Customers don’t buy your product, they buy the solution of their problem / wants.
People start a business, and the motive is always and forever will be to get some return on it in form of income. But does it make it that easy to do it ?
As said best by Walt Disney, “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring in their friends.” There should be some connection between your company and your customers so as to bring in a positivity through the word of mouth which is an absolute delight.
All that a customer tends to look for is the satisfaction of spending their money on a specific product. So it becomes our sole motive to provide them with that satisfaction.
The uncodified, unspoken gospel of any industry is to ensure the satisfaction of its customers, in the various levels and forms that they might appear. To this end, the multiple actors on the production and supply side engage in varied methods simply to attract the interests of the customers towards their products. However, such attempts yield effective results only when they are informed by a certain amount of knowledge about customer behaviour.
While we notice advertisements as perhaps the prime ways in which producers and suppliers vie to attract customers, it must be acknowledged that advertisements are but only the most visible forms of all such attempts made.
There are different form of advertisement that are displayed to attract customers. This helps to spread the word about your product and services to generate more sales. Ads are used not just to launch a new product but to encourage new customers to buy the existing product as well.
Before displaying an advertisement it’s important to know who your target customers are and the cost effective way to reach them as many times as possible.
“A known fact about advertising to attract customers is, you can always be as creative as you like to get noticed”.
8 ways by which customer can be delighted:
1. Be a good listener
Listen to what your customers have to say and what are they really looking for. While interacting them take into account the feedback so as to bring in a improvement if required. Your customer is like the life of a business so, not dealing with them doesn’t leave you standing anywhere in the market.
Try to gather the feedback from customer either through a survey, observation, customer service, social media, emailing, point of sale etc.
2. Treat your customers appropriately
Treat your customers in the best possible way. Take responsibilities for your product or services and avoid any kind of excuses. This only makes the customers relentless against your product and services.
This reminds of this incident i read about on a blog. It was about a bad customer service experienced by a customer on Amazon.
The conversation went on like this
Even after this the customer was not given a solution to his problem, so he had to create a new email address.
This is not the kind of services that will keep customer holding on. They need answers, and not the kind like you speak in a press release. Talk to customer as you would in person.
This is well conducted by american express.
Providing good services always creates a “Happy Customer”. It is important to make sure you hire the right person, train and equip your employees with tools necessary to provide answers to customers. Try to make the waiting time as short as possible.
3. Customers satisfaction on a ongoing process
It is important to measure the customer satisfaction. A satisfied customer will recommend you to their network. Small businesses get around 85% of their customers from word of mouth.
A satisfied customer doesn’t fail to exist in long run. If closely considered it is a lot more expensive to acquire new customers than retaining the existing ones. You should do everything possible to provide excellent service to your customer.
Be consistent with providing quality service. Customers should know that their satisfaction is your main goal. Improvise on the channels of communication and get feedback. Keep your support team updated with any idea that will help improve the customer services.
This fact can’t be denied that it is important to focus on customer satisfaction. Keeping customers happy and loyal can turn out to me more business for you.
4. Build trust among your customers
It takes one bad experience to lose all the trust gained from the customers.
- Avoid selling products customers are not looking.
- Do not misinterpret the features, advantages and benefits of a product or services.
- Make only those promises that can be fulfilled.
- Refrain from accepting any kind of bribery, gifts as this is unethical.
- Same pricing among different stores.
- Resolves the problems, in case any after the transaction.
- Avoid any kind of trash talking, even if it relates to your competitors.
The problem is that trust can’t be built in a day. It takes a lot to make customers believe in your product. A company which loses its trust knows it well enough. As they try to get the trust back they realise that advertisements won’t do the magic for them. Trust can’t be forced on people neither can it be tricked.
How to build trust among you costumer ?
1.Improve your level of security
Customers need to feel safe when they shop. For example, if you spam them through your advertisement or have a checkout process on your website which is way too complicated, customers may suspect that your platform is unsafe.
2.Go all out for customer service
If a customers experiences a problem and is promptly given some guidance, they will think of your brand as a reliable one. Don’t try to pick the most cost effective to resolve a problem, but make sure your customers feels like they have been heard and will be helped out in all the ways.
