Keeping existing customers is cheaper than finding new ones; but to get repeat business you need to create satisfied customers. So how can you measure customer satisfaction and loyalty? Even if budgets are limited, there are a number of ways you can find how satisfied your customers are with your products and services, such as with NPS score which help measure customer loyalty. Above all, keeping customers happy reflects that actions speak louder than words. A commitment more than promised will put you ahead of the competition.
Understanding your customers
Understanding customers is the key to giving them a good service. To give good customer service you must deliver what you promise. But great customer care means getting to know your customers so well that you can anticipate their needs and exceed their expectations.
To understand your customers well, you must be aware of them whenever you are in contact with them. The potential rewards are great: it can increase customer loyalty and bring new business through positive recommendation by word of mouth. There are three main ways to better understand your customers. One is to put yourself in their shoes and try and look at your business from their point of view. The second way is to collect and analyze the data in order to shed light on their buying behavior. The third way is to simply ask them what they think.
1. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers
Understanding customers requires you to take a look at the points where your customers have contact with your business. These include meetings and visits, phone calls, correspondence and deliveries. Do your facilities look scruffy, is your receptionist hostile or your phones ringing unanswered? All of these things can make a customer feel disappointed. The most common complaint from customers is that companies make them wait. If you are slow to return calls or comply with orders, then you are in danger of losing customers. Above all, customers want you to deliver what you have promised and exceed their expectations.
As a small business, you can offer a personalized service. If you remember a client’s name and remember your last conversation with them, you will have brightened up their day. They will also tell their friends about you and the good service you offer. Understanding your customers and improving your service should be a priority throughout your company. Everyone from the front desk to the supervisors and delivery staff should focus on exceeding customer expectations.
2. Use of data to understand your customers
Your database or customer relationship management (CRM) system contains valuable information about your customers that will help you understand their needs. Investigate the data you have about your customers. Look for patterns about their previous orders so you can see what their needs are. You can also use the data to analyze your performance. Check how quickly you respond to orders or deliveries of goods. CRM systems are more sophisticated than simple mailing lists because they contain information about customer behavior and preferences, they can improve customer satisfaction and retention. They can help you identify customer needs more effectively, allowing you to sell better and increase profitability.
3. Ask your customers what they think
Conduct a customer satisfaction surveys and make your customers feel valued. You will also get valuable information. But do not ask for comments if you are not ready to make changes. When you make improvements, tell your customers what they have done as a result of your changes. Customer surveys may tell you things you may not know, including human factors such as staff behavior. Not everyone complains when they are dissatisfied. Instead, they tell their friends about their bad experience and take their business elsewhere. Unless you proactively consult your clients, you might never find out where it is going wrong.
In addition to asking for feedback, set up a customer contact program to make sure you stay in touch with them. A good customer contact strategy will allow you to listen to your customers and tell them more about what you offer. If you choose to get professional help, look for companies or individuals who specialize in measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty, they can tell you which questions work better than others and the best order to ask questions. They will also be able to provide expert interpretation of collected customer data.