When it comes to retaining clients, what’s crucial is customer satisfaction. Businesses can use lots of strategies to drum up business in the short term, but at the end of the day, satisfied customers keep your business going. While it is important to receive and respond to customer feedback, it is also important to find the roots of the problems your business is having. Here are five tips to maximise customer satisfaction.
Set Realistic Expectations
When enticing new business, it is crucial that you create an impressive yet realistic impression. Setting expectations too high with ridiculous promises that you cannot hope to meet is a sure way to leave your customers unsatisfied. Instead, try under-promising and over-delivering to beat your customers’ expectations – set realistic expectations regarding lead times and ordering costs. Aiming to exceed expectations in a deliberate way is a sure fire way to improve customer satisfaction.
Customers Come First
Remember that saying “the customer is always right”? When focusing on customer satisfaction, you want to put their needs front and centre. This doesn’t mean putting your firm’s needs aside – rather you should reconcile the two by finding a way to meet their needs while not compromising on your own. This means treating customers with respect, delivering on time, and recognising their commercial imperatives. Most of all, putting the customer first means understanding their business. What are this customer’s reasons for keeping inventory? Are they experiencing supply chain pressures?
Actively Seek Feedback
Listening to customers’ complaints can offer valuable insight into what to improve in your business. Take advantage of customer satisfaction surveys and make the time to touch base with key customers. Actively seeking feedback maximises the value of the feedback you actually receive. Making contact and patiently addressing customers’ issues is crucial.
If It’s Wrong, Fix It Quickly
The last thing dissatisfied customers want is a supplier or partner that seems not to take their complaints seriously. Even small suggestions are valuable for improving customer satisfaction, so it is critical to be in a position to action a response to every customer suggestion as soon as possible, even if the response is a simple acknowledgement. Is this customer concerned about ordering cost? You might not be able to reduce your pricing, but you can make it clear that you care.
A key step in responding quickly is perfecting your customer feedback methods to enable suggestions to be made and adjusted within a quick timescale. Agile responses will show your customers that you appreciate their business and value their input.
If you’re in the retail space, social media is a vital element of your customer satisfaction arsenal. Now that customers are looking for easy solutions for their issues with your service, they are more likely to visit your website or social media page than they are to phone up a call centre. Using social media as a platform for customers to review and recommend your services can be valuable to gain new customers. Moderating reviews and replying to both satisfied and dissatisfied customers will increase interactivity and show that your brand is committed to developing a meaningful relationship with your customers.
Creating a positive customer experience is key to retaining business in the long run. Whether your business is a manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer, it’s important to actively listen and respond to customer concerns. If you can make your customers’ concerns your business’ priorities, you’ll be well on the way to customer satisfaction success.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.