Customer satisfaction is everything in business. To make money, you not only need to convert leads to make sales, you need to retain those customers to ensure they keep coming back.
But providing top-notch customer service isn’t always easy, especially for small businesses just learning the ropes. Is the customer always right? How do you communicate positively and professionally? Are expensive Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms worth the investment?
There’s a lot to stress over when thinking about the fate of your fortune and how to earn five-star ratings that will drive business growth. Today’s post discusses some key strategies to improve satisfaction so that returning customers and new referrals keep coming your way.
- First Impressions are Everything
Your goal is to create a lasting impression that lives on in the flattering memory of shoppers’ mind. That starts with the very first interaction they have with your company.
Do you run an ecommerce site online? Then your website should be easy to find, pleasing to look at, intuitive to navigate, and fast to load. All of these contribute to what’s called User Experience (UX) and play a significant role in all-around satisfaction. Make sure you claim your business on Google’s local listings, and if your website looks like it’s from the 90s, hire a web developer who can redesign the site for you.
Small businesses operating in a brick and mortar space need to prioritize first impressions even more highly because there are so many more aspects to consider. Your storefront must be neat and pristine, but warm and inviting. Employees need to be friendly and attentive, without hovering or coming off as aggressive. Shelves should be stocked and frontloaded, not sparse and dusty.
Audit the appearance of your store and make changes where due. Make sure to greet each person who walks through the door and provide unbeatable customer service during every interaction.
- Add Value to Your Product or Service
The best businesses are the ones that solve a need or simplify a solution—even one that a customer might not know they need quite yet. Consumers want anything that makes life easier, especially if they can get it at a great value.
You should try framing your product or service in a light that benefits customers; that way, they’ll believe you’re selling not what they want, but what they need. This makes the purchase more justifiable in their mind and increases the odds of returning for a long-term necessity versus a short-term desire.
Then, add value to your offering so they feel like they’re really getting their “bang for their buck”. You can do this by learning from the entrepreneurs who came before you. For example, if you’re running an accounting practice, read through professional tax software reviews to invest in the most popular platform. Then advertise the well-loved features as an included part of your service that clients will receive at no additional charge.
- Follow up for Feedback
Once you close a sale, it’s important to realize that the buyer’s journey isn’t over quite yet; you need to follow up with them for feedback on their experience. Ask if they were satisfied, whether they’d return or refer you to family or friends, and if they have any comments on how your company can improve next time.
Hopefully, you have plenty of happy reviews, but in the event you receive negative feedback, don’t get too let down. Use the criticism constructively as a learning opportunity.
- Offer Discounts and Savings
It can be more challenging to acquire customer data for follow-up communication when you’re selling in-store because online shoppers are typically required to submit their contact information at the point of sale. An ecommerce CRM platform will be able to automatically collect that info and plug it into a dashboard for effortless email correspondence.
However, you may be able to entice in-store shoppers into providing their email address if you sweeten the deal with discounts and savings. While they’re checking out, ask if they’d like an emailed receipt. If they say no, you can offer them a free membership that entitles them to discounts, savings, or cash-back value. You can then follow up for feedback, give them a referral code, offer them a surprise sale on their birthday, so on and so forth.
Ultimately, great customer satisfaction all comes down to making them feel valued as though they actually matter, not just count toward some number or metric. Get to know them, appreciate them, and watch your business grow!