When it comes to running a business, nothing is more effective than simple word of mouth. One of the first lessons you will learn when setting up and operating a company is that your customer is your best salesman. If you provide him with a good product or service, he will walk out the door of your establishment and go around and sell your business for you through word of mouth.
This is why it’s crucial for your business to maintain good relations with your customers. Good customer service goes beyond politely talking to your customers and peppering your speech with “thank you, ma’am” and “of course, sir.” It means taking notice of and catering to your customers’ needs so they can keep on patronizing your business and will want to promote it to the people they know.
Here are some tried-and-tested ways you can improve customer relations:
1. Take responsibility if screw-ups occur.
Nobody is perfect. This life truth extends even to businesses. You will screw up or commit mistakes, and when you do, it’s always best to come clean and apologize. Also, be transparent. Admit to your customers when there’s a problem, and assure them that you will do your best to find a solution. (Make sure you follow through on that promise.) Customers will appreciate your honesty as well as your resolve to fix the situation.
2. Take advantage of the complaints.
You know that saying, there’s a silver lining in every cloud? Well, you can make a tricky or stressful customer-related situation work for you. Whenever a customer complains about a product or service, you can use that information to create a solution that will make your patrons happy. Talk about being proactive.
3. Be fast with your responses.
Customers appreciate it if businesses respond to their questions, comments, or complaints in a speedy manner. It’s even more impressive if you’re able to respond and provide an effective solution to any serious concern they might have in such a short time.
4. Harness the power of social media.
You already know how powerful social media can be. You can use this tool not only as an effective marketing device but also as an avenue for getting in touch with your customers and target market. This way, it’s easy for your customers to contact you if they have any concerns, and you can also ask them if they’re satisfied with your products and services and in what way you can improve them.
5. Give rewards to good customers.
Rewards customers who are loyal to your establishment with discount programs, seasonal offers, and even some small but pleasant treats now and then such as free coffee in takeaway coffee cups. This is one way you can build an even stronger relationship with the people who have long patronized your business.
When it comes down to it, good customer relations is all about tending to the needs of your customers and making them feel important and appreciated. Your customers, in return, will pay you back in the form of creating a positive buzz about your business.