Top 7 Strategies to Increase Customer Satisfaction & LoyaltyBy Bambang Haryanto
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Many businesses have evolved over the last decade into a more web-based industry. The result of this transition is that consumers seeking to buy something now have more options than ever before. In turn, businesses are experiencing the challenge of increased competition and, in some cases, less business.
Certainly with repeat business and referrals being the bread and butter for many businesses – and undoubtedly essential to anyone in business – being able to satisfy clients becomes ever more important. Naturally, the more satisfied a client is, the more loyal that person will feel for years to come. It doesn’t take expensive gifts to make a client happy either.
Here are seven ways to help you increase your customer satisfaction and create client loyalty.
- Respond quickly – or at least within a reasonable time frame.
The majority of people these days expect a response back from their inquiry within a reasonable time frame. Whether it would be an email or phone call, a prospect or client, it’s important to set up an effective communication system and make time out of your busy schedule to respond. It’s critical to be available to your customers’ schedules and not the other way around.
By doing so, you are proving that you care about them as a client and will take care of their needs. If you find yourself in a situation where you have not responded promptly, it still makes sense to respond with an apology for your tardiness.
- Ask how your clients would like to be responded to.
One way to increase customer satisfaction is to communicate with clients through their preferred method. For online consumers, email is the standard method. This allows them to maintain the anonymous status which is important to online consumers. Even when consumers provide a telephone number, they may be surprised when you contact them by phone. If you decide to place a call, take into consideration that it is a more personal and perhaps invasive action.
Prepare notes or a list of questions beforehand to ensure you cover all your points and maximize the time. By contacting people in their preferred method, you will most likely have a better chance of reaching them with that reasonable time frame, communicating effectively and achieving your goals.
- Create a positive website experience.
Once visitors lands on your website or landing page, you have about 10 seconds to capture their attention. People will judge your site quickly and determine whether they’d like to give you the opportunity to earn their business and be their Realtor. With an attractive layout, some photos, your contact information clearly laid out on the home page, you’re off to a good start. When you start providing additional information on your website about your market area, like neighborhoods, schools, other points of interest, you begin to increase the value of your site. You will give people a reason to come back and they’ll tell others about it, too. A blog is an easy and effective tool to communicate with readers. There you can post market information, daily updates, and any opinions that may help educate visitors.
- Personalize and customize.
Everything you do once you connect with an Internet consumer should come across customized for the client. The Internet allows people flexibility and anonymity but once they reach out for information, they expect high quality customer service. Templates are an important tool to saving you time, but never forget to tailor several components to suit your client. People are becoming wiser and more Internet-savvy, so they’ll be able to see.
- Think from the customer’s point of view.
Buying something is an important and often emotional decision in a person’s life. Consumers will generally select someone whom they feel will take care of their needs best. Show that you are on their side, listen to their requirements and preferences and respond in a way that demonstrates or conveys that you consider them a close acquaintance or friend. Think from the customer’s perspective. This simple rule applies to any marketing initiative. Seeing things from the customer’s perspective will help keep their experience a positive one.
- Educate your clients.
Side by side with setting expectations, a common sense to working successfully in challenging markets is to educate clients and to better manage expectations of the customers. Having facts, documentation, news, blogs, etc. to provide to your clients will help them understand where you are coming from and validate your points.
Print out white papers or articles and have them readily available for handing out to clients. Being an expert in your market is paramount to building trust and, in turn, clients – and it’s your responsibility to understand and be able to convey the difference to help educate them.
- Conduct surveys and track results.
Surveys can prove to be a valuable tool and source of information. You can set up surveys to go to clients in the beginning of a relationship after you first meet a client, in the middle of a longer term transaction period, and/or at the very end when the transaction is finalized. Find out what clients like or dislike about you and/or your offered services. Analyze their answers to find out what you can improve about your approaches and methodologies. Keep results so that down the road you can analyze metrics about how your business has evolved and have the ability to chart a course of action based on empirical knowledge, not just guess work. Statistics and data will help you make wiser decisions about your business.
(c) Bambang Haryanto
Webmaster of Business Tools and Resources
Article Submitted On: July 02, 2009