Building a bond with your customers is all about building trust, so that they trust you and your company enough to buy your products and use your services. Building that bond can be quite difficult, while destroying it can be quite easy. Here are some ways you can destroy that bond, so avoid them at all costs.
1. Don’t treat your customers like herds of cattle. They want to be treated like individuals, like they matter to you. Set policies and procedures that help your business, but help your customers, too. Create policies and procedures that allow your customers some flexibility is returning or exchanging items, so your staff can really go the distance in helping meet your customers’ needs.
2. Always fulfill your promises to your customers. If you sometimes find that you can’t meet a deadline or fulfill an order, make sure you let the customer know right away. Offer them a discount or some other kind of compensation for their patience as a way to say you’re sorry.
3. Make sure you and your staff know your products. You need to know your products backwards and forwards to make the sale, and your customers need to trust your knowledge. You should be able to trust your staff to know all about the benefits of your products, and they should be able to communicate those benefits to your customers quickly and effectively.
4. Don’t hide your contact information online. It’s extremely frustrating for customers to have to hunt around for your contact information. You may worry about spammers and hackers, but most customers are totally legitimate, so don’t hide your contact information. Instead, make it easy for your customers to contact you, and find feedback and help information.
5. Don’t transfer calls. One of the biggest turn-offs for customers is being transferred around to many different staff members. To put it simply, don’t do it. The only time you should transfer calls is to send them to a senior staff member or someone who can solve the problem. Anything else shows that you can’t or won’t take responsibility for the problem.
6. Always acknowledge problems. Take customer complaints seriously, never, ever ignore them. One unhappy customer can spread their unrest like wildfire, and even if they’re a habitual complainer, you have to take them seriously. Even if you feel the complaint isn’t legitimate, you have to let your customer know that you’re willing to work on the problem, because if you don’t, you’ll destroy customer loyalty, and that’s something you don’t want to destroy.
7. Sometimes you have to back down. Even if it’s only one customer, they have friends, family, and a Facebook account, so they can influence dozens, if not hundreds of customers. Arguing with customers also destroys your credibility, so backing down shows that you value your customers’ opinions, and you’re willing to listen.
Make sure you follow these examples to keep your customers happy and loyal, and you don’t drive them away from your business.