Customer obsession as a guiding principle can help make the difference between a business that gathers momentum and one that spins its wheels.
It’s something that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos puts at the top of his list of founding principles – and other successful businesses have emulated his approach.
So exactly how can a new business cater to customers, and thereby secure their loyalty in the long run? Let’s take a look at some fundamentals.
If you keep your customers waiting, they’ll begin to get impatient. Especially if they have a time-sensitive issue or a complain that needs to be resolved. This means investing in staff who’ll be able to answer emails and phones – and ultimately even relying on artificial intelligence to take up a little bit of the slack.
Dealing with customers can sometimes be quite challenging. You don’t need to fake a smile if you can remind yourself regularly of why you’re making the effort. On top of this, it’s worth taking communication seriously as a skill. Your customer-facing staff should have the charm necessary to smooth over awkward confrontations – and to solve problems!
Know your product
Knowing your product will equip you to make sales, and to address questions and complaints that arise. Be aware that your customers might pose questions from an informed perspective. If you’re selling hairdressing scissors for example, then be prepared to contend with some hairdressing questions.
Deliver on Promises
There’s nothing more frustrating than a company that promises big and fails to deliver. Make sure that you don’t make idle promises, and that you can make good on those you do make!
Understand your Customers
The more complete your understanding of what your customers need and want, the better you’ll be able to cater to those needs and wants. This might be as simple as remembering your customer’s name; it might be as complex as personalising your service to meet their particular needs.
Don’t make the same mistake twice
When a customer complains about something, they’re granting you an opportunity to learn, improve, and optimise. If different customers regularly complain about the same thing, that’s a sign that your business is not learning from its mistakes. This is a principle that goes beyond customer service – but it’s in customer service that a failure to learn can be most obvious and embarrassing.
Go beyond the call of duty
It’s worth going out of your way to cater to the needs of a particular customer. You can justify this on pure business grounds – customers who’ve had a positive experience might tell their friends, who in turn might tell their friends. The further out of your way you’ve gone, the likelier it will be that your act of generosity will gain traction on social media. Make going the extra mile a part of your company’s culture, and your reputation is certain to soar!