American consumers have always been a demanding lot—and with good reason!
Most consumers have experienced poor customer service, and they're wary of services offered by businesses: They think twice before opting for a new service. And they waste no time running away from a product if they are not satisfied.
Let's assume you are offering the best product in the world. People will one way or another learn about the product and flock to your business in droves.
And that's where the problems start: Your product cannot survive on its own; it needs the backup of a strong team of customer support professionals. The way they interact with your target audience will determine how far your business goes in the competitive world.
American firms lose approx. $41 billion every year when clients abandon them citing poor customer service. That is a huge figure, proving that disregard for customer service is more prevalent in the US than you likely thought.
How customer-friendly are you?
Let's start with your services. Ask yourself these questions:
- Does my product meet customer requirements satisfactorily?
- Does positive customer feedback outweigh the negative? Or is it the other way around?
Those two questions may appear simple, but they offer amazing insights on how you should approach your product's positioning in the market. Use those questions as a starting point for helping to place your business in perspective.
Then go through the following eight tips to run a customer-friendly business.
1. Introduce a customer-oriented vision statement for your company
The ideal vision statement highlights what your company seeks to achieve in the future. It is prominently displayed on your website and other company literature.
Most companies keep things simple by having a statement like this: "To become the No. 1 furniture manufacturing company in the United States."
My suggestion would be to have a more elaborate customer-centric vision statement that strikes a chord with your target audience. Here is how I would rewrite the above: "To manufacture people-friendly furniture that helps us make the lives of our customers more convenient. We seek consistent customer satisfaction as a pathway to greater success in the industry."
Notice the extent to which the second statement goes to connect with the company's target audience.
2. Inculcate the importance of customer satisfaction at every stage in the organizational structure
Every employee should understand the importance of customer satisfaction. Everybody in the company should join in to make every customer experience special and memorable. And that is possible only if you provide adequate training to employees.
3. Understand the kind of experience your customer seeks
How do you discover the experience your customer seeks? The answer is simple: Analyze the services offered by your most successful competitor. How do they interact with customers? How well are their products accepted?
Become inspired by them.
4. Set standards for customer satisfaction
Create an awesome customer satisfaction experience by introducing or ensuring the following:
- Customer-friendly pricing
- Widespread availability
- A customer-feedback collection mechanism
- An experienced customer-facing team
- A customer-grievance rectification mechanism
Make sure those five areas are pursued with steadfast dedication by you team!
Set high enough standards to make it tough for your competitors to replicate, and make sure your team pursues those standards steadfastly.
5. Eliminate hindrances that prevent customers from having an awesome experience
A close examination of your services will provide you with reasons your business isn't doing as well as expected. Get rid of those hindrances and set your business in motion for greater glory.
Those hindrances may be processes that have been in place for many years, and so you might have to work extra hard to ensure they are removed without any hiccups.
6. Nurture your target audience and make them your best friends
Reach out to prospective customers on social media and engage with them in the best way possible. Introduce weekly deals and contests to capture their attention. Write regular posts that showcase your credentials as an expert in your domain.
7. Reward employees who treat customers well
It's important to encourage employees who make customers feel special. Those employees should be provided with timely incentives to show that you appreciate their contribution toward making your business a success.
8. Keep evaluating your business strategies
Let's assume you implemented the perfect strategy to ensure consistent customer satisfaction. What's the next step? You should evaluate your strategy to ensure you don't fall behind competitors who are keenly following you!
Staying ahead of competitors is possible only if you evaluate your strategy at regular intervals.
* * *
These eight tips are easy to follow, and they will help you pursue customer satisfaction in a big way. You may find it difficult to implement all these tips at one go. You'll have to take calculated steps to pursue each tip individually. Start with the easiest tip and work through the others remainder to achieve customer success.
More Resources on Being Customer-Friendly
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