Growing up, you may have been told “treat others as you’d like to be treated.” Now that you’re running a business, you may want to continue to follow this rule with a twist: Treat others as they want to be treated.
Satisfied customers help your business prosper not only through their loyalty, but also when they tell friends, family, and colleagues about a positive experience with your company. Customers are one of your best sources of advertising. Ensure you are meeting your customers’ needs by obtaining feedback on a regular basis. Most importantly, to sustain customer loyalty with existing customers or grow your business with new ones be prepared with the staffing, equipment, or technology to meet customers’ deadlines on time, all the time. When your customers need it now, you must be prepared to deliver! You’ll soon discover that repeat business also means that you’re delivering the difference that you’re competitors are not.
Look, Listen, Learn – and Earn
There are several ways to gather information from customers, no matter your type of business. Putting customers first can help you earn respect, as well as profits.
• Ask questions. Greet customers warmly and ask how you can help them. Listen and be pleasant without being pushy.
• Follow up during or after a sale. When customers are at the cash register, ask if they found everything they needed. If your business provided a service (a veterinary checkup, for example) follow up the next day to ensure everything is fine. Comment cards, phone calls or e-mail surveys can help you gather details.
• Keep customers informed if something goes wrong. If there’s a shipping delay, for example, let your customers know. Be proactive rather than reactive. If they know you are aware of a problem and working to remedy it, there’s less chance of customer complaints.
• Train employees to provide excellent customer service. Are the people you hired willing to go above and beyond for customers? They should know your products/services; your mission, vision and values; how to listen and communicate effectively; and the appropriate way to address problems. Ask employees to share customer feedback – positive or negative – with you.
• Make sure customers are aware of new products or services. Let your customers know that their feedback helps you tailor your business to their needs. Direct mail, e-mail, a special open house or a personal phone call can keep customers in the loop.
We Listen to You!
At Horizon Bank, it’s our goal to meet your needs. Our business bankers are here to listen and help you make the most of your business. From business loans to cash management services, we offer an array of services and products to help keep your business running smoothly. Want to know more? Just ask! Call 888-873-2640, visit www.horizonbank.com or stop by your local branch and see us in person.