Tag Archives: Customer Satisfaction

Fans Wanted

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Businesses get more revenue when they have fans… or what is commonly known as loyal customers.

Loyal customers are the most important assets of a company. They are the most passionate advocates and promoters of your brand. Ask them why they are your fans and they’ll likely answer: (1) they like your products; (2) they feel at home with you; (3) your store is the nearest and most convenient place where they can get what they need; or (4) they can rely on you to provide them what they require. All four reasons are good selling points, which your company can take pride in and continue to improve upon. They all speak about your commitment to quality results and good customer service that you need to keep standing for.

You already have the recipe for success when you get at least three to five satisfied customers who refer your business to other people. The hardest part is how to maintain that reputation and continue providing the experiences those delighted customers found in your store. It can be quite easy to get sidetracked due to concerns of day-to-day operations, crises looming on the financial front, and those pinches competitors caused on your sales.

Focus is instead turned to generating more sales and maintaining profit. This is quite necessary and understandable on the whole, but is it all right to concentrate only on those and neglect customer service? Many business experts would disagree. They would say you’ll also need to pay attention to customer relations, as your customers are your best bet against that frightening scenario—bankruptcy.

Just like in the comic strip above, customer and service do go together. You cannot maintain a customer without providing fine service, and if there are no customers, there’s no profit. This makes it important to be dedicated to your customers at all times, good or bad. Once you’ve proven your dependability, customers will keep coming back. The good thing about this state of affairs is they’ll bring other people with them who might become your next customers.

What is good customer service? How you gain or lose customers?

Personable service is defined by the following activities or qualities:

  • Getting to know your customers’ preferences and pet peeves
  • Anticipating their needs before they tell you
  • Asking customers about further inquiries or complaints
  • Doing your best to exceed their expectations
  • Focusing on providing quality products and services
  • Being on time to give what your customers need
  • Providing warranties and solving grievances

Disregarding any of the traits listed above earns you minus points on fine customer service. The list may be tough, especially on the first days. But when you make it your goal, these actions will become routine. Once you become well-known for good customer service, people will flock to you and become your customers. Your client base will surely widen and your business a success in the long run.

 

Reference:

MentorsOnline.Wordpress.com

Calling All Campaigners

How to Encourage Engagement on Your Social Networking Pages

Likes and Follows are easier to get than actual customer engagement. That’s because more people follow their favorite store on the web for special offers. Actual communication and brand loyalty only occur if customers see dedication to provide the highest quality service companies can offer.

Discounts are quite useful in making your followers scramble to visit your page. This can have an adverse effect, however, because there are some people who just want to get the price markdowns. They want to get the deal before it expires or runs out. They’re more concerned that they’ll be saving more than getting the actual product. Turn this situation around with video testimonials from customers who want the discount because they really want the product you’re offering. This will convince other followers of your product’s worth because videos are more convincing than written testimonials with names.

Enticing customer engagement on your social media page content can be a bit difficult. Persuade them to view your posts and share what’s on your page. A well-written article without a catchy title won’t be read as much as an article with an attention-grabbing heading. Compose titles that evoke laughter, curiosity or shock. This almost always guarantees that your content will be read to find out what’s so special about the topic.

Conduct a regular “Customer Appreciation Day.” Celebrate the establishment of your store or company milestone with a social gathering with customers who want to join in the fun. Post the pictures of your social activities on your social media page. Show the staff mingling with customers. This makes other followers who were not able to join to be excited about the next party. This markets your business well and demonstrates that you’re a sociable entrepreneur who cares for customers.

You can also show customer appreciation with a week-long sale, for example. Why not offer a 15-25% discount for all items? Sandwich highly sought-after items between clearance items. This will not only promote your new products but also help you cart off the languishing items on your inventory.

Helping your customers resolve their concerns about your merchandise is another way you can show how much you appreciate them. Assist them in sorting out their problems from product mismatch to replacement. Can’t appease the customer? Give them a refund with your sincere apologies. This will go a long way in appeasing their irritation and make them remember you in a more pleasing light.

Allow your followers to post their questions on your page. Handle each one in a careful and diplomatic manner because each post can be viewed by other followers. Once you’re able to solve the problem, they will see how good and helpful you are.

