Really successful small businesses have a few things in common for their customers, they:
- Provide a great product or service
- Are trusted by their customers
- Provide great communication and customer service
Here are 3 powerful techniques that will delight your customers and help you build a better brand.
Technique 1: Ask your Customers
How do you know if your product or service is good? Simply ask your customers. Your customers want you to succeed and will happily tell you your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t take your weaknesses personally. In fact, your customer is best qualified to help you understand what needs to improve.
How do you ask your customers? Initially, contact your customers via phone or setup a meeting with them. Candidly ask them what you do well and what you need to work on. Keep track of a list of things you need to improve on and attack that list.
After you have talked personally with 20 of your customers, automate the process by creating an online survey, then after you finish a job for a customer, send them an online survey to complete. Keep the online survey short (no more than 10 questions) and ask things that will help you improve your offering. Review the survey answers weekly so that you use that valuable information to improve.
Where can you get a online survey? We have personally used Survey Monkey in the past but there are others out there. Survey Monkey is free for a 10 question survey and allows 100 responses for free. That’s a great to get started and if you need to upgrade in the future, it cost $26 per month.
Here is a video that shows the type of analysis you can do once people begin filling out your survey. It was published by a blogger to figure out how to improve their blog but you will get the idea of how you can use it to analyze your own surveys.
Technique 2: Build Trust with your Customers
Your customers want to feel secure that you will not go out of business and will be there to service them in the future. They also want to trust you. They want to trust that information you pass between each other is kept safe, secure and confidential. Trust begins with your brand. If you don’t have a website, you should create one. You can create websites quickly and inexpensively using WordPress or sites like Wix.
When dealing with customers, always under promise and over deliver. When meeting with them, be on time, conduct yourself professionally and follow up promptly. Doing this will provide a deep sense of trust and your customer will continue providing you with business in the future.
When handling confidential documents between you and your customer, don’t send them in an email because it is not secure. Your customer is trusting you with their personal information, so be sure to safeguard it.
You can do that with tools like the TriggerBox. With the TriggerBox, you can upload files for your client into a secure virtual lock box and the documents are encrypted for their protection. Your clients can access those files at no cost to them. The cost of the TriggerBox is inexpensive (just $9.99 per month) and they have a free 30 day trial. Here is a quick video that explains how it works:
Technique 3: Provide Excellent Customer Support
Once you begin working with your customers, you will want to answer questions and help them resolve issues quickly. The old way of calling, leaving a message, and waiting for a return phone call can be frustrating for your customer. A better way to handle questions and issues is to offer an online support system.
With an online support system, your customer can simply send an email to your support ticket email address. For example, if your company is name Acme, you can setup an email address called firstname.lastname@example.org. Then your customers can send an email to that email address and your online support system can intercept that email and create a support ticket on behalf of your customer. Then you can answer the ticket and all that communication is kept neatly within your online support system.
An online support system sounds complex and expensive, right? It isn’t. In 30 minutes you can setup your online support system and the cost is minimal (about $5 per month). We recommend Zendesk because we’ve used it for years and it works flawlessly. Here is a video that shows how it works:
By utilizing simple tools and powerful techniques, you can quickly gain the trust of your customers and continue to grow your relationship with them for years to come.
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