Top Tips for Improving Your Customer Experience
Over the past few weeks, we’ve shared insight on how competition is good for your business and advice on how to improve your business by seeing it through the eyes of your customers (both in-person and online). Today, we’re going to give you our top five tips for improving your customer’s experience.
Ask Your Customers Questions
By simply asking your questions what they want, you can solve many of the day to day problems of running a small business. Ask them what they like or don’t like about your business and how you can make their experience better. Or, you can go one step further by asking what your competition does better than you – you might not want to hear it, but we know that when you ask loyal, thoughtful customers, you’re sure to get honest and valuable feedback. Keep the channels of communication open with your customers – it’ll pay off!
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
If you were a customer, how would you want to be treated? We bet you would want to interact with friendly, informed employees and a reasonable manager to help you solve any issue you might have. While difficult customers can be… well, difficult, there’s a chance that one time, as a customer yourself, you’ve needed (or will need) extra attention from a salesperson or owner of a small business. How would you want to be treated?
Train Your Staff
Aside from the basic training (policies, operational functions, etc.), you may need to train your employees to wholeheartedly be the face of your brand (and the customers’ caretaker) while they’re on the clock – even when there’s “nothing to do.” Nothing bothers me more than hearing employees gossiping about a difficult customer/procedure or their personal lives while I’m within ear shot. Don’t forget that your employees (and how they sound, act or come across) are a large part of your customer’s experience at your location.
Focus on the Senses
Speaking of how your employees might sound – remember to keep the five senses in mind when evaluating the “experience” of your business. How your business looks, sounds, feels, and in some cases, tastes, can subconsciously make a good or bad impression on a new or returning customer. Loud music, leftover lunch smells, and dirty windows can distract your customers from their purpose – to spend time (and money) at your location.
Pick Up the Phone
..or respond to emails or messages online. Basically, make it easy for customers to reach you. If they have a hard time getting in touch with you (for a special bakery order, for example), they are likely to move on to the next bakery that picks up the phone on the first ring. On that same note, do what you say you are going to do. If you need to call them back in 5 minutes, call them back in 5 minutes. Just don’t make the customer do the heavy lifting to reach you – that’s a surefire way to ensure that they’ll take their money elsewhere.
We hope these tips will help you stand apart from your competition, and drive more customers through your doors! Aside from the tips above, how do you work to improve your customers’ experiences?