Customer service is vital when you run your own business. Probably more so now than ever before. Not only are your customers more likely to come back for more, but they’ll also recommend you to other potential clients. Customer loyalty is well worth nurturing. And remember that it only takes a couple of bad reviews to cast a negative shadow over your company’s reputation. So, do all you can to make the people who buy from you have a positive experience and get them coming back for more.
If you sell products, the presentation or packaging should be of good quality, protective of the contents and branded so your logo and business message are visible. Don’t scrimp on this. Sometimes a nice box and a bow can make all the difference. And if you sell a service, how can you make a new long-term client feel special? Think about the added value you can give your clients which will cost you very little but mean a lot, like a branded notebook or desk diary.
You will only retain clients if you look after them. The process will depend on what you sell or service you offer.
Think about what you think they might need, e.g an out of hours number, a call-back service when lines are busy, a phone answering service when you are busy or online booking or re-ordering system. Make it easy for them to stay with you.
Protecting your reputation is crucial. If someone has an axe to grind about your customer service, disappointment with the delivery system or even your products, take it seriously and be gracious and professional. Sometimes people will take to social media to gripe rather than give you a call, so keep a close eye on any negative feedback and engage with the customer in a way that enables you to shut the situation down and give them an outcome they are happy with.
If a customer recommends you, send them a thank you, a gift or a discount. This rewards them and makes them feel valued and more inclined to do it again – and makes your company more memorable.
You need to remain in contact with your clients from the very start. Consider a regular email update, phone calls, newsletters or cards when you think they might need your products or services again, or to announce a new range. Don’t forget that we can often sell more to clients who already work with us.
For more advice and support when launching or running your own business, contact Debbie at Businesswomen UnLtd: email@example.com
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