Attracting – and keeping – new customers is no easy task for any business. But if you’re not expanding your customer base, you’re not growing or increasing your profits. Use these five methods to woo new customers and keep them around.
1. Be Responsive. Be Human
The quickest way to turn customers off is to provide poor customer support. Ignoring messages and feedback gives the impression that you don’t value your customers – the lifeblood of your business.
A colleague once contacted several companies when he was looking to have his new home built. Some he called; some he contacted through email. Only a handful even bothered to respond.
Customers won’t trust that you will give them the service they desire if you can’t even respond to their messages.
One example of a company that is doing this the right way is Pipe Surgeons. The company has a simple form on its website that allows potential customers to request a call back. Instead of waiting on hold or having to hunt down someone who can answer a question, the company will contact you and be ready to help as soon as you pick up the phone. They also respond to emails within 24 business hours.
When you do interact with customers, be yourself. Act as you would in person if you’re responding to a comment or feedback online.
2. Always Be Honest and Transparent
Always be honest and transparent with your customers. If there’s a problem, let them know. People are more understanding than you think, especially if you’re upfront and honest about the issue.
Transparency builds trust and improves customer satisfaction.
A great example of transparency is Buffer. The company discloses their salary information, revenue, equity formula, and fundraising details. They even break down the pricing of their products to show customers where each cent of their purchase is put toward.
Customers really know what they’re paying for when they choose Buffer. And that’s part of the reason why many choose the company over their competitors.
3. Respond to Feedback – Good and Bad
You can’t make everyone happy – no business can. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore bad feedback. It may make you feel uncomfortable. You may get angry at some comments. However, customers need to know that you’re listening.
Keep calm, and respond in a professional, constructive way.
Feedback, both good and bad, will help you grow as a company. If a customer doesn’t like a particular aspect of your service or product, thank him or her for the feedback. Consider talking about the issue at greater length to see if you can find a solution.
Ultimately, the goal is to have the customer walk away happy.
4. Don’t Make False Promises
Never make a promise you can’t keep. Don’t make claims you can’t meet. Don’t tell customers you can do something that you can’t do.
And if you do promise a customer something, follow through with it.
5. Thank Customers
Your customers keep your doors open. Thank them for their business. They can choose any one of your competitors, but they chose to give you their business.
A simple “thank you” can go a long way in keeping customers around. But don’t just send a generic message. To really gain the customer’s respect, tailor each message to each specific customer.