Happy customers = more sales = more money
Holiday’s season is approaching. Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year. School holidays are already here.
For many companies this is the time for more business, an opportunity where everyone in the trade of selling something are rubbing their hands gleefully for more sales, more revenue and to the next year with their dreams more palpable.
Everyone loves money. Spending power increased exponentially during this year end season. Not to mention many companies dole out their rewards and bonuses around this time. Tourist escaping the winters in the north starts arriving in drove. Hotel and other hospitability industries are racking up their tariff in view of higher demand. Anticipation for more money is here, in this season. It can be translated at the happiest season of the year.
But few people involved in any way related to an industry or trade may know the keys to keeping the customers happy. We just produce and sell. Some keep up their usual moody countenance at the front counter. Some companies intentionally place young and good looking sales personnel at the same counter. They know their attractive front line personnel may make some customers happy and come back again. Of course some may come back and gawk at the beautiful people strategically place there. But still the crowd is induced. It made your business look good if there is always a crowd.
Why companies differentiate on their services. Of course the answer is part of marketing mix and making a customer happy and appreciated is an integral part of marketing. A happy customer will certainly come back to you and there is repeat sale. What season when return sale is best? It is now. NOW.
Key to make your customers happy
Tom Peters, an expert in customer service once quipped that taking care of customers, treating them special, getting to know them better, respect their individual differences and own up to your mistake are all the ingredients for customers’ retention.
The guru of customer service may have summarized all the keys to customers’ retention in one sentence. The keys to keeping a customer happy can be explained in detail below:-
According to a survey, nearly half of the customers expect response within six hours. Unfortunately only 1/3 of companies meet this dateline, meaning they missed this opportunity.
- Transparency and responsibility. Keep the customers updated on what is happening with the company on regular basis. You may have events and new products. Keep them informed.
- Incentive and reward. Discounts, coupon, gift etc are all for the sake of making them happy and come back again. Introduce customer bring customer incentive would be even better.
- Engaged and get personalised. It is perhaps one of the most important key to unlock the heart of your customer. An important key in marketing mix and essential key to the emotional well-being of them, at least at your counter. Their self-esteem may be boosted in their interaction with you. Sale will certainly entail after their self-esteem went up. It is sale psychology many may have missed. But even though some may not know the word psychology, somehow they feel better after a positive interaction with a sale staff. A person who walks away feeling happy after a sale, will certainly return again because the memory of that positive encounter with you will turn him back. Getting personalised involved having a humane approach to them. Say sorry when you make a mistake. Own up to any shortcomings. Don’t stop them from venting and complaining about a product or services. Be attentive and non -judgemental to their complaints. Always listen without passing judgement. Make a peace offering if you may have slighted them. Another key to get personalised is to know their individual needs and respect their individual quiddities. Consider your client’s day. Be sensitive to their individual schedule. Not to call them when at certain time when they are engaged with heavy work or driving.
- Measure and analyst situation. Set up a measure mechanism to analyst why they are unhappy. Survey form distributed could help. Ask why they are unhappy. Survey results at least can make the situation look more intelligent. Measures can be more accurately developed to tackle it.
- Stay ahead of the curve. Prepare in advance for predictable chaos. It involved anticipating contingency. Sometime, customer may be irritated for waiting too long when most of the staff forces are on holiday. Plan your business in conjunction with high demand season. Make sure you are well staff and well stocked during this time.
- Go above and beyond. Going the extra mile to make them appreciated is a crucial component of marketing mix. Best offer idea, tips and suggestion. Some company take the extra mile by sending a happy birthday wish to their customers on their birthday. It can be done by collating their personal information in a survey form mentioned earlier. In the absence of this, you can take the extra mile by connecting with them via social network like Facebook. Get their birthday date from Facebook and send them a birthday wish on that day. They may have gone seventh sky in their elation when they received such a birthday wish. There is no other way to make a person happier than receiving a birthday wish. Such an emotional gratitude would certainly turn your customer back to you if you take this extra mile to appreciate them. Social networking is a perfect platform for those who want to go the extra mile. And it is done at the cost of nothing. All host of social networking are free of charge.
- Listen, listen and listen. Always listening to their venting and be attentive to what they say without being judgemental is another way to make them feel important.
- Own to your mistake. Any companies may have their own shortcoming and weaknesses vis-à-vis to that of a competitor. Customers may have compared and commented. You may have said something that offended your clients. Say sorry. Apologise for your mistake or the company’s shortcomings. Never argue with them or apportion blame to others. It will definitely incense them more if you use this wrong approach. A person who argue with his clients or hope to pin the blame on others may have thrown the keys to customer’s satisfaction away.
Tom Peter told that it is important to know that an upset customer may never come back. For some business where their location rendered them a need to have repeat customer, this is a very important key. This may include those retail outlet at the far suburban fringe where there may not be many new customer stumbling into their shop. They need repeat client to survive. Keeping your client happy is even more crucial for these retail outlets.
Retail survey revealed that an average of one out of four purchases went wrong. Customers may be unhappy over a product, rude sale staff etc and there is still a wide area for improvement.