There’s irony in the fact that smaller companies try to appear larger than they are, while multimillion-dollar corporations spend a large portion of their marketing budget to forge personal connections with the customer. The only problem is that such companies focus more on appearance than on the delivery of a quality product or service. Below, we offer some tips on improving the way your customers perceive your company.
Improve your Products
Your products and services are how your customers “see” your company and your brand. Instead of spending your cash on advertising and the false impressions it sometimes gives, use that money and effort to improve your offerings. Remember, a happy customer will bring you more business over time than even the flashiest ad.
Fix Problems Promptly
We all know that mistakes happen, and people aren’t always satisfied with the services and products they receive. People buy from you because they believe you’re capable of delivering quality—when something goes wrong, fix it in a timely fashion and you’ll retain those customers.
If a customer calls or emails with a complaint, take responsibility and assure them that the problem will be fixed. Each customer is important, and to them, their problem is more important than anyone else’s. If you keep that in mind, your customers will perceive your company in a better light. Here are some tips on handling customer complaints:
· Apologize for the inconvenience (even if it isn’t your fault)
· Take charge of the situation or assign it to a team member
· Keep the customer up to date, to assure them the problem is being handled
· Confirm that the problem has been fixed and reassure the customer that it won’t happen again
· Put them at ease if the problem was their fault
· See where you could have done things better
· Implement changes which will prevent similar problems in the future
Another way to leave your competition in the dust (and impress your customers) is to act quickly. Most people buy using their emotions as a guide—once they decide on a purchase, they want the product immediately. No one wants to waste time asking for quotes or standing in line! If you are quick to respond and your product/service prices are prominently displayed, you’re already better than most of your competitors.
Forge Lasting Relationships
It’s important to make a good impression on your customers, but you should concentrate on building relationships with business contacts as well. After all, the person you meet at a convention today could become your customer tomorrow! After such an event, don’t send a form email to everyone you’ve met. Take some time to personalize your message, and don’t go for the “hard sell”.
Don’t Waste Your Time
Being a business owner is difficult; it takes up a large portion of your time and it can drain your energy. Spend time with family and friends, and above all else, don’t neglect your health. You started your business to make your life richer and more rewarding, so you should take time to enjoy the benefits. If you’re happy and feeling great, it will come through in each interaction you have with your customers—and their perception of you will be better for it.
About the author: This post was written by Crispin Jones for Name Badges International, a global expert in supplying name badges for businesses.