3.Always be available
This is needed because people feel comforted when they know their is somebody they can talk to anytime. Make sure there are multiple lines of contact for customers all time. This makes customers feel more reliable towards your brand.
4.Make your brand more personal
Try to interact with customers on personal level rather than a formulaic response. These small changes can change your brand image drastically.
Communicate more with your customers and do not provide any false detailing. The more you talk to them the better. This is true in case of a consultant or a marketer working with clients one on one.
Building trust among customers won’t be easy but it is one of the powerful strategy to keep consistency among your customers and keep them happy. The more loyal your customers will be the stronger your reputation will grow.
5. Be transparent
Being transparent is a critical factor in satisfying your customers. Being transparent means your are not afraid of any kind of feedback, since you have nothing to hide. It also means you can openly converse with your customers without any hesitation.
According to the survey customers are willing to spend more for transparency. No matter what kind of a company you are running, regardless of the fact whether you are providing a product or services you will have to prove your worth again and again. Being transparent kind of helps you with trust and collaboration to keep your clients happy in every situation.
- Begin your proposition with honesty.
- Take responsibility for your mistakes and follow up.
- Be like an open book about your product.
- Make social media pages a community.
- Stay open to others opinion.
- Respond to customers questions and queries timely.
McDonald’s was trying to make efforts to regain the trust of the people by starting this campaign on “Our Food, Your Question.” McDonald’s is one of the popular eating joints and has had it’s name for a long time. They were facing some serious image problem regarding the quality of food, which is why they were willing to open doors take questions from customers directly.
McDonald’s illustrated the production process behind it’s product like chicken McNuggets or McRic and how they go from farm to the restaurant. The company is struggling with misinformation and myths about food and ingredients.
This campaign was created to give customers a chance to ask questions publicly which will be answered. McDonald’s also shared a video depicting how the beef patties are made from real cow. The sole motive here was to bring transparency in their products to gain customers trust back.
P.S Since the launch of the campaign in 2014 there has been over 42000 questions and about 3.8 million visitors reading the questions and answers on the website.
6. Keep up with your words
Live up to your words. Your words are like a bond for the customers. Make sure you are able to meet the expectations of your customers by setting realistic goals.
Almost 75% of the customers agree that they have spent more money with a company because they had a great experience. The quality of interaction with a customers creates a huge impact on their experience..
Few best things you can probably say to customers:
- ‘Here’s how to reach me’
- ‘What can i do to help you?’
- ‘Let me take care of that for you’
- ‘I will keep you updated’
- ‘I take the responsibility’
- ‘I appreciate your business’
- ‘Thank you for shopping with us’
“ The single most important thing is to make people happy. If you are making people happy, as a side effect, they will be happy to open up their wallets and pay you”.
Derek Sivers, founder CD Baby
7. Let customers feel they are always right
Customer is always right, which means create a customer service policy to show your customers that they are right. Customer is utmost important part of your business growth and existence. A business without customer is like pitching to a deaf ear since nothing will be heard.
Customers needs to feel important and welcomed. They should be appreciated for their loyalty towards your product or services.
Reasons why customer should be given most importance:
- It’s good business ethics
- It showcases the quality of your customer services
- Business is made by the customer
There is this famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi which depicts about the customer being right.
Even though as per my article i’m writing about Happy Customers, yet there can be an argument over this whether is it true in all the cases. Is customer actually always right ?
Let’s talk about this on my next article. You are free to share your thoughts over this in the comment below.
8. Kindness and gratitude for the customers
An act of gratitude gives a customer positive experience. Kindness and gratitude keeps your customers in your business for a long term.
You can simply say “Thank You” or “Thank You very much”. There is nothing wrong with these words while talking to a customer.
You can also use phrases like
“I appreciate your business and look forward to seeing you again”
“We acknowledge the experience you just had and let you know how much we appreciate your patience”
“I understand the problem you must be going through and i really appreciate you allowing me the opportunity to resolve this issue for you”
Appreciate the customers as much as possible for taking their time to go through the process to resolve the problem.
Here, i share an good story of a customer experience in Ritz Carlton hotel.
