“Don’t be fooled by the signature at the bottom of your payroll check – the guy who signed the check didn’t put the money there – your customers did.” – Jeffery Gitomer
The quote above is possibly one of the most appropriate ways to describe why your company must keep service standards high – it is one of the best ways to impress your customers. It is truly the customers that make the pay check for everyone in the company – they are the reason that your company is in business. It is hard to comprehend then, why companies do not pay more attention to top class customer service by way of understanding the needs and expectations of customers, and doing so consistently. If your company were to treat each customer with importance – the kind they deserve – it would not be hard for your business to forge and stay ahead of its competitors. Customers are truly the boss, and hence it makes sense to find and put into practice every possible method to impress your customers.
As mentioned, customers expect to feel important and valued – they want to know that your company values their business, and one of the top ways to show customers how much they mean is by thanking them for their business. Express thanks for their continued patronage and encouragement, and let them know how much their relationship with the company means to each person. Customer who are appreciated consistently, tend to stay longer, provide repeat business, become loyal, and spread positive words about your company. While it would be prudent for your company to treat all customers with respect, it is necessary also to make more efforts to impress your most profitable customers (remember – 80% of most business comes from 20% of customers). This works better than trying to impress all customers – many of whom may not be worth the effort for a number of reasons including the extremely low volume of business.
In your quest to impress your customers by making them feel important, remember that interactions must be personable and as personalized as possible. Scripted and rote conversations are acceptable for the automated ‘voice’ not when customers call to speak with a real person representing the company. These ‘live conversations’ must involve active listening, empathy, and care on the part of the company’s service representatives – they are about engaging with customers with an aim to truly understand their feelings and emotions beyond their actual words. If you truly seek to impress your customers, it should not be hard to remain responsive, attentive, and ready to do whatever it takes to sort out their issues. Customers may not always know what they need or what to ask for, given a certain need, but if company representatives actually listen and remain empathetic, it would be easy to not only meet the current needs of customers, but also identify future expectations too.
As mentioned, customers may not always know what they can expect, and one of the best ways to impress your customers is by ‘going the extra mile’ to help them. Everyone in the company must remember it is because of customers that they have jobs and earn – hence each time they interact with customers, the mind-set must be one of service rather than believing that they are ‘helping’ customers. With an approach of service, it would be a lot easier to provide top class service and experiences to all customers, thereby ensuring that not only do customers stay, but also they become increasingly profitable and loyal brand ambassadors.
If every is making efforts to impress your customers, remember it is because everyone wants to work with a successful company, and one that would consistently pay good remuneration and benefits, and hence keeping customers happy becomes everyone’s job. Treating customers like top brass and celebrities is a great way to impress your customers. This way each person would do everything possible to ensure that these ‘celebrities’ remain pleased with the company, give it more business, and endorse it at every opportunity they get. Whatever employees do to impress your customers, remember that each one would be doing so to enhance their opportunities and gain increasingly better remuneration and benefits.
We have mentioned before – making customers wait is one of the ‘cardinal sins’ a company commits, because being made to wait is extremely infuriating for customers. It makes them feel unimportant, wastes their time, and most importantly makes them want to take their business elsewhere. Providing swift responses and resolutions should be common practice across all touch-points and every interaction customers have with the company must be pleasant and memorable. Research shows that about 45-50% customers would abandon online transactions if they were unable to receive swift responses to their queries and issues. We live in an age of instant gratification – and customers know that they can get speedy service given the current technology, access to information, social media, and several other tools at a company’s disposal. Receiving immediate attention and responses can be instrumental in raising satisfaction levels in customers.
Another great way to impress your customers is to surprise them ever so often. While customers expect top class service, a company can impress them not just by ensuring service excellence, but also giving them special discounts, offers, incentives, and some kind of additional service. Customers that may be particularly displeased with your company must be given extra attention to appease them and ensure that they stay. The same should happen for loyal customers – they truly deserve the ‘extra pampering’ since they continue to keep their faith and trust in your company, provide repeat business, and spread the positive word of mouth. Impress your customers by remembering their special occasions, mentioning them on your company’s social media sites, publicly congratulating them on their achievements and other such methods. This not only creates a lasting positive impression but ensures that customers keep coming back for this ‘love and attention’ and recommend your company to others as well.
Impress your customers by keeping every said and unsaid promise. Deliver on timelines and commitments, be open, honest, and display integrity in every transaction and interaction, provide clear and unambiguous terms of association, ensure payment terms are clear and payment methods simple – do all of this and it would not be hard to impress your customers. The fact is that customers tend to stay with companies they like and can trust. The more steps and methods your company can put in place to build, enhance, and sustain their trust, the easier it would be to impress your customers and build an ‘army’ of loyal brand ambassadors.
Concerns with regard to the society, economy, and environment continue to rise and perturb. If you want to impress your customers consistently, ensure that your company makes a sustained contribution in any way back to society and the environment. A company involved in acts of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has a better chance of gaining and sustaining the positive attention of customers, who would most likely be active contributors to several social and environmental causes. It is also a good idea, to collaborate with a customer by contributing to a cause they might be actively supporting – not only is this great PR but also works extremely well to impress your customers. In any case, giving back to society and the earth is everyone’s responsibility – might as well build strong relationships with your customers in doing so.
It is imperative to impress your customers – but not all companies are able to do so, on a sustained basis. The top leaders of your company must act as beacons of service excellence, thereby ensuring a sustainable culture of service and empathy for customers. Customers are the most critical and valuable assets for any company, and it is their right to expect and get top class service, high quality products, and everything they deserve from the association. If your company is able to do all this and more, you would not only impress your customers enough to make them stay, but would also ensure that they made all the ‘right noises’ about your company, thereby attracting more positive attention and business for you. Are you ready to impress your customers?