I received a letter in the mail a few weeks ago which was a personalized, hand-written note. It was sent by a local yoga studio where I practice. They were thanking me for joining them this year.
The warm fuzzy feeling I got knowing they had taken the extra few minutes out of their day for me, was more than enough to bring me back to their studio. A studio that, in all honesty, is very similar to many other studios I’ve tried. They have a relaxing atmosphere, knowledgeable instructors, and herbal tea in the reception area.
But they clearly understand that customer acknowledgment and appreciation is an important part of a business. In fact, it’s been proven to cost five times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. And a 5% increase in customer retention can increase your profitability by 75%. But, how do you keep your customers and clients coming back time and time again?
Here are 20 tiny tips that will make a positive impact and lead to big customer satisfaction:
Treat every customer as if they are your boss.
People appreciate when they feel respected and valued. Think of them as the most important person, and they will feel like the most important person.
Leverage social media.
Thank individual followers by name for attending a class or dropping by.
Send a survey.
The simple act of asking for customer feedback makes you appear more open and genuine.
Remember customer birthdays.
You can do this with a personalized card, a social media mention, or a call out on a bulletin board in your reception area.
Give more than you receive.
Little things like free bite-sized cookies during the holidays or free hot cider and tea when it’s chilly outside to show customers you’re thinking about their comfort.
Set reasonable expectations for customer service. It’s easier to exceed expectations than to apologize for letting someone down.
Collect email addresses.
Anyone on your mailing list (both snail mail and electronic) are customers to focus on! By giving you their address, they’re saying, “there’s something about you I really love.”
Create a newsletter.
Use those email addresses you’ve been collecting to send a newsletter. Highlight customer events, product reactions, testimonials, photos of your space… make them feel like they are part of the insiders club.
Get employees on board.
Make sure all employees understand the importance of customer service and represent this company-value to everyone who walks through the door, sends you an email, or comments on your social media channels.
Create a positive working environment.
It’s nearly impossible to have happy customers if you’re employees aren’t happy at work. A positive work environment breeds genuinely happy employees.
Send thank you cards.
It’s not always possible but if you have a customer’s home, office, or email address, a quick note of thanks goes a long way!
Fix small annoyances.
Make sure your bathrooms are clean, doors don’t squeak, and the trash is emptied often. It’s often small annoyances like these that negatively impact an experience.
Incorporate small acts of kindness.
Say hello to everyone who walks through the door. Keep fresh flowers on the desk. Hand out free samples.
Smiles are infectious and should be used often.
Streamline all customer processes.
If your sign in or check out process is confusing or difficult, that negatively impact your customer experience. This is true of both in person and online forms.
Give customers a chance to speak.
Have comment cards available for all positive and negative feedback.
Always respond quickly.
No matter if the situation is positive or negative, people want to be acknowledged.
Don’t ignore customer feedback.
Responding quickly is great, but the next step is to consider the feedback and make changes if necessary.
Plan ahead for a positive customer experience.
Never make it a half-hearted afterthought. This might mean dedicating a few hours a week to customer service projects.
Above all, be honest with your customers.
They’ll appreciate your genuineness and forgive you more easily if you mess up later on.
In the end, it doesn’t matter whether you remember each customer by name, send cards, or offer free beverages in the lobby. What matters is that you’re paying attention. If making your customers feel welcome and appreciated is a top priority for your business, you’re already leaps and bounds above much of your competition.