In the highly competitive world of business, customer happiness should always be one of your main priorities. You know those tired old clichés of ‘the customer is always right’ and ‘the customer is king’ and while they may make you cringe and die a little inside, if you scratch the surface, these sayings make perfect sense. Without customers, your business is doomed from the outset. Without customers you earn no money, and if you aren’t earning money how can you expect to earn a living? Rather than simply picking up customers here and there however, it is always better to establish strong relationships with your customers to ensure they become regulars and remain loyal to your brand. Putting the customer first is the perfect way of doing exactly that.
Here’s a look at a few tips to help you deliver fantastic customer-first experiences.
Understand your target audience – First and foremost, it doesn’t matter what you are selling, you will need to ensure that you understand your target audience in order to put them first. If you sell men’s clothing for example, you need to understand which types of men you are targeting. Are you selling activewear to young men aged 18 – 35 or are you targeting the more mature gentleman aged 40 – 60? Understanding your target market allows you to engage with them on a more intimate level. It ensures you understand who they are and what they want. The more you know about your target demographic, the better you can customize your products/services to meet their requirements.
Engage with your customers – Whether you deal with customers online, in person, or both, in order to help put them first it is always important that you take the time to engage with them personally. Don’t just give them one-word responses, don’t ignore their questions, and don’t treat them like cash cows. Get to know them, and interact with them. In person or on the phone, ask them about their day and show genuine interest. Online, try to crack a few jokes with them, interact with them, share a laugh or two with them and try to show them that you are genuinely interested in them. It may not sound like much but it still makes a whole lot of difference.
Be friendly – Not only should you engage with your customers, you should also make sure that you’re friendly with them at the same time. If they can see you, be sure to smile and share a laugh or two. If you engage on social media, crack a few harmless jokes and perhaps utilize emojis to indicate that you are smiling in response to them. It is however, important to remember that you’re not trying to make new friends here, so don’t try too hard and don’t treat them as if you’re best friends. This comes across as slightly awkward and desperate and it can actually harm your business reputation.
Focus on customer service – In business, there will always be times when things go wrong. This is inevitable, but it’s how you respond that could make or break you. If a customer has an issue, a complaint, or a question in general, listen to them and do your very best to come up with a solution, and don’t be afraid to bend the rules slightly. Basically, do whatever you can to come up with a solution that will make your customer leave happy. If that means a partial refund or a store credit, despite the fact that legally you don’t have to, we strongly advise that you do it.
Putting the customer first is a great example of how small changes made here and there can make such huge differences. By putting the customer first, you are showing them that they are valued, and that you truly care, which in turn builds loyalty and respect. From a business perspective, the benefits are as clear as day.