There’s nothing more disappointing than seeing a bad review of your business. You work hard and take pride in your product, and hearing that a customer thought the coffee was bitter or flowers were wilted makes your heart sink into your stomach. But, really, honest feedback can only help improve your business. (If you’re not already using Square’s customer feedback tool, here’s a guide to getting started.)
The good news is that there are simple things you can do to help guarantee happy customers. Here are a few tricks that will have folks singing your praises. Hint: It all begins with great customer service.
Listen and learn.
You may not think that something as easy as listening to customers translates to your bottom line, but there’s proof in the pudding. Happy people keep coming back, and they’re more likely to tell friends and family about your company. So listen up and find ways to facilitate customer interaction. Talk to customers at the point of sale. Follow up with them after their purchase to ask how things worked out (you can target messages to your loyal, casual, or lapsed customers with Square’s email marketing software). Pore over all the feedback your customers sent through their Square receipt. And, no matter how big or small your business is, be active on social media, promptly responding to and engaging with customers.
Personalize products and services.
Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar or online business, customers want to feel special. That means going the extra mile with personal touches and individual care. If you’re online, offer ways to customize products and services (monograms, custom fabrics). If you’re a brick-and-mortar store, be like a personal concierge, offering one-on-one help and engaging customers by asking them questions. Make sure you have bottles of water or tea and coffee in case customers are thirsty. Ask them if their purchase is a gift and have a free gift-wrapping service at the ready. All of these little touches go a long way.
Offer more than is expected and reward your regular customers.
Meeting customer expectations means that you’re doing a good job, but exceeding customer expectations means that you’ve created a memorable experience that will keep people coming back. Going above and beyond could be as simple as handing out free samples while people wait in line or thanking customers for their online purchases by offering 10 percent off the next time they shop your site. Offer customer loyalty reward programs for regulars — everyone likes to be rewarded with a freebie — and organize exclusive VIP events to thank frequent customers.
So, what’s the main takeaway? Treat customers as you would like to be treated, and you’ll be well on your way to a happy and satisfied customer base. Yep, it turns out that your mom really was on to something when she said this to you as a kid.
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