As the owner of a business, understanding what your customers want and need is critical to your chances of success. As a result, you will likely dedicate hours of your time to trying to anticipate your customers’ every possible desire, and ensuring that you can supply a product or service that fits their needs accordingly.
However, there are a few key guarantees that all businesses need to offer their customers; guarantees that can often be overlooked when you are primarily considering how best to serve your target customers. By focusing on these widespread necessities, you can ensure that you have the underpinning basics in place, which should in turn allow your more niche targeting efforts to be more effective.
GUARANTEE: Rapid responses to customer complaints
There will be times when your business will make a mistake that inconveniences or disappoints a customer; it’s an unfortunate fact of business life, a simple statistical certainty. As a result, it is important to focus on how how you will respond to mistakes, as this – rather than the mistake itself – can be the key to retaining an affected customer.
By far the most important factor in responding to problems your customers experience is speed. Customers want to know that resolving their issue is as important to your company as it is to them personally, and most of us naturally equate speedy responses with importance. Due to this, try to establish a culture where you and your staff treat any customer complaint or problem almost as if it is an emergency; keep the customer updated at all times, and work the issue until it is resolved.
GUARANTEE: Data security
A number of high-profile data breaches have created an atmosphere of distrust in customers. While it could be argued that this increased awareness is actually beneficial to society as a whole, it can be a challenge for business owners, who have to convince customers that any data their company holds on their customers will be as secure as possible.
The best way to offer this reassurance is to ensure that your cyber security efforts and protections are as robust as possible. Work with companies such as F1 Networks to make sure that your systems are capable of withstanding threats, and brief your staff on issues such as malware and best security practice to limit the possibility of errors causing issues for your customers.
GUARANTEE: The ability to call your business
There are dozens of ‘solutions’ that allow businesses to effectively avoid direct contact with their customers; chat bots, AI customer service agents, social media and email-based query answering, and so on. All of these systems are useful, but for many customers – and particularly older customers – there’s simply no way to replace the ability to talk to a human being.
To account for this, ensure that your customers can contact your business by phone if they wish to do so, even if there is only a very short window (such as between 9am and 12pm each weekday) to do so. Going completely phoneline-free could be alienating for many customers, so while it’s good to encourage use of other, more advanced solutions, do ensure that the customers that want to call are able to do so.
When you think of what you need to provide to your customers, it’s easy to focus on the niche, specialist areas – but these efforts should always be underpinned by ensuring you can also offer the above three guarantees to your customers.