Customers are vital to any business, without them your business wouldn’t exist, yet why as customers do we feel like an interruption when we visit many businesses. This week we discuss what it takes to impress your customers to ensure they keep coming back to you and how valuable outstanding customer service can be.
Why focus on your customer service?
We often see businesses focus on the initial first impression with customers but forget about the rest of the experience. By charting the entire customer journey from before the customer buys to after the sale can truly make or create an amazing customer experience. Small things can make a huge difference to the customer and sometimes simple suggestions or tweaks can save your business several thousands of pounds.
Key Stages Of The Customer Journey
- Before the Sale
- Setting Up The Customer & Support
- Managing the Relationship with Your Customer
- Dealing with Customer Resistance
- Developing your customers
- Customer Feedback & Testimonials
- Follow Up
- Growing your client base
By taking stock of each of the different stages of the customer journey it can help us to improve things for the customer. I have worked with a number of businesses to help map their unique customer journey. By distilling the different stages of the journey and getting feedback from across the business, processes can improve to make the experience for the customer more positive and memorable. A few examples from different stages of the customer journey below will help you to start thinking about your own business and how this could help to grow things.
Before The Sale
First impressions, whether they be online, face to face or by phone, are key to building the relationship with the customer. It is the first impression which can be crucial in deciding whether or not they do business with you. Ensure that your messaging is clear on your website and that whoever is your first point of contact in the business is up to the job. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression!
Setting Up The Customer & Support
Like any great relationships – customer relationships must start off well. By clearly understanding your customers’ expectations a lot of frustrations can be prevented. If you are the point of contact for the customer set up a call or meeting to discuss their needs and expectations and ensure you document this by way of follow up. Also, set up regular catch up calls which will mean that your customer has a regular check in and you can seek feedback.
Managing The Relationship With Your Customer
Customers will often push boundaries at the outset of the relationship. It is important that we are able to have open discussions with our customers to ensure that they are clear on the support levels we can offer. Don’t be afraid to manage your customer and push back on tight deadlines if it isn’t feasible. Help your customer to understand ideal timelines for requests and orders and you will find that most will try to stay within these where possible. Showing flexibility is key but also learning that if clients are not managed they will often push the boundaries.
Next week we will continue to discuss the key stages of the customer journey to help you to further improve your customer relationships. Focusing on how you deal with your customers is key. If you can’t wait until next week please contact us for some further customer journey resources and we will happily email these across to you: firstname.lastname@example.org