Prior to the French Revolution, the ‘Let them eat cake’ quote was attributed to Marie-Antoinette during the reign of her husband, King Louis XVI. Though there was no sufficient evidence to substantiate the claim, the quote provides a thought process that has a positive impact on ways of doing businesses.
Originally, the French phrase, “brioche” does not translate to cake but a rich bread enhanced with butter and eggs. At that time, the bread was a staple food in France; both the peasantry and the working class considered it a luxury food as it accounted for a larger portion of their income. The quote was made during a period of bread shortage. Thus, giving them the bread was a powerful step that was aimed at satisfying their insatiable quest for the staple.
How much do you know about your customer needs? Are you feeding your clients what they’re hungry for, or just telling them to eat cake? Will they still need those offerings in a week, month, or year? For instance, if you’re teaching a cooking class to vegans and you are showing them how to make the best cheeseburger in the world, you are going to have a class full of disinterested and unhappy people. Figure out what your clients are coming to your table to eat and then set out a fest!
The goal of doing business has long shifted from how to be successful to how helpful you are, to your clients. Definitely, the latter eventually produces the former. Customers are at the center of every business, and meeting their needs, goals, or priorities is the only way to create value for them, thereby converting your business into a seven-figure one.
Building a seven-figure business requires you to give a 7-figure value. The following practices, it utilized effectively, will make your clients happy and willing to come back for more services from you.
Provide customers’ needs quickly and efficiently
Usually, customers tend to be impatient when they have a need to meet or satisfy. Thus, they seek the business that can meet those needs almost immediately and, of course, efficiently. Consider their probable cumulative experience when they patronize you or visit your website as well as online store. Think of ways to make it better.
When your clients make enquiries, be sure to have articulate answers that leave them satisfied at hand. Even if you cannot provide all the answers immediately, inform them of the steps you are taking to ensure that their issues are being addressed. Avoid only platonic dealings with your customers and demonstrate a great deal of passion. All these translate into excellent customer service, which, subsequently, creates loyal customers.
Create personalized experience
Every client is unique and their needs – apart from the service you render – vary. Thus, what is acceptable to a client may be different from that of another. The first step to creating a personalized experience for your client is to understand their aspirations. These could be known when you engage them personally.
Observe your clients’ behaviors and preferences. Get to know their interests, likes, and dislikes. Depending on the nature of your business, you can take the interaction a step further by taking them out for a drink. It sounds crazy, right? Of course, it does! However, this form of relationship creates an emotional connection that can make your customer stick with you for life.
Creating a personalized experience also includes following your clients up after a sale. Only a few brands persistently stay in touch with their customers. Get their email addresses and send them weekly or bi-weekly newsletter. This can also include info on upcoming discounts, offers, or promotions. Get their phone numbers and send them goodwill messages, especially on significant days, such as New Year Day. Get their birthdates and send them birthday messages.
Offer helpful and accurate suggestions
One other way to get your customers coming back for more is by offering them extra services. This could be in the form of suggesting to them alternative ways of doing certain things. This does not show that they will follow such advice or not. Notwithstanding, clients usually appreciate when they are shown candor.
You can also educate them on certain topic ideas or areas. This shows you are competent and possess enough authority in the industry. If you have a blog, provide informational articles or blog posts; create FAQ pages or other similar possibilities. Consider the best option that suits your business type or industry. All these go a long way in connecting with new audiences to build interest in your brand, thus, resulting in customer loyalty and retention.
Ask for feedback
Apart from ensuring that the services you render are satisfactory, you may not be able to make every customer happy. Usually, clients form opinions based on general performance or quality of customer service. However, some clients are not open with them. You never can tell if your employee engages in activities that can affect your business reputation, for instance. Such opinions can only be revealed when you request for honest feedbacks and constructive criticisms from your clients.
Feedback is what they think of your service delivery. Of course, you will get both positive and negative feedbacks. While a positive response indicates they are satisfied with your service, a negative response – usually a result of unmet expectation – gives you the opportunity to improve upon areas where you – or your business – are inadequate. Take time to review the feedback you receive and make necessary improvements. When clients are aware of any improvement in service delivery based on their feedback, they remain loyal to such a business and keep coming back.
Exceed their expectations
Excellent customer service delivery is a good way to make clients stick with your brand. However, have you ever thought of how they would feel if you provide them a “wow” experience? Going beyond customer expectations leaves them with a memorable experience. Customer expectations are difficult but possible to meet – and even exceed.
The first way to exceed customer expectations is to provide quality service to them. This is followed by how fast you can deliver the service. Some other effective ways are by sticking to deadline, adding extra services, and providing free packages.
Going a bit extra in your service delivery will show your clients how much you try to make them happy and satisfied. Usually, when clients get this “wow” experience, they defy all odds to sing the praises of your business to family and friends. With this, your customer base gets extended and your revenue improves.
Engage your employees in impactful training programs
For offline business owners, especially, your employees are the first contact clients have with your business. In fact, they are the “first customers” you have. Of course, it is expected that they fully understand your products and services. Your employees may not have direct effect on customer retention or loyalty. However, how you treat or engage them impacts how they represent your brand in their interaction with your customers.
Engage them in training programs, especially customer service training, such that they are able to communicate your values to customers, impress customers at all levels of engagement, and build brand loyalty. The training could be in the form of role-play scenarios, where they can demonstrate standard procedures practices or working in a stress-free environment and uncomfortable situations.
When this is done and followed up to ensure that it sticks, it will help them become happy and confident to deliver service excellence.
What about the constant change in customer needs?
Customer needs vary and may change based on background, personality and perspective. Businesses are expected to be experts in the various needs of customers, anticipating their needs before the actual need. Apple Inc. has demonstrated great foresight in meeting the ever-growing needs of clients.
For instance, the CEO, Tim Cook, saw the eventual need of data security by customers in their quest to enjoy great freedom in their social media usage. With this, it has revolutionized into a company that can fulfill customer needs more often.
The hype surrounding the need to understand the needs of clients and provide for them an excellent service delivery is justifiable. Factoring in the consistent increase in competition in the marketplace, unless a business is able to meet customer needs and exceed their expectations, the chances of winning customer retention and loyalty that translate into increased revenue may be slim. Remember the goal is to convert your business into a seven-figure one.
Remember that customers are also humans. How you communicate with them and show them empathy determines their level of commitment to your business. Apart from these, there is something that triggers them to always remain loyal to you. It could be your staff, your service delivery, or your ambience. The way to win the loyalty or your employees through these triggers has been captured in this piece.
Understanding and engaging your customers is just as simple as this!