Archive for the ‘Customers’ Category
When is the last time you reached out to your customers to show them the love? Too often, we get so consumed with the day to day; we forget to build simple customer appreciation into our marketing. We forget to tell the customer that we are here to serve, we thank you for your business and we appreciate you. To create a loyal customer base, it is important that we have this open communication with our customers on a regular basis. Customer loyalty only happens when you connect emotionally and develop a relationship that is deeply rooted in their subconscious brains. Today’s customers are looking for great value, strong experiences and convenient shopping. Here are 3 actions you can take to show your customers the love.
1. Contact them to say “how are we serving you?”
So many times, we get so busy that we forget to reach back out to our customers to make sure we are doing right by them. Take this time to check in with you customers and ask them how you and your team are doing serving them and to find out what you can improve upon. You can also use this time to ask if there is any other way you can serve their needs. Remember, today’s customers are looking for convenience.
2. Surprise them with a small gift to say “thank you.”
When is the last time you randomly reached out to your customers just to say thank you for the business? The two simple words can make all the difference in your business and your quest to create loyal customers. You customers want to hear from you and simply committing to this action a few times a year, will make a huge difference. Customers love something for free. It enhances the experience and often will bring a smile to their face, so send them a small gift that says “thank you”.
3. Offer them something more to say “we appreciate you!”
Customers want value and they want to feel special. Competition for their business is so strong you want to make sure they the only message they hear is yours so continually add value and show your existing customers that you appreciate them. Add more bonuses and benefits to your programs or more ad on’s to your products and services.
The quest for customer loyalty is an ongoing battle so make sure you are in the fight. Treat your existing customers like royalty and let them know how special they are to you. Studies have shown that it costs twice as much to secure new customers than it does to keep your existing customers so take this opportunity to turn your existing customers into loyal fans. Create an emotional connection, add tremendous value, and show them you appreciate them.
Tomorrow starts Customer Service Week (Oct 3 – 9) – “Officially it ends the 7th, but with technology and 24/7 businesses… you should celebrate all week.
Accelerating your business is about creating standards and holding your people accountable for achieving those standards… it’s about evolving your business to the next level and now is the perfect time to raise your standards on customer service.
Here are some tips:
1) Set reasonable standards – people want to succeed so create a standard that moves forward but within reach. It should be challenging but achievable. To help anchor the behavior into your staff, I recommend that you set your staff up for success so they can experience what a win feels like.
2) Communicate, Communicate again and again – Your team need to know the new standards, need to understand them and need to feel they have the right tools to deliver on your expectations. Train your staff and show them exactly how you would achieve the standard. By jumping in the trenches and listening to the field, you will not only gain valuable information on the service side of the business, but create an atmosphere of trust with your staff.
3) Inspect what you expect – it is easy to go back to old ways so be sure to set up a process that inspects what you expect from your teams. As a business owner, you should be receiving regular feedback from your customers and using each touch point as an opportunity to build your brand. Remember, strong customer service is the strongest marketing you can utilize to grow your business and build your brand. Read: 5 Important Things to Ask Your Customers
4) Make it fun – change is hard for some people. So, make this change fun. Use this as an opportunity to create a culture that strives for excellence. Create contests and recognition programs for employees.
So many business owners believe that they offer the best customer experience possible. In my research I am finding that some are absolutely correct with a complete focus on the customer and the creation of a memorable experience. But on the other hand, some are so far removed from the customer that I don’t think they know what exactly a good experience would be. What is ironic is that these same owners really believe that they are #1 in customer service and are providing an unbelievable customer experience and are usually shocked when the customers leave and don’t return.
Is it possible to be too close to your business that you are not objective in your evaluation of your customer’s experience?
What are you doing to create the ultimate customer experience and why do you think it is special?
Please share by submitting a comment below.
In today’s day and age, obtaining a customer’s trust is one of the biggest acquisitions any business can hope to obtain but we often let our marketing fluff get in the way of making a true connection that leads to a purchase since most of our customers are bombarded with marketing messages every day, our message is often lost in the sea of ‘branding”. But, have no fear…. There is a tried and true method out there for really making a connection…. It is called sampling.
Let your customers try before they buy. It is one of the most successful marketing methods out there so don’t just give your customers a list of benefits, features and fluff, let them try out your product or service for themselves. This act of faith builds credibility and more importantly, builds trust and we all know that trust leads to a loyal customer for years to come. According to a recent study by the Opinion Research Corp, 81% of the people purchased the product after being given a sample first. So what if you could increase your business by simply giving away a taste? Would that have a direct impact on your business?
So when you think about your own business is there a way you can let your customer experience your service or your product first? At Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Shops across the country, you are handed a tiny pink spoon so you can try any flavor before actually purchasing it. Not only does this gesture remove the fear of making the wrong selection ( i.e. buyers remorse), it creates an experience that the customer remembers and the business can leverage into its marketing to attract more customers.
Want to increase your conversion rates? Give your products and services away. Go back to basics and allow customers to sample before they buy. Rediscovering this tried and true marketing strategy will be one of the fastest ways you will bring new customers into your business so here are some tips so you are successful:
- Target the right customer for the best impact.
- Limit the program to one sample per customer.
- Market your free giveaway for optimal results.
- Measure your results and adjust where necessary.
So look at your own business and find ways to create your own “pink spoon” philosophy. It could be a free sample of a product you offer, the first chapter of your new book or a free coaching session. No matter what business you are in, build trust with your customers by giving them a try before they buy!
Too often the difference between your business moving at the speed of molasses versus the speed of light is failing to ask your customers certain questions that will make a big difference in your business. Here are 5 important things all business owners should ask their customers.
1. Ask for the Business
The number one mistake most business owners make is not asking for the business. It is not enough to educate, inform and entertain your prospect. You must set out with a clear goal in mind and the determination to get to that goal. When your meeting is over, be sure to ask for the business.
2. Ask for Testimonials
A great way to attract more prospects to your business is through testimonials but many business owners fail to ask their current customers for a testimonial. When you are working with your customer invite them to provide you a written or video testimonial for you to use to attract others.
3. Ask for Referrals
Another way to grow your business is to ask for referrals. Chances are each of your customers know somebody who may need your services so why not ask them who you may be able to serve. Just remember to always follow up with a thank you gift for giving you the referral.
4. Ask for Feedback
Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. How can you improve your services unless you ask your customers for their feedback. The information you receive back will be invaluable to helping you strategize for the future and correcting any issues.
5. Ask How Else You Can Serve
Customer acquisition can be a large expense so find ways to keep your customers for life. Ask them what other needs or challenges do they have and find solutions to serve those needs. Too many fail to continue on their relationships simply because they are unaware of other opportunities so make it a habit to ask your customers how you can help.
Growing you business is simpler when you know how to ask your customers the right questions. They will become your best sales force and happy to promote you to others if you are truly bringing them value. Asking doesn’t have to be complicated or scary and should be built into your normal day to day business practices. Make it a habit of asking these 5 important questions to your customers periodically and watch your business soar.
©Kellie D’Andrea & Associates
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You can, just include this complete blurb with it: Kellie D’Andrea is the creator of BLAST Marketing System and publisher of the “The Marketing Edge” a FREE ezine for small business owners who want to gain the competitive edge. She also teaches a FREE virtual Marketing Class every Monday to teach business owners how to attract and retain more customers. Sign up here. http://kelliedandrea.com/blog/marketing-mondays/