ENHANCING THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

March 27, 2012

In looking at enhancing our customer experience we never have to lose sight of the fact that the customer is King. In today’s very competitive market place it’s those businesses that put themselves out for their customer and also train this philosophy into all their team that succeed, to help your team get on board with this why not offer them an incentive for exceptional customer service. The cost of getting new customers is a big cost to which you also need to allocate time and resource to do this all of which can be better utilised in more effective ways. How do we keep our customers, there are a number of key things we need to consider.

COMMUNICATION

Ensure you maintain regular communication with your customers and the most effective way of doing this is by email. Firstly we need to ensure that we capture all our customers email addresses and then when we email them ensure it is personal to them, you know how you feel when you receive a personalised email. This regular email does not always have to sell them something just keep them informed of what’s happening, so that when they do want to use your service or buy one of your products you are at the forefront of their mind. Also actively encourage customer feedback with a customer comment book, satisfaction surveys and then when you receive useful comments act upon it and let the customer see that you have taken their advice.

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Look at the products and services you offer and build up additional products and services to offer your customers. If you don’t have any products or services further to offer look at companies in a similar market place and set up a joint venture to extend your offer to these existing companies, remember there is more profit from a relationship with an existing customer. Customers always want to know what is in it for them, what benefits can they receive, so look to add perceived value by adding something on, a great example is Sunday newspapers giving away free CDs/DVDs which customers perceive as to having a value of about ten times the value of the paper, but to the paper it is very little cost.

MARKETING

All forms of communication with your customers, be it websites, correspondence, emails, advertising, menus or price lists reflect on your business so regularly take a ruthless look at these and ensure they are portraying the correct image. Ensure in all your marketing material you focus on the benefits to your customers, not the features of the company, tell them how you can add value to them. The majority of our customers are coming to us via the internet so use this and your emarketing effectively, ensuring that you use the opportunities to capture email addresses. One of the most effective ways of achieving this is by offering something free. We should all look at turning our businesses into multi level marketing machines. Advertising is very expensive and not as effective as the marketing tools we all have already at our fingertips. We can also capture further customer information by asking them what they think of our services in the form of customer satisfaction questionnaires and when we receive this feedback we should always take all comments on board in our journey to improve quality and exceed customer expectations. Also look at the major high street retailers and how they capture all the information about our shopping habits on their store cards and then target us with specific offers why not offer your customers a loyalty card. It is estimated that 68% of people leave a business because of indifference, correspond regularly with your customers. There is a golden rule in marketing that will make you wealthy, once you have someone’s details keep on following up until they buy, die or tell you to stop.

STAFF

The people who most represent our business in focusing on the customer are our staff and used correctly they can add significant value, so keep them informed and involve them, they can be a source of valuable information. Look at their communication methods and skills and ensure like your marketing material they are portraying a positive message. It is your staff that can upsell to your customers. Look at the fast food chains who are the greatest exploiters of upselling, by asking at every transaction is that large or super and of this upsell 85% is profit and though a single transaction does not offer a lot, do it a million times a day and it makes a very large difference. Also allow your team to be involved in the business, hold regular brainstorming sessions, you will be amazed where some of the best ideas come from. If the staff are involved in the business and are made to feel part of the decision process, then you will see return in their loyalty and effort in moving the business forward. Always Remember

Together

Everyone

Achieves

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The Benefits of Being an Effective Listener and Flattering People Sensibly

November 15, 2011

THE BENEFITS OF BEING AN EFFECTIVE LISTENER AND FLATTERING PEOPLE SENSIBLY

How is your business developing, is it growing its customer base, do you have a stable, focused, driven team, who will go to the end of the World for you. If you either hesitated or were completely honest and came out with a no in answer to these questions, then reading the rest of this post may help you to succeed where your competitors are failing.

Your team work in your business day in day out and see everything from the shop floor and understand your customer base. Your customers have the freedom of choice and see the good and bad in businesses each week. Taking this on board we can learn a lot about our business from these two parties.

Selling to anyone is never easy and you need to employ a number of tactics to succeed. A multi-purpose tactic for gaining the edge is to listen intently on what the other person is saying and not saying, whether it is your boss, your staff, customer or client. Listening carefully together with observing body language will give you solid clues as to the other person’s interests and motives, this will assist you in modifying your tactics to gain advantage and negotiate a wining position. Trainers who train in the art of sales will often tell their clients “selling is listening” so ensure you listen to your customers and give them the opportunity to comment on your business and the service they receive. You never know when one of these comments will deliver an opportunity you may never have considered. Therefore provide every opportunity for your customers to comment on your business, offer them an incentive to help you improve your business.

Also invest in time for your team in the form of team meetings and brain storming sessions and allow all the team to propose ideas and comment on the business performance on how they might add to its success. This makes all the members of your team feel valued, embracing the team ethos and giving them a sense of ownership and responsibility. You will be surprised at the resulting discussion and the impact it will deliver. It is always surprising where some of the most successful ideas come from.

In addition to listening take on board one of the least expensive and most effective tactics for gaining an edge that of flattery. Whether it is to comment on a member of your team on how impressed you are with their performance or on a customer on their choice of purchase. It will assist your team to remain focused and your customer to return for another purchase.


Who Are Our Customers And Do You Know What We Can Do For Them

October 21, 2011

What do you know about your customers, as a business we need to capture as much information about our customers as possible, like the large successful high street retailers do with their store card information, we should know what they buy from us, so we can target our marketing to them very personally and specific. This will also assist in selling ourselves to our customers  and creating loyalty. It is more profitable to sell to existing customers than to have to go out and win new ones.

SELL YOURSELF

We all trade in a highly competitive market place so what gives you the edge over your competitors, it’s your personal service, it’s that going the extra mile and putting yourself out for those customers. Ensure you tell your customers how much you will go all out for them and communicate the importance of this to your staff. Encourage your staff to follow your example and get them to make the time to make a difference. You could look at a reward scheme for staff that put themselves out for the customer. We all know how good we feel when we receive good customer service and we tell our friends about it, your customers do the same it is self perpetuating marketing. Give yourself that competitive edge and focus on the benefits for your customers and get them to do the work of marketing and growing your business, we need as many people as possible to do this for us.

CUSTOMER FEEDBACK

Take all possible opportunities to receive customer feedback via customer surveys, feedback forms and encourage customers to feedback to you directly and your staff. This can be done in the form of a customer comment book, visible at the point of exiting your premises or following up after a purchase. The most important part of this is to act on the feedback and make sure that your customers know you have implemented their ideas. Also this feedback should be measured on a regular basis and compared to a benchmark for customer satisfaction that you have set the business to achieve. Also sit down with your staff and brainstorm how you can make things better, don’t forget your staff interact more with the customer and know what
they want and it’s amazing the results achieved from brainstorming and where the ideas come from.

PERCEIVED VALUE

Customers always want to know what is in it for them, what benefit can they receive, so can you increase perceived value by adding something on. A great example of this are the Sunday Newspapers giving away free CDs/DVDs which customers perceive to have a value of about 10 times the value of the paper, but to the paper it is very little
cost. What could you add that costs you little but gives the customers a feeling of getting value? It could be in the form of a customer loyalty scheme or bundling products together in a pricing package.

 


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