Make it a commitment to engage your followers on your social media page. This will cultivate closer relationships with your customers and open the doors for new followers. Start being engaging today.

 

Reference:

SocialMediaToday.com

Getting the Scoop on Yelp

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Managing Your Business Online Presence in One of the Largest Review Sites

Yelp is an online database of business reviews written by customers for other people who might be interested in going to a local store. This website helps people find good places to shop, eat, drink or loosen up after a whole day’s work. Yelp is a site where you can find both nice and unpleasant evaluations of different businesses.

Many people use Yelp – reviewers who want to share their experience, vacationers who want to know more about the place they’ve visited and other people who want to know more about a certain business. This makes it necessary for entrepreneurs to pay more attention to this site which now has more than 20 million reviews on its record. These reviewshave the ability to make or break businesses, depending on what was written.

Businesses need to make their mark on this site immediately. This is because your own business information can appear on Yelp without you knowing it. Third-party data providers gather basic business details and contact numbers from public sources. Search your business name on Yelp to see if it comes up on the site. You may need to correct the facts listed, such as address, phone numbers, and more.

If you want to benefit from the web traffic visiting Yelp every day, coordinate with the site to place ads that make your business visible online to more potential customers. Placing ads are not for free, though, so you need to plan how yto advertise your merchandise on this review site. Other than that, here are some things you need to know about this site:

1.  Yelp’s traffic comes from its home page.

Out of the 78 million people browsing on Yelp, 60% of the site traffic mainly comes from laptops and desktop computers, with smartphone traffic following after. The number of visitors using mobile phones to access Yelp is increasing, though, so entrepreneurs will do well to add their Yelp business information on their mobile campaigns.

2.  Retail stores have the biggest category.

Before September 2011, restaurants are the top search term customers use when they go to Yelp. Now, retail stores and other shopping centers make up the biggest group on the review site. This is because people look for more alternatives in their shopping trips due to the economic downturn that hit the country. Many businesses involved in retail have seen this opportunity and went to Yelp.

3.  Don’t ask customers to post reviews on Yelp.

According to Darnell Holloway, Yelp’s Local Business Outreach manager, businesses should not solicit reviews from their customers. This is because Yelp wants to focus on raising awareness rather than making businesses compete with each other with the number of reviews they have on their respective pages.This also runs the risk of making customers feel like promotional prizes that must be touted for everyone visiting Yelp.

4.  Earn Your ‘People Love Us on Yelp’ Stickers.

Companies with consistent high ratings get free ‘People Love Us on Yelp’ as proof of their perfect online reputation. Once a business earns this ‘badge of honor, customers familiar with Yelp will trust this business more and visit more frequently.

5.  You can ask reviews to be posted on Yelp through subtle ways.

Yelp recommends that entrepreneurs to add the URL of their Yelp business page onemail signatures and business cards to let customers they’re on the review site. This is a more understated way to request a customer to look at your Yelp page and write a review.

6.  Yelp used to pay for reviews.

When Yelp was just starting, they paid for reviews outside the San Francisco area to get more people to visit their site and pull up their search engine rankings. This strategy was abandoned, however, when Yelp started to grow and became more popular.

7.  Customer service has the greatest pull.

When people grade a business, they put more value on customer service than the quality of the merchandise they bought. This proves that engagement and service levelsare more important in terms of building good relationships with customers. Put more attention to the way you conduct customer service to make people more aware of your good qualities.This can persuade them to come back.

8.  For every star you earn, there’s a 5-9% increase in profit.People naturally want to go to stores, boutiques and other commercial establishments with high ratings. When your 3 1/2 star rating becomes 4 or 4 1/2, more customers will patronize your store. If they’re satisfied with your overall service, they’ll become part of your regular client base.

9.  Yelp is inclined to invite reviews for independent businesses rather than chains.

Independent businesses get more reviews than chains because their service tends to become more or less uniform. This is because chain businesses have an overall management committee who keeps tabs on the way things are run on each branch. Independent businesses, on the other hand, have varying reviews because they are managed by different people with different approaches to how they run a business.

