In today’s economic environment, keeping customers happy and loyal is more important than ever before. If you build a strong customer bond, it is easy to avoid pricing wars and cut-throat competitive measures. The challenge is how do you build and maintain those strong customer ties?
The College of the Customer website, founded by Micah Solomon, shares advice on ways your business can be seen as more than just a commodity provider. Solomon built a small business into a powerhouse and offers up tips in her new book, Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit.
I’ve been working with customers and building businesses for a good
long while. Now, I’m pleased to share the notes I’ve taken along the
way. Class is going to be a blast! — Micah Solomon, Dean of the College.
Here are a few of the things he recommends.
Did you shine that doorkob? Research shows that customers remember the first and last minutes of a service encounter more vividly — and for much longer — than all the rest. So make sure the first and final elements of your customer interactions are particularly well engineered, because they are going to stick.
Set your clocks forward: Modern customers expect speedier service than previous generations. In this age of Blackberrys and iPhones, of Amazon.com and Zappos, you may as well not deliver your product or service if you’re going to deliver it late.
Remember each returning customer. Whatever your business and no matter the size, make sure you get to know each customer personally. Utilize customer/client tracking systems to help you remember important details such as birthdays, preferences and bits and pieces of family info. There is nothing more successful than making your customer feel as though he or she is a VIP.