There are several things that customers¬† always want.¬† Learning what they are is a great start. Figuring out how to consistently meet those demands is the true key to customer success.
Customers¬† can be needy. They can even be demanding!¬† And that is good. That is what makes them customers who are willing to pay for your services. That also makes them a valuable resource to your business so that you can learn from them. But what do customers usually want? Thankfully, it’s often the same things no matter what type of business you are in.¬† So give them everything they want (and maybe even a bit more)!
Here are the six things customers normally want over and over and over again.
Resolve their issues. It should come as no surprise that this is number one, right? If customers didn’t need something, they wouldn’t be calling you. So resolve their issues for them. Dedicate yourself and your team to resolving problems. Create an entire team of problem solvers. From the answering service agent picking up the phone to the guy upstairs, everyone must be focused on solving customer problems. If a culture of dedication to customer issues is established, you’ll even begin to proactively solve problems and notice a trend of declining customer complaints altogether. Plus, that commitment to problem solving will earn you a positive reputation.
Create a relationship. You solved a problem for a customer. Good for you. But did you take the time to invest in that customer? Did you try to develop a relationship? If not, you missed your opportunity to more easily resolve future problems because you have no relationship to build on. You are just another¬† faceless name and so is your customer. Relationships occur between human beings. They are beautiful things to create and be a part of. When you take the time to develop a relationship with a customer, you are investing in a long-term partnership. And isn’t that why you want customers in the first place? Develop that relationship and keep them coming back.
Be prompt. When customers need you they don’t expect you to sit back on your heels, biding your time. Get off your duff. Respond as quickly as possible. Remember, you are serving others. When you serve others, you don’t take your time – you make time for them. So be quick about it! Think about how pleased you would be if you contacted a company with a request and they sprung into action right away. It’s a wonderful feeling. Give it to your customers.
Pick up the phone, and your email, and your fax, and your text, and your mail…. Go ahead and post a toll free number on your website so folks can call you. But don’t stop there. Keep going! Give your customers a variety of ways to contact you so that they can do it via their preferred method. That might be a phone call, it could be through a live chat on your website, and don’t forget to monitor your social media channels. Customers want to reach out however is most convenient for them, so make sure you’ve got all your bases covered and get ready to respond in a timely manner.
Do what they need you to do, not what you need you to do.¬†¬†More simply put – meet their expectations. If a customer wants “A” then give them “A.” If you don’t have any “A” left, then put together B, C and D so that it looks a heck of a lot like A to keep them happy. You don’t have to stick to a strict definition of what A is, you just need to meet the expectations that A is holding you to. So deliver strong customer service to your customer and rise to their occasion rather than whatever is convenient for you.
Follow up. When was the last time you mailed a customer a personal letter. Shame on you! Been that long? Get into the habit of sending out personal notes to customers thanking them for their time and their business. The personal touch trumps just about everything else you can do for your customers. If mailing a customer a letter is a bit much for you, then at least commit to following up or checking in via email. Customers enjoy knowing that you are thinking about them.
That’s it! Those are the things that customers always want. Do these six things, do them well, and you will have a very loyal customer base that will stick with you for a long time.