As marketers, we spend a lot of time and energy trying to move leads through the buyer’s journey and keeping them happy all the while. But what about once someone is actually a customer? What steps are you taking to make sure that your happy leads convert into happy clients and customers?
I asked our Client Success Manager, Emily Fitzgerald, for her best advice on keeping clients and customers happy, check out her top 5 tips!
1. Fulfill promises.
Be mindful of the deadlines you set, and deliver what you say you will at the appointed time. For example, if you run and e-commerce site and you tell a customer you're going to have a product delivered in 10 to 15 business days, it should be delivered in that time frame. Or if you have an appointment with a customer at a set time, do everything you can to keep the appointment. Clients and customers place greater value on your services when you show them you respect deadlines and fulfill promises.
2. Let honesty prevail.
This might seem pretty obvious, but it’s one that can sometimes be forgotten in tough situations. If a problem arises, don’t take a self-defensive approach to dealing with it, keep communication as open and honest as possible. If you can't make a deadline, if your customer has bad experience, or if there is an issue with one of your products or services; address the issue straight way, don't just ignore the problem.
3. Advise, don't follow.
Clients and customers always have a notion for what's right and wrong and can be very adamant when it comes to sticking to those ideas. And even though we've all heard the old adage "the customer is always right", this isn't necessarily true.
Let's say that you simply bend to the customer or client's wishes when you are recommending a product or service. You give them what they want, rather than what you know is the best option for them. As a result, they might end up having a negative experience with your brand weeks months or years down the line because you didn't advise them or weren't adamant with your recommendations right off the bat.
Avoid the situation I just described and remember customers and clients are paying for your knowledge and expertise. So do your best to guide the discussion, listen to ideas and ultimately arrive at a solution that everyone can live with.
4. Organization is essential.
When you are completing client projects or providing customer service there can be a lot of moving parts, so it can be extremely beneficial to use a project management system or other organization tool to plan key milestones, keep track of tasks and stay on top of deadlines. It can also be helpful to keep detailed to-do lists and organize your emails so you can easily reference them later.
5. Communication is key.
Have multiple communication touch points. Depending on your industry that can be meetings, phone calls, or emails that contain surveys or project status update. Most of the time it's better to over-communicate, than to be elusive and not communicate enough.
Think about it this way, when you walk into a store and there are employees milling about and they're always asking you if you need help finding anything, and 99% of the time it's unnecessary. You know what you need, so you politely respond and move along. But the 1% of the time that you actually need help it's really awesome when someone asks if they can help you. Be that way for your clients or customers; over-communicate, keep them informed and always willing to reach out and lend a helping hand.
Remember, client communication shouldn’t just happen when things are going poorly, it should happen when things are going well too. Good communication is the foundation of lasting partnerships.
Client relationships are so important to the health of organizations whether you are B2B or B2C; whether you are in the world of e-commerce, brick and mortar retail or professional services.
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