Last week we discussed on how to retain employees even at times when you can’t pay big salaries.
Now, As you have a good and motivated team, it is time for Human resources to put strategies that will ensure customer needs and wants are taken on board.
As a human resource and probably a business owner, you should not allow customers to run away from your business and therefore it is important to teach your employees / self handling customers to their satisfaction to promote business prosperity.
In today’s world it has been normal for entrepreneurs to improve their products to attract customers. To achieve this, many come with different and attractive products, forgetting that improving products alone cannot lead to business success, rather effort is needed to always be in touch with customers.
It is crucial for entrepreneurs to reach out to their customers and build meaningful relationships with them. This will help to improve the reputation of your brand hence increase sales. Customer service can make or break your business. If customers find your employees are rude or don’t know what they’re talking about they’ll go elsewhere to make their purchases.
It is therefore
important to choose words careful when attending customers.
For example, if a customer walks through your door and say, do you have this product? If you don’t, but you have another product similar to the one requested, you need to say, I’m sorry we don’t, but we do have this product and it’ll serve the same purpose. That’s customer service.
The Golden Rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” may seem self-evident in the way we try to conduct our personal lives. Yet this saying is assuming new importance as a guiding principle in the world of business. The growing significance of meeting customer demands for quality service has special implications for small business. For it is in this arena that small companies can, in the least expensive way, set themselves apart from the competition. Exercise the following golden rules to help you meet customer demands.
Golden Rule number 1: Put your Customer First
Quality customer service begins with your employees. The first person that a customer will see is you and your employees. You all should be good ambassadors. If you take care of your employees then they are more likely to take care of your customers. Try offering service bonuses to increase employee morale and make them pay attention to customers.
Golden Rule number 2: Stay Close To Your Customer
Asking questions and listening carefully to answers is an important part of customer service. You lose money when you lose customers, so keeping them is going to make your business run. You can see the evidence in these facts:
- 65 per cent of a company’s business comes from existing customers
- It costs 5 times as much to attract a new customer as it does to keep an existing customer happy
- 91 per cent of customers will never use a company who has disappointed, failed, or offended them
- The best business owners are not only committed to staying close to their clientele, but also identify them. They give their customers the level of service they themselves would expect to receive.
Golden Rule number 3: Pay Attention to Little Details
Some of the most effective “extras” are really very basic adages of conducting good business, although customers are often surprised when they take place. These include:
- Answering the phone by the third ring;
- Treating customers respectfully and courteously at all times;
- Greeting them by name;
- Promptly answering their questions and, if you can’t, getting back to them with an answers as quickly as possible;
Golden rule number 4: Understanding customers and the way they think
Understanding customers and the way they think is critical to keeping them. For example, customers do business on the basis of emotional desire: they want what they want — when they want it. Customers also tend to gravitate toward a company or group of people they like. Plus, most customers have a strong tendency to stick with businesses with which they are familiar, and are slow to change buying habits unless given a very good reason. However, when they are displeased, even by a small disappointment or discourteous word, various surveys have revealed that customers tell from seven to 11 people about their dissatisfaction. An important key to serving customers well is this: don’t try to change them.
Customer service can also be used on the phone. No matter what type of business you run, customers call on the phone. They may want to know your hours of operation or they may have a question about a purchase they recently made. No matter what the reason is for the call it’s important that the person answering the phone knows how to do it properly and is kind at all times. People will continue to do business with you if they’re treated fairly and with respect. Rude and inconsiderate people will drive people away faster than anything else.
Following up with customers is another form of customer service. When you show your customers that you care about them and you want to make sure they have everything they need and that the products are working properly, they’ll remember that. They won’t be afraid to come to you when there’s a problem and they won’t think twice about recommending your business to their friends and family.
One last form of customer service is helping your customers. No matter if they’re young or old; helping them to the car when they have an arm load of products is a good way to show them you care. Helping them decide which products to purchase and helping them to understand which ones will work well together is another way.
It’s important to remember that your customers are what will keep you in business. If they’re not happy they’ll leave and go to your competition. When you have good customer service each and every time a customer comes through the door, they’ll be happy to come back to you and they’ll invite their friends and family as well.
If you want more information about Business Management Tips and templates please visit http://enterpreneurs.or.tz/business-management/
Prepared by Veneranda Sumila
Tanzania Private Sector Foundation