAN and what you CANNOT do for them. No surprises.
#3 Schedule “check-ins” with your customers
Have a regular check-in sessions where you discuss your progress on their project. That way you ensure you are on the same page. There might be a few changes along the way, which is natural. Because your customers do not understand the way you work or the costs involved in each addition or change, you must always keep them the current of their financials with you. If during step 1 you learned about their total spend budget, make sure you keep them informed about their state of accounts and warn them well before they reach that point. The best policy is transparency.
If you follow these three steps, you are on the path to obtaining more of the good reviews you want for your business, which in turn will get you more clients.
Dani Rius, MSc in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, is a professional Strategic Intervention* coach, empowering clients to become leaders and communicators with impact. Dani specializes in leadership and communication, resilience and emotional intelligence, and the culture of learning and innovation. Dani runs a half-day workshop on Customer Service Excellence.