Keeping That Customer
Monday, March 30th, 2015
Advertising and marketing programs can work to gain awareness for your business and attract customers. So, what happens to make customers stop patronizing your business, or give it a negative review? Customer Service, or a lack of it is the biggest reason. An American Express survey found that 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction because of a poor (customer) service experience.
Successful businesses stay that way by taking care of their “regulars.” It costs businesses on average five times as much to bring in a new customer than to keep an existing one. Products, price and service are usually a customer’s top priorities. Even if the product meets their need, at a price they accept, customer service has to be good, or a customer will go elsewhere if they have a choice. On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their original purchase, according to a White House Office of Consumer Affairs report.
Every contact with a customer is an opportunity to make a positive impression. If done properly your attention to customer service will go a long way to build, or retain loyalty and make that customer feel as if you are the right solution to their needs.
Cartridge World stores are your local home and office printing experts. Our stores provide printing solutions that are tailored to your company’s specific needs. Delivering outstanding, knowledgeable customer service, and great savings are some of the reasons we serve millions of customers worldwide annually.
Please use the following techniques to help win, keep, or cultivate a loyal customer.
- For walk-in customers a smile can help set the tone and start the interaction off on the right foot. Ask how you can help in a professional and friendly manner. If the customer wants to engage in small talk, take advantage of it as it may provide you with another avenue to generate a sale.
- Before your customer leaves or concludes their phone call, always ask if there is anything else that you can do for them. This final step can often result in additional business and a more committed customer. While it should go without saying – a hearty "Thank You," or other verbal appreciation and acknowledgement of their business will help seal off the transaction.
For the unhappy customer
- Let the customer vent. Don’t interrupt them, or start to offer a solution until they have finished speaking. If you interrupt you run the risk of offering the wrong solution, or offering more than you need to. Many times a polite “what can I do to help solve this,” will help diffuse the situation.
- Make sure that you speak in a manner that matches your words. If not, your tone of voice, volume or cadence can derail, or hinder your best efforts to arrive at a solution.
- In most cases your goal is to retain the customer, so saying "I'm sorry” or "I apologize" regardless of how unreasonable the issue may be, or if it’s something completely out of your control, can help settle things down.
- Always tell your customer what you’re able to DO for them. Starting out by telling them what you’re NOT able to do will only impede your efforts.
- Take a few notes, and make sure you get their name. If a customer has to repeat their information over and over their level of displeasure will likely escalate. Also, addressing them by name helps to personalize your interaction.
- Once you provide a “solution” get an agreement from the customer that it solves, or even exceeds their satisfaction level.
- If possible cement your solution and provide great customer service by following up with the customer. If the solution was satisfactory, or better than expected you’ll likely retain them and they will be inclined to share their positive experience with others.
While these customer service tips may seem like “no-brainers” how many times recently, or even today, have you experienced poor customer service?