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How to: Increase Customer Satisfaction

By Kobe Eru Godwin

credit: forbes.com

credit: forbes.com

It’s the first month of the year 2013, new goals have been set, organizational targets are higher and stakes are rising on a daily basis. One major organizational goal of any company is to maximize profit and minimize cost via satisfying existing customers and making new ones. A business can be called a success when its customers are happy.

Customer satisfaction is an important aspect of doing business because no matter how classy or sophisticated a product or service is, the customers are the end users and a major priority must be placed on them. Organizations worldwide are still in business today because of the role their customers play. Customers are the breath that keeps businesses going. Referrals are key ingredients for businesses and unquestionably vital to anyone in such. However, being able to satisfy customers is paramount. Business is as tactical as a battle field; you can’t win a war without the right centurion (General), and in business you can’t win without the right customer care base.

Loyalty comes with a high level of satisfaction; the more satisfied a customer is the more he sticks to a particular brand (product or service). In the past decade businesses have developed into a wider and better platform – “The Web”. The rationale for such transformation is to have a wider coverage, giving customers more options and a new experience in the business world. The art of understanding ways to improve customers’ satisfaction is a strategy that cannot be overemphasized. Engaging, understanding and communicating with customers will have a great impact on returns to business. Here are tips to increase Customers satisfaction:

1.  Cultivate a personal rapport with your customers: Treat your customers like the persons they are, not like some tool for making money. This does not necessarily mean that you have to be overly familiar with them. It just means that you should have a certain amount of their personal information, such as birthdays, e.t.c. in your database. You can also learn some things about their families like events that are special to them. This is to help you, as the business owner, stay in contact with congratulatory or follow-up messages that will give your customer the feeling of importance.

2. Give room for feedback: Creating room for customers to air their opinions about your product or service is one way to let them know you really care about their views. They can also provide you with valuable information that you can use to strengthen your company’s reputation. However, you can only glean this information by giving your customers the opportunity to tell you what they think. There are many means available for you to do this; toll free numbers they can dial, customer care hot lines, questionnaire slips, emails, and so on. Just make sure your customers feel comfortable enough to speak their mind and that they also have an avenue to do so. Also ensure you take action as regards whatever feedback you get from your customers, starting with the grievances.

3. Use their ideal method to reach them: One way to increase customer satisfaction is to communicate with them in a manner that is convenient to them. For online consumers, email is the standard method; otherwise, a phone call will often suffice. For a large customer base, phone calls to all might not be feasible and so text messages will have to do. However, create a data base for those special customers who are consistent and/or make the largest purchases and give them special and personalized attention. By contacting people in their preferred method, you will most likely have a better chance of reaching them within a reasonable time frame, communicating effectively and achieving your goals. However, always make sure you do it at their convenience.

4.  Capitalize on social media: While social media drives marketing in various companies, it can also serve as a great customer contact base, allowing us to involve them directly and try to get their challenges fixed. An added advantage of this approach is the potential for positive consolidation of your business. One happy customer in the heat of his excitement with your company can share his experience with thousands of friends or followers and before you know it, BOOM! You’re in big business.

5. Always find avenues to improve: Every business owner should have a good idea of what the customers want. Always ensure you deliver promptly and efficiently. Seek out avenues to improve your customers’ experience as by so doing, you’re also increasing your business. Create loyalty programs to reward consistent customers and always come up with new touches and innovations to keep your clients and customers coming back for more.

6. Give out freebies and make promotional offers: This is a very sure way to attract potential customers while keeping the existing ones smiling and impressed. Giving away free stuffs has tremendous promotional, branding and messaging potential. It is also a way of showing your customers that you appreciate them. Free items can include pens, key holders, notepads, mints, snacks or toys. Just make sure the items are free or low cost for you to acquire. Also make sure that the items carry your logo, messaging, website and contact information, or other promotional information. Giving away free items that are useful or desired by people reflects well on your company, before the customer has even made a purchase.

If you are a web based company, make sure you user interface is fun and fascinating. The life line of any business is its customers and if you mess that up, you mess up everything.  Customers should always be treated with a lot of care because one disgruntled customer can drive away hundreds of others and so also, one happy customer could mean a huge influx of new potential customers. It’s that simple.

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