You cannot have a business without happy clients. Learn how to keep your clients happy and coming back for more. As a business coach, I have a lot of experience in this area. These are my 6 golden customer service tips to keep your clients loving you!
1. Really listen to your customers.
You are in business to serve your customer's needs, and you can only do that if you know what it is your customers want. When you truly listen, they let you know what they want and how you can provide good service. This practice can save you many mistakes and makes sure your focusing on what really works in your business. Never forget that the customer pays your salary and makes your job possible. Listen to their words, tone of voice, body language, and most importantly, how they really feel. Offer effective listening with your undivided attention. To find out what they want, ask them directly, offer surveys, get feedback through social networking and focus groups. If you don’t ask, then you are assuming. And we both know what happens when you assume.
2. Get to the root of what your customers want, and give that to them.
Customers don't buy products or services. They buy good feelings and solutions to their problems. Ask them what is the end result that they desire. Most customer needs are emotional rather than logical. For instance, they are not buying paint from you, they are buying happy walls, or a feeling they want when they walk into the room. In my office, I wanted a very calming feel when people sat in my waiting room. So everything I purchased for that room created a Zen feeling.
3. Give your clients your full attention with complete sincerity.
Treat all of your customers as individuals. This is one of the signs of a good leader. Always use their name when talking to them, and find ways to compliment them, but please be sincere. Look directly at your customers when talking to them. A few years ago I went to buy a car and the salesman was texting on his phone the entire time with other potential customers. Even though I wanted the car, I did not feel he deserved the sale, so I bought it somewhere else. People value sincerity. It creates a good feeling and trust.
4. Make your customers feel important and appreciated.
Especially during a challenging economy, businesses are going back to the basics of taking amazing care of their clients. Educate them, give bonuses and appreciation gifts to help them feel special. Give more than expected and they will keep coming back for more. As a successful business coach in Orange County, when I find a good vendor or service provider, such as my website designer who I have worked with for 5 years, my accountant for 20 years and my fitness trainer for 15 years, I will not stray to the competition. Why? Because they take incredible care of me and my business. I would rather pay more money and know that they are there when I need them, giving amazing support and service, then a quick fix that I have to end up scrambling to fix again. Can you relate?
5. Say “Thank you,” again and again.
A simple thank you goes a long, long way. Think about what you can do to follow-up and thank people, even when they don't buy? Can you imagine how good that will make them feel? And don't be surprised if you are the one they call next when they are ready to buy. Think about what you can give your customers that is totally unexpected? What is a special gift that you can give so that they are blown away, and you are remembered? In my homeopathy practice, I have often given gifts for referrals, such as body and bath baskets, or bonus visits. In my Pinnacle program, I am always giving special surprises to my entrepreneurs. Who doesn’t love gifts? In this case, the giver AND receiver always wins.
6. Know how to apologize.
Lets face it. Mistakes happen. When something goes wrong, apologize. Just do it. It's easy and customers appreciate you taking responsibility. Deal with problems immediately and let customers know what you have done, rather than leaving things to simmer and eventually explode. Value their complaints. As much as we dislike them, it gives us an opportunity to improve and grow. Sometimes they are just having a bad day. If this ever happens, I always take the time to talk to clients and get to the root of the issue. This always turns the experience into a positive one.
Think of your customers or clients as family. Treat them with respect and appreciation, and they will become your biggest fans and promoters.
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Voice for Business Success
Allison Maslan, CEO of Pinnacle Global Network, The World Leader in Scaling Businesses. She is the Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author of, Scale or Fail, which is endorsed by Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank. Allison’s built 10 successful companies starting out at age 19. Her client list has included Ben & Jerry’s, Supercuts, Charlotte Russe, and Allstate.
Now she and her team of CEO Mentors pay it forward by helping business owners scale their companies, fast-track their success and create a more meaningful life. The Pinnacle Global Network, her private mentoring and mastermind enterprise has guided thousands of business owners over the past 10 years. Allison’s been featured in Inc., Success, Fortune, Fast Company and Forbes Magazines, is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine and a featured expert on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox across the US. Allison has also hosted her own podcast, The Scale or Fail Show, since 2011.