10.  Entrepreneurs can approach Yelp about ‘inappropriate’ reviews.

When businesses receive malicious reviews, business owners can contact Yelp and dispute over the review. Entrepreneurs can communicate with the reviewers, if necessary.

11.  Yelp advises businesses not to sue over bad reviews.

Negative reviews, especially fake ones, can make tempers boil until the entrepreneur is forced to file a lawsuit against a reviewer. Before starting legal action, Yelp advises to let cooler heads prevail because undue attention will be given to the review in question. This will make customers stay away from your store more and bring your revenues down.

Businesses can earn more revenue with Yelp if there are more positive reviews than negative ones. What you can do to yieldpositive reviews is to continue providing reliable service and fine products for your customers.

 

References:

Mashable.com

Yelp FAQ

Responding to Negative Reviews the Right Way

Protect Your Online Reputation from the Effects of Negative Reviews

Finding a negative review of your business can be distressing. The reflex reaction is to ignore the review and move on. This is a mistake that will backfire once you search your business and seepages dedicated to results that show reviews like these:

  • Don’t trust Business X. It’s a scam!
  • How Disappointing Business X Is!

Damage control can get worse if you don’t take action after seeing even one bad review. To avoid this scenario, entrepreneurs should create accounts in all review sites where they’re mentioned. This will allow them to monitor the positive and negative comments about their company. Close tracking will allow you to immediately reply whenever a negative review is posted.

Make your profile look well-appointed, as customers are likely to check your profile to see the reviews about your products and services. A well-designed profile can enhance your online image and increase consumer trust.

Many consumers now check for product reviews before transacting with a business. They want to make sure they’re spending their hard-earned money on high-quality goods that will be useful for a reasonable amount of time. This makes it imperative for entrepreneurs to ensure customer satisfaction while guarding their online reputation.

Letting one bad review fester can tarnish your pristine business image. Make sure to take action with diplomatic reactions that are prompt and properly phrased. There are review sites that allow a business to reply back to comments. Use this feature to answer destructive comments that can hit your enterprise hard. It is important, however, to be careful on how to phrase your answer. You want your business to be seen as solicitous and open-minded enough to make reparations, not defensive and bitter.

A terrible review can make you feel disheartened. Accept it and handle it objectively. Create a personalized response will would humbly convey your apologies, explain your side on the matter and make compensations, if necessary. You can offer to exchange the product for more satisfactory items or refund the offended customer for the trouble.

Always remember that a negative review shows you how things can be better improved. You might have scored a little low on customer service. Why not provide trainings and refresher courses for your staff? Customer passed from one staff to another? Maybe there’s something wrong with the workflow. Complains about a defective product? Ask the customer if they want a replacement or refund.

Proper communication is the key to improve your relations with your reviewers. There are some cases, however, of inaccurate reviews and black propaganda arranged by your competitors. In this case, you have to find evidence that the transaction is completely untrue. Approach the review site administrators with your proof and ask them if they could take down the libelous reviews. On the occasion that the bad reviews are not taken down, ask satisfied customers to post reviews on the sites you’ve been blackballed. A stream of good reviews will help neutralize the effects of those bad comments against your business.

Do not ask people to post positive reviews in exchange for cash. That tactic is not only prohibited by the provisions of the Federal Trade Commission, but also flies against ethical business practices. No amount of money can erase a reputation further blackened with the scandal of ‘pay-per-review.’ This will just continue to make you look bad in front of customers.

Bad online reviews cannot spell doom for your online marketing campaigns unless they’re very pervasive and cannot be controlled anymore. What you must do is to strive to defuse the damage with good reviews requested from customers who liked and loved your service.

 

Photo Credits:

Netwirks.com

Double-Crossing.com

The Little Things Customers Need

How to Earn Loyal Customers with Small Gestures

One cheery hello, a welcoming smile or a helping hand can strike quite a good impression and leave customers feel well cared. These days, businesses seems to be run on a fast pace. Entrepreneurs are more concerned with quicker waiting times and damage control in times of complaints. Their strategy to customer relations is more reactive than proactive. This just causes their reputation to go downhill for a lack of a proactive strategy can make their customer service appear lousy.

How can you make customers feel like royalty whenever they interact with you?

