Having loyal customers is the key to running a business. Repeat customers can make all the difference in the world as far as profit margin goes, not to mention the extra business gained from word-of-mouth.
Even a first-year economics student can tell you that word-of-mouth is the #1 way to grow your customer base without spending one red cent on advertising. The question, however, that many business owners face is how to take that first step.
Common sense says that to have repeat customers that are going to tell their friends about you, they have to leave your business happy. Here are ten no-nonsense ways to help make customer service your calling card.
1. Customer service training. It sounds basic, but investing a few bucks in proper training manuals is an investment that can pay off. If your employees understand the best way to deal with customers, they will help communicate your business philosophies at every turn, thereby allowing customers to see your dedication to the business. This will not only keep customers coming back to your door, it will also help the recommend your business to other potential customers.
2. Offer the best deals in town for your customers and they will come back again and again. If it’s possible that you can have a deal that creates an edge over your competition, offer it every chance you get. You want customers to see your commitment to them, not your commitment to making more money for your business. In turn, you will end up making more money for your business, just by offering customers the best possible deal.
3. Have an ironclad return policy that will make them feel confident. If a customer is unhappy with their product, they need to feel that you will make it right. If you offer a strong return policy, a customer might be more likely to purchase from you, knowing that they can get their money back if they are unhappy in the end.
4. Offer the best possible warranty to ensure that they know they are getting a quality product. Some places offer little or no warranty on products, but customers want to know that if they are spending the money on a product, it will work just as you said it will. If it doesn’t, they deserve their money back, and you can communicate this thought to them through a strong warranty. Customers will always know that they are sure to get their money’s worth through your products.
5. Whenever possible, sell the best quality products you can get. Selling junk inspires no customer confidence. If you sell a good, quality product to people, it will be recognized. Your sales will go up through word-of-mouth recommendations just based on the sheer quality of the products you sell.
6. Teach your sales staff to smile and don’t use high-pressure sales techniques. Pushing customers to make purchases as soon as they come through the door is not the best way to get a sale. Having sales people available for questions is the right way to handle sales. Additionally, making sure your sales staff looks like they can be approached is a good way to keep customers coming back.
7. Be visible to them. When the owner and operator are approachable, customers will come back. Customers like to see that you are truly part of your operation, not just a figurehead who doesn’t care about their needs. If you demonstrate the the customers are a part of your life and your business, they will return on a regular basis.
8. Try to learn your customers’ names to breed a feeling of familiarity and friendship. Customers like it when they are known. They like to feel important in the lives of the businesses they use on a regular basis. Knowing them by name, and having a knowledge of their needs will make them more likely to return to you.
9. Try to greet and say goodbye to every customer that enters and leaves your store. Customers like to be recognized. Ignoring someone who comes in the door is the fastest way to lose a customer. Even if this is the first time a customer has come in, be sure to greet them and thank them for coming in as they leave. It is sure to make them feel welcome to come back in anytime.
10. Use of a customer loyalty program is one of the best ways to ensure repeat business. One of the best and most successful programs in force today is using free vacation packages. As a business owner, you can use paid travel vouchers as a customer loyalty program reward. Those customers who frequent the company can earn points that will lead to a free vacation to many destinations around the country. Best of all, it will not cost you an arm and a leg. Find the right customer loyalty program with us today.