As a business owner, there’s nothing more “feel good” to you than a repeat customer that walks through the door. That’s because it means less marketing or advertising spend for you, and it means they recognize the value of customer experience that they’re getting. To achieve that golden moment of repeat business, here are five customer service tips that are designed to bring your paying customers back through your doors.
1. Be Visible Online.
Google has identified a new step in the buying process; it’s the one in which customers turn to product reviews, and research the closest outlets or stores—all online. Google calls this the Zero Moment of Truth, which comes before the first and the second moments, “Shelf” (in-store) and “Experience” (after purchase).
As buyers in the modern day, we take this Zero Moment for granted. But as customer service providers, we may not be as conscious of our online presence. This is a crucial moment to extend the values of our business! Providing up-to-date information, fair customer reviews, and representing a friendly and professional demeanor online can seal the deal. This is an increasingly influential step in the buying process and should be part of your business perspective. As a plus, consider a mobile version of your site or at least the products and services section.
2. Make Them Feel Special.
The song is right. You do want to go where everybody knows your name. Whether it’s a web page or restaurant or auto repair shop, knowing their name the moment they arrive makes an experience memorable and rich.
Train your staff or add a log in feature online to get to know your visitors. It builds a feeling of community and privilege to do business and serve, especially if it’s done with a valued, special greeting.
3. Give Your Customers Multiple Channels for Feedback.
Having a twitter account or an email address or customer service phone line tended by well-trained staff will prevent a dissatisfied customer from ranting, especially in the age of social networking. And if they are satisfied (or delighted), feedback channels give them a place to sing their praises as well.
But also, it is important that your front line accurately conveys your business’ high regard for listening, and being caring. If clients and customers know that the lowliest of employees genuinely cares, and they come upon a well-attended feedback channel, they will be glad to share positive comments about you.
4. Place the Customer Experience First.
More than the bottom line, showing the customer in no uncertain terms that “it’s about them” is the heart and soul of a business. Was the customer experience good? Great! Make it about them by reminding them how thankful you are for their business.
Was the experience marred by things out of your control? A reimbursement or a complimentary item can demonstrate your sincerity in putting them—not the bottom line—first.
5. Reduce Bureaucracy.
Time is money. And system redundancies can turn off even the tightest penny pinchers. To make doing business with you pleasurable, make your transactional system—especially for returns and complaints—as simple and accommodating as possible.
It’s not enough to add a premium service like a privilege lane in your store or website. Make it easier to log in to your website by using social network IDs; make cellphone numbers work as member codes so customers don’t have to reach for their wallets at the register; reduce the steps in returning or exchanging goods.
These customer service tips will drive repeat business because it is far easier for people to remember a company that recognizes their value, even if they haven’t yet given you a dime.