Go the extra mile.

Serving guests on an inn? Deliver five-star treatment with a tour of the place before giving them the key to their rooms. This might be more work for you but welcoming guests this way makes them feel happier to be in your establishment than anywhere else. Anticipate their questions and provide the information they need without them asking for it. Adopt a genial attitude as well. A dour, serious expression can make it seem that you’re forced to serve. This would detract from the effect you want to achieve and make them feel like uncomfortable instead.

Greet them with complimentary notes and tokens.

This is important, especially when you’re in the hospitality industry. Greet customers with a ‘Good morning’ note with a flower, some chocolates or some other token. This can make guests feel special and very much welcome. By the time they leave, offer them some souvenirs like pens engraved with your business name, mugs or other promotional items.

Personalize your approach to every customer.

Each customer is different from one another. Know their requirements and tailor your services to their needs. Learn how to read body language, verbal cues, facial expressions and gestures. If your customer likes to talk while choosing merchandise, smile and engage in small talk. Exchange jokes with them and touch their arms in a friendly yet unobtrusive manner. If customers like to be left alone while making their choices, observe from a far distance and approach when they look around for someone to ask about something. This would make them feel more comfortable browsing items and picking goods they like.

Memorize their names and their favorite items.

Customers love it when you remember their names and what they’ve bought the other day. Take note of their favorite items and inform them when you have their much-loved merchandise on hand. Take the trouble to wrap their bought items with high-quality paper or some other wrapping material. Ask them about the nephew they’ve talked to you about when they last visited. This would endear them to you and make them feel that they’re very much important.

Before you succeed in social media, you must first do well in actual customer relations. Remember that your offline dealings with your customers are more important than your online reach in the social networks. The more meaningful your customer relationships, the more online engagement you’ll receive.

Think some other approaches have been missed? Please mention them in the comments below.

 

Reference:

INC.com

Drive More Interest in Your Products with Well-Written Reviews

How reviews can entice customers to spend their hard-earned money on your products and services

You’re browsing the Net for restaurants to dine in with your date. As you look at the websites of several well-known dining establishments, you’re more confused than ever which to choose. All of them have a tasty-sounding menu with pictures that convey intimate ambience at prices you can afford. Upon further investigation, you see some good reviews of a certain restaurant that’s out of the way of your usual city haunts. This bistro has been praised by the reviewer for an overall positive experience. Which restaurant are you more likely to choose?

When asked the same question, many people answered that they would pick the establishment that has been reviewed. Their collective reason? “If there are customers willing to back up a business’ claims of good quality, then I’m more willing to go to that business myself,” one succinctly says. This makes it important for businesses to have positive reviews about the following aspects: (1) quality of products and/or services, (2) professionalism and customer service, (3) working environment, and (4) price of commodities. It would certainly be nice for a business to meet all four standards to impress existing customers and attract new ones.

But not all reviews made can be trusted nowadays. Some reviews can be considered spam or made by reviewers who just want to blackball the reputation of a certain company. They do this to chase away potential customers and make them go to the competitors instead. How can entrepreneurs fight against such menace to their living? Review sites and search engines like Yelp and Google do their best to filter such content, although there are still some flaws to their screening program. Many legitimate and positive reviews are sometimes flagged and taken off the business page.

What entrepreneurs can do to salvage their online reputation in the face of scathing and inflaming one-star comments is to make a public reply. The answer has to be as courteous and calm as possible. Even though you know that the review’s a spam or a real yet somehow unfair complaint, you still have to be polite because other users can still view the conversation. If they read that you’re engaging in a verbal brawl with your irate ‘customer’, they’re bound to think the worst of you.

Turn this negative review to your advantage instead. One way to do this is to reply like this, “I’m sorry for the reprehensible service you’ve received. Can you please contact me at this number to clarify the matter?” An answer like this will make the other users look favorably on you. They will see you as a conscientious merchant striving to make things right. Review websites like Yelp allow entrepreneurs to respond to customer reviews.

