A new survey of small businesses has found that the majority plan to spend more on...
From demonstrating that you understand your customers to handling complaints promptly and effectively, learn how to set up a customer care programme.
- Learn as much as possible about what your customers want - encourage them to provide feedback and make it easy for them to do so.
- Demonstrate that you understand your customers - for example, by keeping records of their purchases on your CRM system and only offering them products which suit their needs.
- Design systems which suit your customers, such as easy online ordering and fast delivery. Give them options such as next day delivery - there will be an extra cost, but they may be happy to pay it.
- Set clear service standards and train employees to meet them.
- Keep your promises and exceed expectations - provide advance warning of any problems or changes.
- Ensure all employees understand their role in satisfying customers - consider offering incentives for good customer care performance.
- Regularly contact customers - personalise emails and letters, provide information useful to them and express your appreciation for their business.
- Make it easy for customers to contact you by providing a named contact or account manager - answer phone calls and reply to emails promptly.
- Delegate authority to customer-facing employees to allow them to make decisions and resolve problems.
- Handle complaints promptly and effectively.
- Keep records of all customer contacts, and use them to improve your understanding of individual customers and their requirements.
- Ensure that all customer-facing employees have easy access to customer and product information.
- Analyse the profitability of different customers or market segments - provide superior care to your most profitable customers.
- Consider offering valued customers extras - for example, first choice on special offers, loyalty bonuses, a service helpline or entertainment.