Most companies strive to keep their customers satisfied. But is customer satisfaction enough to prevent your clientele from looking elsewhere? A customer that is merely content can be an easy target for an eager competitor. If you really want to rock retention, you need to take things several steps further and focus on not just satisfying your customers, but delighting them at every turn. Here are five ways to achieve customer satisfaction and provide more meaningful and memorable experiences that will keep them coming back for years to come.
Start with a small gesture.
It’s amazing how good it can feel to receive a gift, even if it’s something small. You can establish a foundation for a future relationship with your customers by kicking things off with a little gift. It doesn’t have to be much – maybe a freebie worth $10 or less, or a coupon that they can use on your product or service. Small gestures such as these make a great first impression and are a nice way to entice customers to get to know you better.
Surprise them regularly.
You probably already offer some nice perks for your customers – free pens with your company logo on them, a box of fruit at Christmas, fresh cookies in the lobby, etc. The problem with these things is that they aren’t memorable. People take advantage of them in the moment, but then they forget about them. And over time, they come to be expected. If you really want to wow your customers, surprise them with something extra from time to time.
Hear what they’re saying.
We’re not talking about just listening, but actually hearing what your customers are saying about themselves. What are their real needs? What matters most to them? What are they craving that you can fulfill? When you come through with service that exceeds their expectations and meets underlying needs or desires without your customers having to explicitly come out and ask, you’ll make a lasting impression that you can take to the bank.
Make them feel important.
Every customer you serve should feel as if they are a VIP, regardless of whether they’re your biggest client or smallest. When you take the time to get to know each customer, you can deliver much more personalized service, which will make them feel valued. Cater your products or services to their unique needs and preferences as much as possible. Provide benefits and perks that are useful to them. Serve the individual needs of each customer and they’ll reward you with their loyal business.
Bring them into your culture.
The best customers are those who not only bring repeat business, but also serve as brand ambassadors. You can develop and nurture these kinds of mutually beneficial relationships by giving your customers the opportunity to get to know your brand better. Invite them to meet the team, grant them behind-the-scenes access and share some of your secrets. When your customers feel as though they’re a part of your culture, they’ll naturally want to share their love for your business with everyone around them.
Customer satisfaction should be the bare minimum when it comes to your service goals. Focusing on delighting and wowing your clientele is what will ultimately win you their loyalty and help you future-proof your business against your competitors.