 

References:

Social Media Today

DemandForce.com Blog

From Complaints to Accolades

How to turn your complaining customers to loyal customers for life

When we see a customer’s thunderous expression and aggressive stance, we turn our heads from left to right looking for a way out. Since dealing with complaints can be stressful, some businesspersons avoid answering a complaint and hoping it will go away. That approach, however, will provide adverse effects to your business. Customers who are supremely dissatisfied can be effectively influence other people to turn away from the direction going to your store. They can persuade other people to look for other places where they’ll be treated better. Here are some tips for you to think about the next time you encounter a grievance:

1. Handle complaints in a courteous and solicitous manner.

Presenting a confident yet caring attitude when customers comes complaining can make them feel that they can rely on you to solve their concerns. If you face customer protests in a defensive way, you risk fanning the flames of their temper and being burned with it. If they’re spitting mad, strive to calm them down first and listen to their issues. Ask questions to clarify the matter to ensure no confusion about the issue involved.

2. Your business should have a clear workflow on taking care of complaints.

If your business does not have a clear-cut procedure in handling irate customers, you should start making one as soon as possible. This would help prevent your employees from making mistakes in handling the situation while experiencing nervous tension because they don’t know what to do. Train everyone well, from the receptionists and sales staff up to their managers. If everyone is knowledgeable about the right ways to deal with complaints, then business will be a whole lot easier and the customers a lot happier.

3. Settle the problem efficiently and quickly.

Customers are further incensed when they approach the manager or owner with their issue and not much is done for resolution and reassurance. Make sure to solve the problem immediately. If the complaint concerns a product, offer to repair or replace the item. Customer still not yet satisfied? Give a refund instead to compensate for the trouble.

4. Follow up with the customer regarding their issue.

Let the aggrieved customer know how the issue has been resolved. Make a letter of apology detailing the problem or, better yet, call them to provide the news that their concern has been made good. This makes the customer feel well taken care of. If you’ve managed to gain their trust with your professional attitude, sympathetic ears and helping hands, then you are sure to see them once again in your shop.

5. Record all the details concerning every complaint.

After the complaint has been resolved, make staff concerned fill out an incident report detailing all the events that led up to the complaint. Arrange a meeting with the staff’s direct supervisor or manager to clarify the details and learn how to prevent the problem from coming back again. Although this may prove to be additional paperwork and bother for everyone involved, this process actually sheds light on any procedural flaws, staff problems or managerial issues you may not be aware of.

 

Knowing how to placate the customer well puts you up a par against your competitors. Once you’ve managed to organize a simple yet effective strategy in handling customer complaints, you are well on your way to converting dissatisfied customers to steadfast ones. So, learn to welcome complaints. This drudgery will lead you to realize solutions on how to better improve your business.

 

Reference:

BusinessLink.gov.uk

Website Customer Surveys: How Feedback Forms Can Affect Your Business

Be updated with the customer pulse with the help of regular surveys.

Asking customers how they feel about your business can be a bit worrying. Getting in touch about the difficulties they have encountered in your shop can be wearying as you try to explain the problem and assuage their annoyance. Keep up to date with customer pulse with the use of regular surveys. Install feedback boxes on every page of your website. This will help customers immediately express their satisfaction or aggravation about your products and services, as well as staff problems you may not be aware of.

What are the benefits of website feedback forms to your business?

1. Customers feel that they’re important.

Make your customers feel that they can help you further improve the way you run your business. As soon as you start receiving entries, check whether they list commendations or complaints. This will help you familiarize yourself with each customer’s experience and enable you to be ready to answer questions about your services. Contact the customers who have filled out the forms and thank them. Discuss with them any issues they have brought up so that every detail is taken care of.

2. There’s always more room for improvement.

Asking what your customers enjoyed and disliked can help you further improve your business and enhance customer experience. If there are many dissatisfied grumblings, take them as blessings-in-disguise and transform them to make customers come back. Be sure to thank each customer when they answer your feedback forms. This helps reassure them that their concerns will be addressed and solved.

3. You are better equipped to take on the competition.

Involving yourself in the reactions of your customers will help you better understand how to improve upon the weaknesses and build up the strengths of your business against your competitors. This will help you give them what they’re looking for when they need it. Once you’ve established a rapport, trust will soon be given and make customers rely on you to provide for their needs every time. They’ll go nowhere else and be your customers for life.