Customers to just about any business nowadays have plenty of options available to them, and they know that they can easily take their dollars elsewhere. In this highly competitive market, it’s not enough to have a great product at a competitive price. You also need to make your client feel welcomed and appreciated. The good news is that this part is easier than you might think.
Remember to Smile – Even on the Phone
A welcoming smile sets people at ease, so you always want to smile at customers when you make eye contact with them. It may surprise you to learn that you also need to smile when you’re on the phone. This is because smiling can change minor inflections in your voice, and your customers will be able to hear the difference. Smiling will also put you in the right frame of mind to remember that you’re working with a potentially paying customer, and that’s a good thing.
One of the most important things you can do is keep your store clean inside and out. This includes changing areas, bathrooms, hallways, and even those off-limits employee areas that customers may get a glimpse of now and then. Keep the parking lots clean, the sidewalks safe, and the windows at the front of your store polished.
Remember Their Name and Personalize Communications
A person’s name is the sweetest sound they’ll hear, and you should take that to heart. Whenever possible, call your customer by name. If you’re in a service industry, then use the name throughout each visit. In retail and restaurant settings, look at the name on their credit card or check so that you can use it.
It’s smart to send out thank you cards to new customers. It’s genius to personalize each card with a little handwritten note. Mention something specific to the customer so that they know you truly remember them and are looking forward to working with them again.
Mind Your Manners and Keep it Low-Key
Please and thank you are important, but it actually goes beyond that. You need to stay positive and polite in your interactions with customers and fellow workers alike. Complaining about things in front of your customers will make you look bad, and being rude to a team member can be a major turnoff for customers. When interacting with others, remember that someone is always watching and taking note of how you behave.
People hate being pressured. Even if they cave to the sale today, they won’t come back to you in the future. Stay patient, let your customers know that you’re there to help them, and then give them space to make a decision. This will help you make them feel relaxed and welcome, and it will lead to greater repeat business in the future.
There are many applications that can help you get in touch with your customers, including Voice of Customer systems. Companies who use VoC enjoy lower customer care costs along with improved response times. Over the months, this leads to higher sales and returns. It’s a high-tech, effective way to overcome the age-old problem of keeping in touch with customers so that you can stay relevant in their lives.
Your customers drive your business, and you want to keep them coming back. First impressions start with your business exterior, but guests will continue forming impressions throughout their visit with you. Always treat people with respect to make them feel welcome. Use applications to help you keep in touch with past clients, and offer specials to keep people coming back. Finally, personalize your service and communications whenever possible so that your customers will truly feel special.
Author: Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband. Dixie recommends looking into voice of customer systems for help with knowing your customer’s needs, or follow @WeAreInMoment on Twitter.