Follow Through and Follow Up
Be sure to follow through and do what you promise to do. Better yet, strive to exceed your customer’s expectations. Communicate before, during and after a job. Be sure deliverables are on time and inform customers regarding delays and rescheduling. This goes a long way to build customer loyalty, repeat business and word of mouth referrals.
So, you’ve already accomplished one of the hardest parts of running a business: drawing in new customers. Now, an equally difficult task awaits: keeping your current customers loyal to you. In this economy, customers are more particular than ever about the companies with whom they choose to do business, so it’s extremely important to ensure that you are doing everything you can to retain the customer base you already have. Here are several pointers you can abide by to make customer retention one of the main priorities of your small business:
Monitor the behavior of your customer service staff or yourself !
Whether your staff interacts with its customers in person or over the phone, making sure that their behavior is at least professional is mandatory. With the unemployment rate as high as it is, you need to find a nice way to remind your employees that they can’t take their employment for granted. It is more important than ever for employees to remain on their best behavior, because it makes all the difference in customer loyalty
Make it easy for customers to communicate with you
One common mistake made by many larger businesses is by making their customers jump through hoops to communicate with them. It is not a smart move to install a phone service that requires customers to punch in dozens of keys on their telephones before they can get an answer to their question. Furthermore, putting customers on hold for too long is a serious mistake that could very well cost you customers and jeopardize your business’ reputation. Make it a priority to be able to clearly communicate with each and every one of your customers. This involves having good customer service over the phone, quick responses to email inquiries, and even offering a live chat option on your company website.
Be responsive on social media
A smart tactic you can implement at your small business is by providing quick responses to any and all social media interactions with your customers. If one of your customers writes on your company’s Facebook wall, sends you a Tweet, or bookmarks your site somewhere online, you need to be gracious and responsive! If your customers are using social media to let you know of any problems or issues they had at your small business, it is especially important to let them (and the public) know that you are taking their concerns to heart and doing something about it. Using social media sites to actually be “social” will certainly set you apart from your competitors.