Small business owners are forever looking to maintain the advantage over their larger competitors when it comes to customer relations. Why wouldn't you? It's the only true advantage that you have from the onset. Personal service in a way the larger corporations just can't keep pace with. With this being said, entrepreneurs are also looking for ways to innovate the customer service process and that may not be completely necessary. If you stay focused on the fundamentals and do them well, that could be all the innovation you ever need.
Here are a few tips for mesmerizing your client and maintaining the edge for your small business.
1. Create a comfortable environment.
The most basic of our tips. Be likable, be competent and be passionate about your product or service. Staying positive while you interact with a client is key. Greet them with a smile and thank them with a smile. This goes a long way. Understand what you are doing, work hard to make sure the client is informed and give them all the information you would want, if you were in their shoes. Lastly, be passionate. Tell the client how you feel about the product, if you have personal experience or have received customer feedback, let them know your thoughts on it. Likeability, competence and passion. Very simple and very important.
2. Make it easy to start and finish the purchase.
Make it as easy as you can for your customer to get the ball rolling with your business. Avoid asking people to fill out long drawn out sheets with tons of personal information to begin their transaction. Most consumers are ready to move, once they have made the decision to purchase your product or service, so streamline the transaction process in any way you can. Think in these terms, if you wouldn't want to go through certain steps to make a purchase, do not ask your client's to do it.
3. Show them that you trust them.
Easy rule for you to remember. If you don't trust them, they will not trust you. Make the hassle free concept extend beyond the sale itself. If a client brings a concern to you about the product, give them a solution. Make it timely and do it without needing a ton of information. They have shown you their faith in your product by spending their hard earned money on it. So show them you have faith in them and the issue they have presented and make it right as soon as possible.
4. Communicate in direct and simple terms.
When working on providing your client with the information they need, speak clearly and break down your product or service so it's easy to understand. This is not to imply any ignorance on your customers end. One example, if you are on the market for a mp3 device, although you know how many gigs it is, you will have questions. How much music can I put on the device? Will it do video? These are simple questions that most consumers will ask of you when deciding to make a purchase. Have your information ready and when asked, give them the answers they need.
5. Consider the influence for the purchase.
In most cases the person that pays for a product or service is the person that decided to make the purchase in the first place. Key influencers can be a spouse, child, co-worker and so on. Ask the appropriate questions and get the appropriate answers. This shows the customer you are taking everything into consideration and take providing a solution for them very seriously.
6. Bad news isn't always bad, if your timing is good.
Sometimes products have problems. Most businesses try to minimize the effect of bad news on the client. If you have to deliver bad news, make sure to deliver your plans for a solution in the next breath. Avoid leaving the customer asking the who, what, when and where's. 9 times out of 10, your being forthcoming and explaining what you are gonna do about the issue will keep the customers loyal and happy. Avoid taking the phone call from them that tells you what is going on. If you see the potential for a problem, communicate what you are going to do for them in a timely manner.
In closing, remember the single most effective way to mesmerize your client is to be positive. A positive attitude covers every aspect of thier interraction with you and your business. The customer is right and reasonable until proven otherwise. It's better to keep the customer happy and maintain your relationship with them. A happy customer is the one that is likely to sell themselves and others on your product or service.
Please feel free to leave a comment. We would love to hear your thoughts.