Satisfied, faithful customers are the cornerstone of any business. With the advent of social media, an unsatisfied customer can share their opinion with all their Facebook friends and Twitter followers. For example, if you run a restaurant, several negative reviews on sites such as Yelp can adversely affect your business.
While a few negative posts and tweets won’t affect your business if your customers are otherwise satisfied, you want to be sure that they are happy with the level of service they receive at all times. So how do you keep customers happy? 3C Contact Services, the leading provider of outsourced call center solutions, tells their partners that there are steps they can take to guarantee customer satisfaction:
- Interact With Them: Don’t be a faceless business, talk to your customers like you would in person and address them by name. If you bring a personal touch to your customer service, there’s a greater chance they will let their friends know about your business as well. Always respond to tweets and posts on your Facebook page, or any social media, for that matter.
- Respect Your Customers: It goes without saying that if your employees are rude to a customer, you will likely lose that customer. Be patient with your clients and take the time to resolve their issue; if your customer feels comfortable, they will provide feedback that will prevent the issue from reoccurring.
- Listen to your Customers: Always ask your customers for feedback, whether it’s surveys, focus groups, or via social media. Also, always follow through on the feedback you receive.
- Offer Ongoing Incentives: If you offer your customers incentives, such as discounts, giveaways, and contests, these incentives should be distributed through a variety of channels that include e-mail, social media, and more.
- Build Trust: If you’re going to make major changes, such as moving to a new address, using a new URL for your organization’s web site, or revised billing practices, you should let your customers know immediately via e-mail and/or social media.
Being transparent is of the utmost importance. If you made a mistake, be honest about it and apologize, and if you made a promise to a customer, follow up on it and do so consistently. And remember, no matter what, the customer is always right. To that end, create policies that will allow your employees to effectively deal with unsatisfied customers and turn them into satisfied ones.
Perhaps the biggest way you can make your customers happy is to tell them “thank you.” According to 3C Contact Services, three out of four customers say they stick with a company if they are treated with kindness and gratitude.
“10 Ways to Make Customers Fall in Love with Your Customers,” KissMetrics.com, http://blog.kissmetrics.com/true-love-with-customers, last accessed March 25, 2014.