Author: Cassie Scott
Few things feel better than making customers smile. Whether they shoot a bull’s-eye, find the perfect bow, or score awesome deals, their smiles radiate satisfied joy.
You might think it’s not your job to make customers happy, but it should be your goal. It costs five times more money to attract new customers than to keep existing ones, according to SEOhosting.com.
These tips will help make your customers happy.
Smiles are contagious. Create a warm environment for your customers. Photo Credit: ATA
Be kind, be genuine and smile.
Happiness is contagious. Studies show that happiness radiates person to person like good news. Being near a happy person can make you happier. Unfortunately, negativity fuels negativity. You must emit positive thoughts while among customers.
Happy people smile, laugh and project glee. They’re also kind, confident and focused on the moment. If you’re happy, your customers subconsciously feel your positive vibe and reciprocate. That starts by greeting every customer who enters your shop.
Give your time and respect theirs.
People become customers the moment they view your website’s homepage or enter your door. Customers usually want or need something, and you must help them find it quickly. Review your website to ensure customers can navigate it easily and efficiently.
The Center for Client Retention also notes that happy customers are in control. How do you grant that control? Provide undivided attention until they’re satisfied. Don’t multitask or make them wait for your attention. Focus on them immediately. Listen and show that you respect their time.
Communicate and connect.
Customers like being in-the-know. They want to know which deals you’re running, when their bow can be picked up, when you finished fletching their arrows, and why their league was canceled or postponed. Customers must know everything affecting them, even if it’s bad news about back-ordered products. Honesty builds trust and repeat customers, and reflects your brand’s values and ethics. Be open, and clearly and consistently communicate with them.
Misunderstandings and miscommunications can happen in customer service, and cause unhappy customers. Soften the blow by calling, texting or emailing news, events and updates that involve them.
You must also be easy to contact with questions or concerns. Post your contact information online. Tackle those tasks yourself, or designate a staff member to quickly answer emails and social-media comments.
Seek opinions and feedback.
A Forbes article, “3 Reasons to Ask for Customer Feedback,” states: “Your business will make more money if your customers are happier.” But how do you know if they’re happy? Ask them.
Before customers walk away, ask, “Do you have any feedback for me?” Or ask, “What can I do better next time?” Peter Bregman at the Harvard Business Review suggests following your question with, “Don’t be nice, be helpful.” Bregman said you’ll likely surprise customers with such questions, but they’ll feel important because you value their opinions. You can also ask them to rate your performance with an email survey. Limit the survey to five questions or you’ll violate tip No. 2.
Use that feedback to improve customer experiences. Also, respond to customers who leave online reviews to show you’re listening and care about your service, products and business. To learn more, read the ATA article “Why (and How) You Should Respond to Customer Reviews.”
Let them know about discounts on products and thank them for their business as they leave. Photo credit: ATA
Go above and beyond.
A sure-fire way to please customers is to exceed their expectations. Offer free coffee, write thank-you cards, carry their purchases to their vehicle, and offer customer-rewards programs. Unique one-time discounts or buy-one-get-one specials make customers happy.
Happy customers often provide reviews and testimonials, and refer friends and family to your business, which is great word-of-mouth marketing. If you receive compliments and create customers through referrals, you probably have happy customers. Don’t stop there. You can always improve.
Read the Entrepreneur article “10 Ways to Keep Making Your Clients Happier and Happier” to learn more.
If you have questions or want more advice, contact the ATA’s business, membership and Trade Show office toll-free at (866) 266-2776.