'There are people that are warm and caring with their family and friends, but not with their customers. Your customers are an extension'. -Jack Mitchell, author of 'Hug Your Customers'.
'Manage Your Customers With Care', shares that customer care involves putting systems in place to maximize your customers' satisfaction with your business. It should be a prime consideration for every business. Your sales and profitability depends on keeping your customers happy.
Customer care is more directly important in some roles than others. For receptionists, sales staff and other employees in customer-facing roles, customer care should be a core element of their job description and training, and a core criterion when you're recruiting.
But don't neglect the importance of customer care in other areas of your business. For instance, your warehousing and shipping departments may have minimal contact with your customers - but their performance when fulfilling orders has a major impact on customers' satisfaction with your business.
The authors go on to further conclude that a huge range of factors can contribute to customer satisfaction, but your customers, both consumers and other businesses, are likely to take into account:
- How well your product or service matches customer needs.
- The value for money you offer.
- Your efficiency and reliability in fulfilling orders.
- The professionalism, friendliness and expertise of your employees.
- How well you keep your customers informed.
- The after-sales service you provide.
- Training courses may be useful for ensuring the highest possible levels of customer care.
Here is a recent comment of a local Hartford plumbing service via Angie's list:
'We have had plumbers out several times for plumbing needs. Our house is very old and needs plumbing repairs often. They are always on time, very quick at getting out to our home and do a high quality of work at a reasonable cost.'
Author Gail Goodman of 'Five Ways to Show Your Customers You Care' offers five actions that will show customers you care:
- Share your knowledge-Give away helpful advice in your e-mail newsletter, as well as on your Twitter and Facebook pages--information that will better your readers' lives. Anticipate customers' questions and concerns and offer useful information to educate and guide them. Ask them what they'd like to learn more about from you. Be different from others who are merely promoting products and services in their communications. Sharing your knowledge gives customers something valuable for free and proves your expertise. It's a win-win.
- Ask, listen, respond, adapt-Ask customers what's on their minds regularly. That includes their satisfaction with their most recent sales or service experience and with your employees, as well as their general impressions of your business. Invite feedback at multiple contact points--via e-mail communications, online surveys, on your website, after online sales and on paper sales receipts. Keeping a finger on your customers' pulse is good for the heart--and bottom line--of your business. Listen to what customers are saying about you in surveys, on Twitter or Yelp, or anywhere else they give feedback. Publish survey results and answers to customer questions in your e-mail newsletter. Create a sense of community around your business based on dialogue with your customers. Respond to customers promptly when they contact your business, whether it's a complaint or a compliment. Show them you're listening and that you care. If there's a problem, fix it so they can go away happy to return to your business. Adapt your business based on customer feedback to better meet their needs. Communicate the changes you're making based on what they've asked for.
- Reward customers-Give customers something that helps them remember--and love--your brand.
- Hold a customer appreciation event-Hold a 'VIP Night' in your store or office. It could be a free seminar, early-bird sale, special access to new products, or a get-together with entertainment or a guest speaker. Promote your event in your e-newsletter and with links on social media websites so no one misses out.
- Do good-Get your business involved with a nonprofit or charity. Invite other local businesses and the community to participate. Use your newsletter and social media to tell customers about the cause you support. If you can, donate a portion of the proceeds from sales to the charity or match your customers' donations. Another option is to hold a fundraising event. Remind people when they patronize your business that they're doing something good.
Do these things again and again.
Showing customers you care should be a year-round occasion and daily event.
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