How Putting the Customer First Pays Off

When we first thing about starting a business, we do so with the belief that we are providing a value-ridden product or service. We think that we are changing the way things are done for the better. That’s why during the launch phase, many small business owners spend thousands of hours perfecting their invention, curating the perfect retail space, or honing in on the skills that allow them to offer a service. And though this is quite logical, in today’s consumer-driven market, competition is fierce and sometimes requires some thinking outside of the box.

How about instead of thinking how you can make your basic service or product better, you invest into a world-class customer experience which will not just convert leads, but will result in repeat customers who will do their job in recommending you to others?

There are plenty of brands on the market who do the same or similar thing to you, so why not make your treatment of your customers the thing that sets you apart from the crowd? Everyone likes to think that they are special and you confirming that they are important to you will make you a favorite.

But how do you transform your customer service experience so that it knocks their socks off?

  1. Gather Data

The more you know about them, the better you can cater their experience. By gathering intelligence on your audience, you’ll have a better understanding of what they do, why they do it, their needs, likes, and wants. With that kind of power, you will have some solid stats to go by when designing marketing campaigns that they will find useful and interesting, and you have the upper hand when it comes to designing the customer experience. A good place to start is by choosing an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system in which your team can store and access this important data. If the entire thing seems a little overwhelming, hire a NetSuite implementation expert to improve your customer service experience.

  1. Responsive

Though making a good impression is crucial, not making a bad one is even more important. That’s why if your customer has an issue, you should be as responsive and respectful as possible when responding, ironing out any “kinks” that might have formed. The same goes for inquiries- be quick, efficient, and friendly. If you take too long or don’t respond at all, the potential customer will be unlikely to come back to purchase your product or use your service. Monitor all of your social media channels for potential messages or shot outs- you don’t want to miss an opportunity to impress!

  1. Give them Something

People like to “get” something for seemingly free, even though oftentimes the price of this freebie is incorporated into the price of the product or service. Whether that’s a good quality shopping bag they can reuse, having something beautifully giftwrapped, or even a cup of coffee while waiting for their turn on the hairstylist chair or while browsing your store’s selection, it will be appreciated. Knowing that they are getting some kind of extra value motivates them to choose you over your competitors who might not appeal to this need for a personal touch.

  1. Create a Lifestyle

Don’t just look at your business as a way of providing services or products, but rather as a lifestyle that your target audience would want to be a part of. Create a community around your brand by sharing great content they would find useful, partner with complimentary businesses who share the same style, and reaffirm the thought that it’s about the experience as well as the service provided.

When you put your customer first, you raise the bar on your competitors. It’s the little things like birthday cards, free gifts with your purchase, and loyalty programs which make people want to give you business again and again.

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