It is true when they say that it takes months, if not years, to build a business and just one unhappy customer to destroy it. Customer satisfaction has been considered one of the strongest factors for business success, especially because it drives sales and promotes brand loyalty. However, not a lot of entrepreneurs realize the impact of keeping customers happy, and end up committing mistakes that slowly bury them in failure.
“Good service is good business,” a Siebel advert once stated. No matter how small your company is, it’s extremely important to find ways to keep your customers happy, as they’re the lifeblood of your business. You don’t need to be a genius to do that. You just have to follow these three simple (but difficult) tips:
1. Make yourself available to your customers.
Customers these days are looking for not only good products or services, but also companies that understand them. Availability is very important when you’re an entrepreneur because there will be customers who would want to know more about your organization, your products or your services. Keep in mind that something as simple as ignoring a client’s email can already put you in a bad light, so it pays to find ways to make yourself available to your customers. For instance, if you’re doing business in the Philippines, rent a service office in Makati that customers can visit any time if they have complaints or queries. You should also learn how to use technology (especially social media) that a lot of people use to share their customer experience, whether good or bad. By letting customers feel that you’re there for them, they’ll know that you’re more than just a business trying to earn money. Rather, you’re a company that truly cares about them.
2. Develop the “talk less, do more” attitude.
Going against competitors who have the money to launch huge marketing campaigns may not be easy. But the thing is, what you lack in finances, you can always make up for with good service. Toby Bloomberg once said to “under promise and over deliver”. Since customers remember their experience more than your fancy adverts, it’s very important to walk your talk and deliver the best service possible to them. You don’t really need to invest huge money on advertising because word of mouth, which stems from customer satisfaction, is still one of the strongest marketing weapons out there.
3. Be careful of falling into mental traps or cognitive biases.
Okay, so you had this brilliant idea that you turned into a business. You worked hard for it, spent a lot of money on it and you’re doing everything just to make it successful. While holding on to your story and using it as motivation isn’t a bad idea, there are times when this leads to mental biases that could hurt your career or business. The thing here is, you can’t always assume that you’re right or that your business is the best. No matter how great your company is, there will be bad reviews, complaints and other negative press. Instead of lambasting customers who are unhappy about your products or service, try to be open-minded and address their problems properly. Like what Microsoft founder Bill Gates once said, “your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” Remember that you ALWAYS need to be logical with everything you say and do as an entrepreneur.
Customer satisfaction is an acquired art form. In fact, even the biggest companies are still learning every day how to make their clients happy, and they’re still facing many challenges along the way. The trick here is to commit. Once you commit yourself to keeping those smiles on your customers’ faces, everything else will be a lot easier to do.
This article was written by contributor Jenna Cruz. Jenna is a freelance writer for Regus, a specialist in flexible workspaces across the globe. Regus has branches in the Philippines which cater to the needs of local entrepreneurs for virtual services and offices for rent.