You hear talk about making business and it’s marketing efforts customer-centered, but not many companies are actually succeeding. In fact, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for great customer experiences. And a Walker Study found that by the end of 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Clients’ expectations differ by industry, but the golden rule still applies — treat others the way you would like to be treated. Below are some ways to focus on improving your clients’ experiences.
Create a positive company culture: If your employees are treated like humans, then they will in-turn treat others like humans, as well. Each employee is a valuable part of making your business successful as a whole. In today’s world, success depends on improving the culture at the right time and in the right way. Treat your customers as you would want to be treated and they will be loyal to you and your company, be more willing to pay a fair price for products and services, refer you to friends and colleagues, buy more frequently, and spread the word far and wide that your company, your people, and your product or service is outstanding.
Remember their name: Greeting a customer by name shows how valuable their business is to you. It shows them that they are important and you can build rapport. Focus on the person you are talking to. Avoid distractions because the information you want to later remember will be more difficult. In a phone call, repeat their name during the conversation. At an in-person meeting, focus on a feature that will help you remember their name for future discussions. Or if you need some strategies, a quick internet search will provide you with plenty of memory tricks.
Manage client expectations: Honest and clear guidelines about the product or service will help bridge the gap between what the client expects and what you can deliver. Ask open-ended questions like, “What is your ideal timeframe?” or “What is the problem you are trying to resolve?” Then listen and explain the steps to achieve the solution. You can use that technique of under-promising and over-delivering. If your underwriting process takes 2 business days, promise that it will be completed in 4 days and then they’ll be impressed when you deliver it sooner. Communicating often will help manage the client’s expectations as well as keeping them up to date on the progress.
Be honest in client interactions: While you do want to under-promise and over-deliver, remember that clients are savvy when they are being played. Trust is key for a continued relationship. Take ownership when something is delayed. Avoid blaming others, technology, or the customer. Find a solution and work with the client in a transparent way in your explanations.
Focus on the little things: Little things do matter. Imagine being on a phone call with a potential client and you notice they have a cold. Sending the potential client a get well soon card with some super soft tissues would be one of those little things. You noticed something about them and acted on it. Maybe you have a conversation at the local Starbucks with a client. Send a thank-you note with a gift certificate for Starbucks — no strings attached. You aren’t asking for another sale, just thanking them for their time.
Consider creating a better client experience as a work in progress. There is no one key answer for success because each client will have different needs and concerns. However, by following best practices for putting clients first will help in improving the overall relationship and fostering a positive impression of your company.