It’s that time of year when ghouls, goblins and witches are out on the streets. But just because they are out, door knocking for candy and treats does not mean that they should be haunting your business. Halloween is a time for trick or treating, but in business, you should always be treating your customers, not tricking them.
To build a successful business, you need to make sure you show your clients respect and cultivate good relationships with them. Here are 6 of our favourite ways to show customer appreciation…
Customer appreciation treats…
Make it easy
Your clients deserve to be able to get in touch with you quickly and easily. Don’t make it difficult for them to reach you, or they will probably stop trying after a while. If they have a query or need assistance, then you should help them as quickly as possible.
Respect your client’s time with an efficient contact system that directs them to the right person. There is no point putting them through to accounts if they have a technical software issue.
Acknowledge your errors
Another way to respect your client’s time is to acknowledge any mistakes when they happen and rectify them quickly. If the customer discovers the mistake before you do and you try and shift the blame, it’s not such a good look. In fact, it’s downright disrespectful.
While it is awkward to have a conversation about an error, it will strengthen the relationship with your client. You gain respect by acknowledging the mistake, correcting it and then demonstrating how you can prevent it happening again.
Always try to get back to your client as quickly as you can. Try to deal with any issues as they arise. If you can’t solve a problem immediately, then manage their expectations by providing a realistic timeframe for resolution. Do your absolute best to stick to that timeframe when you do set it.
Being prompt with your responses again shows that you respect your client’s time and opinions.
Be true to your word
Your word is one of your most important assets in business. Be true to it and keep your promises. This includes agreed timeframes, agreed scope of work and the end product.
If for whatever reason you cannot stand by a promise you’ve made, contact your client as soon as possible to explain why. Unless it is completely unavoidable, it is important to stay true to your word.
Make them feel special
The personal touch will set you apart from other businesses. Come up with some great ways to say thanks for sticking with your business. Reward their loyalty with a birthday discount, exclusive access to your new products before they hit the shop floor or any other special privileges that work for your business. Small gestures work just as well as big ones. Often it is the thought that counts with customer appreciation.
Treat them like you want to be treated
While it might have ground your gears to hear your mother preach this all those years ago, she had a point. By treating others as you would like to be treated, it means you will never disrespect them.
Think about how you would like to be treated, and replicate that in your business. Likewise, think of times that you have felt disrespected when dealing with a business. Take note of what happened, and put practices in place to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen in your business.
It isn’t hard to treat your clients with customer appreciation. These small gestures are a great start to cultivating a relationship of trust and respect. But if you fall into the trick category too often, you will lose that hard-earned respect and potentially lose the client too.