The old way of making sales is no longer sufficient for growing your business. Today's customers are savvy and informed about the value, options, and services available in the market.
Everything is transparent due to the internet of things. So what can you do to rise above the noise of advertising, marketing, and the all-knowing internet?
Enhance your customer experience. These changes are inexpensive and will provide great R.O.I. for your business.
Reviews Do you ask happy customers to post a review? Posted reviews are a form of marketing for your business. Send a link to their email address, or text them to ask for a review of their experience. Make sure the review is visible on the first page of your website, not buried on the third page. Use an automated system for customer reviews. This tool will make it easy for customers to leave a review. Another good reason to ask for reviews? Google reviews drive online traffic into your business.
There are many software programs available to make it easy to capture positive customer experiences.
Here are a few sites that provide this service. https://www.scoremyreviews.com https://marketing.trustpilot.com https://www.podium.com The investment in review software may pay for itself pretty fast.
Customer Experience What makes you stand out from your competition? Only extraordinary customer experiences are genuinely appreciated. Compare your customer service to the competition. How are you different? Truly unique customer experiences can make the difference and cost next to nothing to create. Look around at your waiting area; check wait times for service. View doing business through your customer's eyes.
What would make you feel at ease if you were the customer? Maybe some soothing, music, refreshments, reading materials, or even extensions to your offering. You don't want things to be too cluttered, so choose carefully when building an environment that will be pleasing to your customers.
Enhance the area with items that compliment your offering. An example of enhanced customer experience is an acupuncture clinic I recently visited. They had great lighting, soothing music and they give you a choice of teas they prepare for you when you leave. Think in terms of E.A.S.Y E-at ease, A-accessibility, S-sustainable, Y-yes-make it easy to say yes!
Ratings The more ratings you get, the higher the perceived trust of the customer. If your business has only five reviews, and your competitor has 350 reviews, chances are the customer will choose the competitor even if the overall score is lower. The larger the number of reviews, the easier your web site will be found by your customers!
Bad reviews If you are in business long enough, you will get an unhappy customer. Maybe there was a miscommunication, or they had a bad day, or perhaps they are just hard to please. You get the point. Today's educated consumer weighs one or two bad reviews against the number of good ones. The consumer has the power. Do what you can to remedy unhappy customers.
Bad reviews will cost you big time if you get more than a few. Unfortunately, we tend to remember and vocalize bad experiences much more than the good. All the more reason to get a software program to capture the customer experience in real time and remedy any mishaps for your customer immediately!
Community Do you foster a community environment in your business? Do you support your local community with sponsored events, or giveaways? Maybe part of the proceeds from your company might be donated a homeless shelter. Another is customer appreciation day.
A few tips to follow before you start a community-based program; be consistent, if you start a newsletter, giveaways, sales, etc. People like consistency. If you make customer events at the same time and date, it will make it easy for them to remember and be a part of the fun.
Loyalty Do you reward your loyal customers? Customer loyalty programs create repeat customers. Reward programs should reinforce loyal behavior and add enough value frequently to make it worth the commitment. Don't make your loyalty program complicated; easy to use loyalty programs are the way to ensure participation from your raving fans.
Happy Employees Employees that are treated well-become evangelists for the company they work for. Few companies honestly work to keep their employees happy, yet an unhappy employee is one of the most significant costs a company can endure.
When you work to create raving fans from your employees, you can pretty much guarantee success in your business. There are many ways to create a culture of "we." Look for ways to incorporate the concept of "we" into your company.
Bad Communication Bad or no communication will create bad outcomes in your business. Think of all the steps in the customer journey and brainstorm with your team ways to improve the customer experience. The root cause of most poor customer interactions is lack of communication.
Find a way to capture poor customer experience and huddle with your team weekly or monthly to look for ways to eliminate it from happening in the future. Continually strive to improve communication with your external customers and employees.
Start Today If you are not already practicing enhancing the customer experience, it's not too late to start. Provide your customers with extraordinary customer service, an easy way to share it with others, and a frequent flyer program. Have fun sharing with neighbors in the community. Invest in your customers and your employees and reap the rewards of a successful business that will grow exponentially in the future.