Unfortunately, not many business owners thoroughly consider, whether their customers are pleased with their products, as long as they are their customers.
Is the client satisfied or absolutely thrilled to be yours? This can be a great difference, right? That's why it is important to ensure that you do anything to make your customers happy to ensure most of them become your repeat clients and bring more people to your business.
Why make customers happy?
One of the most important things in life is enjoying it (I'd even say that this is the goal of life, but who I am to tell you how to live?). There are lots of reasons one can be such, and, generally, all people try to keep something in their lives that allows them to enjoy their life.
That's why making your clients not only satisfied, but also eternally grateful for doing business with you should become your primary occupation, if you want them to be your loyal customers and spread the word about you.
How to make customers happy?
Before you can actually brighten someone's day, you need to know why that happens. First of all, you can think what makes you happy, while buying anything online or offline. Customer service? A bonus? A discount?
Generally, something makes you happy, if:
- you get positive emotional experience (through customer service, bonuses, etc)
- you get more, than you paid for it
- you can pay less for what you get
In essence, it all swirls around providing more, than a person is expecting, considering or thinking about. Needless to say, you can go use your imagination and knowledge of your customers to give to your customers.
Examples of things to do could be:
- a natural (sincere) smile from a company representative (a cashier, the packaging person, etc)
- a personally hand-written 'thank you' note after an order
- a carefully, efficiently and personally solved matter with a potential client
- quickly and painlessly solved issues with apologizing, without accusing the customer
- free delivery
- free complimentary gifts (accessories, small items, how-to guides, etc)
- a professionally designed template
- a website, the existence of which people forget, when they use it (think usability and accessibility)
As you can see from the above, a lot can be improved with customer service. One reason that it is of great importance is that your customer service is the only way your customers have contact with you. Otherwise, they just browse your website (which should be communicating something, too, of course).
Obviously, a website, which the people use, plays a role here, too. If your customers find what they want quickly and easily, they'll enjoy visiting the website, which will asociate your company with a pleasant experience, thus increasing trust and increasing conversions. (Read more about improving websites.)
Basically, the more you make your customers aware that you value them by providing extra value to them, the happier they will be and the more people they will mention you to.
Set the right expectations
One of the important aspects of delivering value is in setting the right expectations with customers. If you say you are the best, you have to be the best (before you say that). If you say your customer service is the best, you ought to deliver.
It is important to set the right expectations, so the people would not be disappointed, when you do not come up to their expectations (maybe they were imagining everything too positively?) and when one of the factors you promised fails (which can happen).
Even if you are not the best, you need to be honest with your customers, then they won't feel cheated or as lesser quality customers.
As a happy customer is the one, who has gotten more, than he has thought of, you need to set modest expectations, so that you could deliver more, than you promise. Then the customers will be pleasantly surprised by your great efforts to be a good service.
How to overdeliver?
Generally, you simply need to provide great service and/or product to your customers. But to give you another edge to win, you need to deliver more, than your customers expect. This partly depends on you, so you don't set unreasonable expectations and do provide great service.
Also, you need to be great, anyways, because if you underpromise, the customers may not be impressed by your offer at all. So the best strategy would be is to balance between taking pains to deliver great value, to be the best, but not overly excite your customers over what they'll be getting. Let them discover the value themselves.
One of the "discovery factors" is surprise. If no one has promised to give you a 20% discount, would you be more thrilled to receive it, than if you were told you'd get one anyway? Of course, you don't need to limit your marketing campaigns by saying nothing, but keeping some of your great efforts secret should be just enough to create the magnificent feeling of great service.
Overall, how you deliver to your customers will build your brand, because a brand is the sum of everything that people have experienced with your company. To have a good brand, you need to make sure you do everything possible to satisfy, inspire and enliven your customers.
Inspire word of mouth
Of course, it'd be unreasonable not to take advantage of the strategy and not to get some serious buzz going around your business. The best way, of course, is to provide great value to the customers. This one along should make you remarkable.
Also, you can build a platform for communicating with your customers, be it through your blog, a forum (or both), or just via e-mail. Talking with your customers about what they need, how they'd like you to improve the product and so on will help you not only to improve your product or service, but to also gain a couple of loyal brand advocates.
Other things could be giving a customer a discount, if he refers a friend to you (now that's basic, right?). A better way would be to give random or selected customers discounts and give them a coupon or two for their friends. Another one could be to give away a complimentary product or service (such as a how to guide for nearly anything, for example).
The key rules here would be to overdeliver to your new customer, give him/her a chance to share your great service/product and to pleasantly surprise the receiving side. Then, you need to give your customers an easy way to share the value you give to them - it could be even more important, than what you give, too.
In general, if you only stick to the direction of overdelivering value to your customers, you should be on the right track. Depending on how well you communicate with your customers and how fearless you are in going forward, you should be able to find new ways to provide value to your customers and make sure they enjoy being your customers. So, go and make a customer or two happy now.