“There was a customer staying at Ritz-Carlton Sarasota and was in a rush to leave for the airport. In this rush she forgot her laptop charger at the hotel and thought of giving them a call when she reached the office, but before she could do that the very next day she received a air package from Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. They had already delivered the charger even before she asked for it with a note saying “i wanted to make sure we get this to you right away. I am sure you need it and just in case, i sent you an extra charger for your laptop”.”
This shows great customer service and a great experience for the customer. The customer are given the utmost importance to a level that the employees are given authorized to spend up to $2,000 per day to improve the customer service. This employee can be at any level.
The deceptively complicated character called the ‘customer’, however, works on certain very obvious and simple and largely generalizable terms. All levels of producers and suppliers have to deal with them let’s try to understand them with these terms.
Following are a few of them.
- A customer is almost always a rational choice actor, who is visibly uncaring about production and market economics. Acquiring the maximum utility out of a product, which can also be understood as the best product or the product that would satisfy their needs the best, with minimum possible expenditure in order to attain it, is their main objective in the market.
Given that they are the wielders of the purse and can afford the luxury of choosing between different suppliers, it only sustains logically for the seller to keep the prices attractively flexible, with enough wriggle room for both parties to bargain their respective positions.
It has been observed, especially, in cases of retailers that those with stringent attitudes regarding prices have been seen to lose customers to those that offer a degree of flexibility.
- It also must be noted that when considering the case for flexibility, one must not become too ready to drop the prices. It invites the suspicion of a customer regarding the quality of the product when one is too willing to drop it, especially if there is a prevalent stringency regarding the price in the market. In all situations, therefore, it helps if the flexibility is kept within a plausible range. Not giving in to demands of negotiating beyond a particular justifiable price closes all chances of suspicion while assuring customers of the quality of product and satisfying their appetite for a good bargain at the same time.
- A customer is always the best detective of quality, not considering the time spent in judgement. Therefore, it never helps to compromise the quality of products in order to help calculations of keeping prices low. Also, supplying of products of sub-par quality is a dangerous venture into the realm of illicit business and seeks to threaten the people’s justiciable rights to good quality products and thereby to life and health
Maintaining a supply of good quality of products appeases customers better than any other measure and on a very personal, humane level. Also, it provides for a more effective mode of advertisement than any other that a supplier could hope for.
- It is an observed fact of interpersonal relationships that a positive initial impression or rapport establishes a secured prospect of future interactions in a similar positive direction. It stands all the more true in cases of suppliers and customers, who are perpetually bound in a never-ending joust to assert their respective positions. It is noticeable that those sellers or suppliers who establish a strong and positive rapport with their customers are able to make them happier with their transactions and thereby, attracting their attention for later, far strongly than those that seek simply to be done with the transaction at hand.
Therefore, it is more of a long term psychological investment, to establish a bond with the customer. One can easily draw examples from one’s own life where we have select shops and suppliers, out of various others that we prefer approaching on a regular basis. They might be selling the same product at the same prices like others, but it is the established rapport that encourages us to return to them.
- It follows from the point of interpersonal behaviour, that a seller or supplier must consider their conduct in the transaction of their business with a customer.Nobody likes a sour faced, acid tongued character, far less the customer, who has both the luxury of choice and power of the purse. It does follow that a seller with an easy demeanour and a decent, cultured tone, gets far ahead in transacting business with a customer and returning them happy.
Customer Experience Index India 2017
In conclusion, one could infer a few very succinct points about the consumer’s psyche that informs their behaviour and determines the ways in which they could be satisfied by a supplier.
More or less these complicated characters function on certain very easily observable terms. Some of these terms are rooted in basic human behaviour, like the factors of maintaining positive impressions to secure and facilitate future, mutually benefitting engagements.
The factor of maintaining decent candour is another that has its basis in general human nature to predispose people to feel and react positively to positive stimuli and negatively to negative stimuli. The factors regarding the maintenance of plausible degree of flexibility in terms of prices and that of a conveniently negotiable atmosphere appeals to the rational decision maker within customers, driving towards satisfying their appetite.
Therefore, keeping customers happy requires the acknowledgement of the basic and largely generalizable factors upon which customer behaviour is hinged which in turn have their origins in basic human tendencies towards self-benefit.