Current customers, particularly buyers who have purchased a firm’s products or services for several years, have established beliefs and feelings associated with the firm. They may know the names and personalities of leaders at the company. A relationship with some measure of trust and loyalty already exist between the customer and the firm.
Current Customers Provide Excellent Word-of-Mouth Advertisement
Existing customers require less marketing dollars to engage them in a purchase because they are familiar with a business’ services and products. This makes them excellent sources of word-of-mouth advertising. Current customers have a company’s products in their home. For example, if the business is fashion, a designer’s suits and dresses are hanging in clients’ closets.
Each time family and friends see the fashions they can ask questions including where the outfit was purchased, what the company’s service was like, and how much the outfit cost. Because friends trust friends when they recommend a product, if the feedback is positive, it could easily equal a new sale without a cent having to be spent by the fashion designer.
Business Leaders Must Find Out What Customers Want
Companies create customer loyalty when they deliver more than what they promise and when they maintain regular contact with their customers. An effective way to do this is to offer customers the opportunity to sign up to receive a free monthly newsletter.
Firm’s can survey and monitor customer satisfaction by mailing quick and easy electronic surveys to everyone who purchased one of their products in the last year. To save postage, firm’s can also drop a short one-page survey inside each sales bag.
Prompt and Courteous Customer Service
Cashiers, call centre clerks and customer service representatives are a company’s first impression makers. They are the people that customers will keep in frequent contact with. The New South Wales Government Department of Commerce reports that customer service is key to a business’ success.
To ensure that each customer’s experience is rewarding and encourages them to call back, businesses should train their front desk and customer service employees to answer the telephone within the first one to three rings. Oddly as it sounds companies that allow their customers to speak with a live person instead of punching buttons for five to ten minutes until they get through to yet another recording might be the companies that lead their industries several years from now.
Businesses that do use answering services, however high tech or polite sounding the entry voice on the service is, should offer customers one to two other ways to get in touch with a representative within the first 30 seconds of the recording. Companies can list an email address, website with FAQs, snail mailing address or direct telephone number. Long waits or numerous telephone transfers discourage customers from keeping in contact with a business.
Product Expertise Builds Confidence and Trust
The more company representatives know about a product, the faster a customer will relax and put their trust in the company’s offerings. In-depth product knowledge encourages customers to call back and ask questions about future products. It builds customer confidence and instills trust, two ingredients necessary for business growth and financial success.
Business leaders that want to grow their firm’s bottom line can do so by understanding the value of word-of-mouth advertising and maintaining frequent contact with loyal customers. Each time they survey customers regarding desired improvements, they communicate to customers that they value them and their support. To encourage customers to reach out and keep in contact with them, businesses should answer their telephones promptly, be courteous and offer customers ways to reach them directly early on answering service messages.