Every time you serve a customer, you offer customer care or customer service. This priceless quality is critical for business health. Here’s how to leverage customer care to get and keep customers.
How to Use Customer Care to Retain Your Customers
Customers come and go. At least this should be the norm provided the customers will come again, courtesy of good customer care. The problem arises when they come and go, never to return. Then your business stagnates as new customers simply replace those who passed through. Deprived of growth, the scenario may ultimately be that you get fewer customers than those who go. And this is a recipe for closing shop.
This makes it critical to find ways to keep customers coming back. The term for this is customer retention and the key to achieve it is good customer service or customer care.
What is Customer Care?
Well, we can just take what the words call it “customer care”. Customer care is the total way in which you handle customers. Do you treat them like kings and queens or like your valued friends, then you offer good customer care. On the other hand, if you treat them like they are bothering you, you have poor customer care and you won’t survive in business for long.
Your aim, assuming you are in business for the long haul, is to offer excellent customer care so that any prospect who comes to you becomes a customer for good. Well, almost.
Truth is that with all the competition coming from every direction, customer care is one of the most important means of retaining customers.
So, assuming again that you want to remain in business, here are seven customer care tips to help you get and keep customers:
1. Know Your Customer
The most basic way of knowing your customer is by asking for his name. Get personal. Do you know that the sound of your name from the lips of a casual acquaintance can be a big and pleasant surprise? Aim to surprise your customers by finding out their names and using them the next time they come over. This is a very straightforward way to establish long standing relationships with your customers.
However, when you have a constant stream of customers coming through your door, it may seem impossible to get to know them. But you can get round this by taking the time to talk to samples of them. In most cases, a sample of customers will show you what your customers are like. Once every so often, invest time to make friends with your customers. For large businesses that depend on assistants to handle customers, it makes sense to invest in the staff. Train them or get a professional trainer to educate them on the need to know and serve the customers.
2. Find out What Your Customer Wants
By engaging with customers, you get a better chance to find out what they want. Encourage your customers to give feedback. You can do this by availing customer feedback channels such as take ones, social media, forums on your website. Always bear in mind that your customer service is dependent on your understanding of what the customer wants so that you can meet this want or need.
3. Give Your Customers What They Want
The main aim of getting to know your customers and what they want is so that you can meet these wants. Well, sometimes you may think that you know what is best for the customer, but the only thing you can do is to educate him (see #4). Not sell him what you think is right for him.
4. Educate Your Customers
You are an expert in your line of business. This means that you know a lot more than most of your customers. You know about new products and services long before your customers. But this information may not be very useful if not shared with customers. Further to #3 above, whereas you need to offer customers what they want, you should educate them on better alternatives so they can make informed decisions.
5. Give Your Customers Some Space
Ever been in a store where the assistant nags you with enquiries of what s/he can do for you every other minute? It can be disgusting and poor customer care. Be there for the customers, but give them the pleasure to do their shopping. Get out of their way and let them call you when they need you.
6. Deliver On Your Promises
Have you given a promise or implied to do so? If yes, good customer care demands that you meet your end of the bargain. Nothing destroys customer relationships like broken promises. Always aim to over-deliver on your promises.
7. Maintain Your Standards
So you have accustomed your customers to excellent customer care, if you ever retract, they will notice. And they will not be pleased. You must have come across the saying that getting to the top is easy. The problem is remaining at the top. Well, nowhere is this saying as true as it is in business.
To keep your customers, never get tired of treating them well. Remember that good customer service is more important than the figures on the price tag.
What tactics do you use to keep customers coming back? Please share in the comments.