For every business owner and employee, customers are the lifeblood of our company. It is well known that, without them, we would not get to do the thing that we love to do–our work. That said, it should be at the very top of our list to ensure their happiness and every attempt made to win over their hearts again and again. It is not the transaction that matters, but ultimately making your customer successful that is the true win.
Here are three simple steps you can take today to better the relationship between your company and your customer:
Give Them A Voice That Matters. Too often, the customer is made to feel that their position in the business relationship is just to consume. With the overload of products and services that are available on the market today, the general attitude of, “You bought into this, so this is what you get,” seems to be present.
Giving your customers a true voice that is acknowledged by your company, in a real way, will set you apart. Often, implementing a simple plan to gather feedback, and responding to the customer promptly is the best way to manage this. At TSheets, this means giving our customers a forum to suggest their ideas on our Feature Request page and giving them insight into new features that we are developing. Team members respond to each feature request personally, with real information regarding their request, and news from our development team. This creates brand loyalty, as the customer sees their ideas acknowledged, responded to, and even put into action.
Give your customers the freedom to speak up and make suggestions, and your product or service will only improve. Additionally, backing your product or service with exceptional customer service will keep you in that A+ standing. Always be sure to thank them for taking the time to speak up. Our employees enjoy sending out personalized, hand-written thank-you notes after we have spent time on the phone with the customer, working through a fix, or conducting a demo. This is just one way that we as a company say thank you to our customers on a personal level.
Make The Changes They Would Like To See. Following our first point, this goes hand in hand. Now that you have their feedback, act on it! Active participation in the relationship with your customer will ensure your long-term success. After all, your customer is the one who interacts with your product or service on a daily basis, and this makes their feedback critical. Implementing the changes they ask for isn’t possible every single time, but it can be done the majority of the time. Truly providing what your target market is looking for requires growth and adaptation.
Best Buy is a great example of a company that doesn’t just listen to what its customers say, but actually takes that feedback and puts it into action. Not only do they share customer reviews with vendors to improve products, they reward many customers who have provided feedback with points to use towards future purchases in the store.
Understanding that the ultimate driver of your business is your customer will allow you to adjust course when necessary and continue to provide a product or service that fits your clients’ needs.
Go Above And Beyond Every Time. Zappos is a prime example of a company that goes above and beyond in providing outstanding customer service. The call center team doesn’t work from a script and has free reign to do what it takes to make customers happy. In one instance, Zappos sent flowers to a woman who ordered six different pairs of shoes to try out after medical treatments damaged her feet. How did the customer service team know she could use a pick-me-up? They engaged in an actual conversation with her and made a connection.
At TSheets, we have a saying: “Surprise and Delight!” It’s short and sweet, and easy to remember. Each member of our team holds a personal responsibility to our customers, and every player takes that mission seriously. From swag bags to t-shirts, we are all watching for new ways to brighten our customers’ day.
Continually looking to surprise and delight your customer—to go above and beyond what they would expect—will win their heart and their business. Lasting business relationships start with personal connection. Foster that connection every chance you get and watch the magic happen.
Giving your customers their own voice and then striving to meet their needs creates a firm foundation for a beautiful working relationship. The additional time and effort put forth on this front will pay in dividends of long-term customer loyalty, and overall business success. Invest in your customers—they are your future!
As the #1 employee rated and reviewed time tracker on the planet, TSheets helps accounting professionals and small businesses save time and money on payroll, simplifyinginvoicing, billing, job costing and more.