Customers Speak with their Feet

Champion Assistants - Sales Strategy Virtual AssistantsHave you ever had a customer tell you upfront that they are leaving because of poor customer service, underestimated delivery times, poor quality products or because they don’t like the way you format your e-mail responses to them?  If you have, lucky you!   You would be lucky to receive feedback upfront and have the opportunity to repair the relationship.  If you haven’t, you are with the majority whose customers speak with their feet.  Most times customers won’t give feedback upfront, and will instead take their business elsewhere.

It isn’t easy giving negative feedback, even if it’s constructive.  Especially for customers who receive offers from your competition, both local and international, it is much easier for them to take their business elsewhere than give you the opportunity to improve.  Customers generally only leave after a long time of feeling under-appreciated or frustrated and your competitor has addressed their need.  Sometimes you don’t even know your customer has left because they simply took their business elsewhere without giving notice.  They used their feet.

Oftentimes it isn’t price or competition that drives competitors away.  It’s perceived indifference.  When a customer perceives that their business is not valuable to you or they feel like they aren’t be handled like valued customers, they are more easily swayed to using another provider.  When it comes right down to it, prioduct or service is just part of the equation – customer experience makes all the difference.

What can you do to make your customers feel like they are the precious gems they are?

1. Let them know you value them!  Send occasional thank you’s just because they are a client.  Especially after they have made a large purchase, let them know how much you appreciate their business and how you will help them.  One thing my clients appreciate is that I send them a gift card for something special each year on their anniversary of being a Champion Assistants client.

2. Address their needs.  Make sure your products and services are tailored to your clients.  One size does not always fit all and customers appreciate individual attention.  Nobody appreciates being a customer ID number.

3. Offer proactive support.  Anticipate your customers needs and offer explanations of how you products or services work and the best ways to use them.  Especially if you sell products, make sure your customers know all the benefits and offer your support and guidance in installation.

4.  Make payment expecations clear.  Making payment easy for customers is essential.  There are few things more frustrating than researching a product, going through the sales process and then having a difficult purchase experience!  Offering various payment options and even payment cycles is helpful.

5. Ask for their business.  It’s important to involve your customers in your business by letting them know you appreciate them and are available to provide them with information and answer their questions.  What is also important is to follow up to find out what additional needs they have in case you offer other products or services that address those as well.

It’s infinitely easier to keep current customers happy than constantly be prospecting for new ones.  Treat your customers like the gems they are and they will appreciate your business as valuable to them.

Best,

Heather

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