It’s not easy being a small to medium size business owner. There are many, many things to take care of – too many to keep on top of, it can seem. From making sure your service or products are the best they can be to exploring new business opportunities and marketing strategies, it is a wonder that we have time to focus on the most important factor: sales. And how do we get sales? By making it as easy as possible for our customers to work with our business. More than anything, more than clever sales tactics and the like, it’s about making your customers lives as easy as possible.
Helping Them Get What They Want
Why would a potential customer come to you rather than a competitor? Because they know that they’ll be well looked after with you. A customer isn’t the easy reward from your hard work: they are the work. It all exists for them, and when they come to see you they need to really believe that to be true. Complete engagement with his or her needs is the essential detail; going above and beyond to make them feel special is even better. What are their needs, and how can you help them?
From Your Business To Home
As much as your customer might want to give you business, they’re more interested in speed and efficiency. If you’re providing a service or product, all the engagement in the world won’t matter if you are unable to deliver it within a short timeframe or you lack the small business payment processing system to actually make the sale go through smoothly. If the deal has been agreed then a person might forgive these shortcomings and proceed anyway, but they’re unlikely to come back, so make sure your service is watertight from your business premises to their home.
What would you do if a person you met, who you thought might become a friend, started following you down the street, always hanging around, and basically kept on coming on far too strong? You wouldn’t stick around to let them become your friend would you? The same applies to customers. Nothing turns them off quicker than being bombarded by messages, promotions, feedback requests, and so on. It can make a cool, engaging business look far too needy and only after one thing: money. As such, you need to keep a respectful distance. Treat every customer as you would treat a friend. Would you email a friend once a day, even if you didn’t get a reply? Of course you wouldn’t, but you might email them every now and again when you have big news to share.
The best way to make your customers lives as easy as possible is to…listen to them! If they give you feedback (or you can invite it), really listen to what they have to say. What did you do well, and what could be improved? What was awkward for them, and what made the whole process easier? All the marketing books in the world won’t give an answer as good as what your actual customers will give you! Whether it’s positive or negative feedback, it’ll help you develop and move forward.
Nothing infuriates a customer more than not being able to reach a company to resolve something that has gone wrong. Depending on the size and type of your business, you might want to consider having an option for customers call you outside of business hours. Also, everyone knows that having active social media accounts are an important way to get business, but they’re also a great way for you to stay in touch with your customers who may have a problem. Twitter is quick and easy (and fun!) and you can have the app on your phone right in your pocket, so you can be notified when someone tweets you.
You know what’s worse than a company that makes a mistake? A company who makes a mistake and then keeps it a secret as they try and fix it. If you’ve got some bad news for the customer, be upfront with them and let them know what has happened. You might lose their business, but you’ll have kept their respect and in any case you would definitely lose their business if you were to lie. No matter what it is, being in good communication and transparent about what is going on is so transparent and an easy rule to follow!