Putting your customers first
In order for your business to succeed you need to fully understand how much your customers really mean to you. They are not only there to make the tills ring, but also to help drive your business forward. If you listen to them, and really take on board what they have to say, your customers can quickly become the foundation of your business, as well as your most useful and useable tool for ensuring future growth.
Go beyond polite exchanges and really try to connect with your customers at every opportunity. Follow these top tips for maximising customer interactions and really learning how to put them first:
If you or your staff regularly interact with customers face-to-face, over the phone or even by something as remote feeling as email, then you are officially working in a customer facing environment. By being able to communicate effectively, empathise with the customer where necessary and inspiring them to buy, you will have devised a winning formula for excellent customer service and engagement at all times. Use this in every interaction to leave them feeling delighted with the service you offer.
Reciting the same platitudes to every customer or simply not really listening to what they have to say, means you may leave them feeling distinctly unimpressed. Personalise your patter to make it feel unique and engaging and really listen to what they have to say.
When you get into the habit of doing this, it is important to be able to incorporate that same customer feedback into every aspect of your business. Whether you are a new start up or an established brand, every communication matters.
By being able to quantify the wants and needs of your customers, you can start to profile them for the future. Their age, occupation, lifestyle choices and spending habits are all important, as is knowing what motivates them to buy and how often they are likely to access and use your products.
Let them help you choose your staff
By using your newfound understanding of exactly who your customers are, you can start to build a sales team that can influence and engage with target audience. Bright young things are attracted to other bright young things, while other types of buyer want to be reassured by someone with more experience of the world than they have themselves.
You should also be sure to ask your customers to rate their experience of your sales team on an ongoing basis. Let them give praise where due, or criticism where needed to help you hone the skill and ability of your sales team on a regular basis.
Finally, become one with them
In order to really understand the way your customers feel, you need to learn to think like one. This shouldn’t be too hard, as even the most dedicated sales professional becomes a consumer outside of the office.
When you go shopping you want to be advised by someone more knowledgeable than you, inspired by someone with a passion for their product and treated not like a fool, but instead as a like minded individual who is worthy of their time and effort whether you buy from them or not. Guess what, your customers want to feel that way too!
The better you are able to think and feel like a customer, the more focused and successful your own customer service strategies will become. Being able to empathise in this way will also have a positive effect on your bottom line. With customers expecting seamless, full service experiences, and multi-channel accessibility, your profit and loss projections are now subject to a universal approach, that will benefit greatly from first class customer service.