In todays world, running a business is no easy thing. On top of a number of potential hurdles, one of the most essential things you need to do is keep your customers happy.
Where it is easy to obtain positive reviews through customers and ‘show these off’ in the age of the internet, this also has the potential to massively damage the reputation of the business if a handful of customers have a poor experience with your company, even more so when the negative review goes viral.
You therefore need to be very careful when dealing with your current and potential future customers. Regardless of the area of business you work in, you are going to improve your chances of succeeding by listening to your customers. Whilst the customer is not ‘always right’, the customers opinions have to always at least be acknowledged in the right way.
Below, we aim to highlight a number of ways you can enhance and engage your customers in today business world.
Understand your product
Being proactive and reducing the chances of a negative review of your product, service or business is the first major step. Understanding your product or service inside out will reduce the chances of this.
Fully understanding what you are selling will enable you to provide all answers to any questions your customer may have, maintaining a high level of service. If you are employing staff to manage the customer service, they too will need to know the product or service inside out. Do not go to market until you are 100% certain of this.
Use the right software
Here, we are talking about the right customer service software. As mentioned, prior, you are probably going to be hiring customer service staff in some capacity to help manage customer communication. With this, you should consider purchasing customer service software.
Customer service software allows you to track and monitor every interaction you make with your customers. This makes it far easier to manage your customer interactions.
You will also be able to catalogue conversations for future use, how customers interact with each worker and what themes are emerging in the communications to anticipate future changes to the company. The efficiency in which you can deal with customers will be of benefit to your team.
There is a major difference between dealing with customers on a basic level and on an active level. Active listening involves taking actionable steps based on what the customer has said, as opposed to simply trying to ‘calm them down’.
Make sure members of your team are properly listening to the customer and are taking the right steps to reassure them, provide sympathy and create a clear next step to overcome the problem. Dealing with a calmed customer with clear and concise mannerisms, guiding them through the next steps, will more than likely turn a negative review into a positive one.
Make responses timely
Do not delay in responding to a customer. In the world of instant messaging, there is little reason as to why the customer will have to wait a significant amount of time. Even a simple message to confirm the message has been received and is in hand will ease the mind of the customer, reducing the potential for negativity.
You will need to stay active online also. Whether a brick and mortar company or exclusively online, you will need to stay up-to-date and have systems in place to allow the customer to reach out to you.
Managing everything from social to the various review platforms, dealing with a negative response in a timely manner can be the difference between nothing more happening to a virtual angry mob standing behind the negative review. Dealing with a customer complaint in a timely and professional manner will ensure that your company will not be on the backend of this.
Take feedback on board
As a company, you need to be open-minded. Ensuring that you are taking feedback on board can prevent the complaint from arising again in the future. Oftentimes, the feedback can actually improve the way in which the company operates, consider this a free way to improve your business as a whole. Making sure your customers feel part of the process will also help improve brand loyalty.
Finding success in the world of business is not easy. Following the steps above however will at least make the process of dealing with your customers a relatively stress free one.