Do you know how to make your business stand head and shoulders above the crowd? There are a number of small but significant processes and systems that you can put into place to keep the customers flooding through the doors, eager to see what you have for them and feeling welcome and comfortable while doing so.
1 Be Welcoming
Always have a neat and tidy office or workspace, even if that means that you have to come into the office fifteen minutes early, or stay late, in order to tidy up, run the vacuum over the carpet and straighten your displays. A vase of fresh flowers looks attractive and homely and will make customers believe that you are prospering and doing well.
2 Be Flexible
If ten customers in a row ask for a certain product in green, there is little point you insisting on ordering your stock in blue and red! The ability to adjust to customer demand is key in business and never more so when you are just starting out.
3 Keep Up With Demand
Know what is selling well and reorder stock in good time for it to arrive and be on the shelf before it is actually needed. If your customers can be confident of getting what they need from you every time they need they are more likely to only consider you as their supplier, whereas if they have to find an alternative source, even once, there is a chance that they will change to the new supplier permanently, a situation to be avoided at all costs!
4 Keep Promises and Tell the Truth!
If stock if definitely not going to arrive before the month end, then that is what you need to tell your customer. It is better, by far, that your customer finds an alternative source of the product in good time, rather than believe your false promises of imminent arrival and end up in need! It is hard to deal with a customer’s anger or frustration, but apologise, tell the truth and make promises that you CAN keep, such as offering free rush delivery once the goods arrive.
5 A Little Something for the Customer
Fall into the habit of offering your regular customers a little bit extra. It may be ten percent off their next purchase or a free cup of coffee while you make up their order. Having something extra to look forward to can make all the difference between you and your business and another, very similar, one in the client’s mind.
Get a name for the one thing you do perfectly rather than try to offer other products and services and not quite get them right. Try to be known for the services and products you do offer as a good example of someone who gets it exactly on target!
7 Reveal Yourself
Allow your personality, ambition and fire to show through in your work– if client can see your commitment he or she will have confidence in your business and your abilities to meet his or her needs. Do be careful though, not to reveal too much of yourself and risk scaring customers away! There is a fine line between being passionate about your work and being too passionate altogether!
8 Manners Work
Remembering to return calls promptly, greeting customers by name and asking about their families can help you to get you repeat business. Customers are people and people like to feel important and welcome and you can show this by following basic courtesies with every customer, no matter if they are spending a couple of pennies or several thousand pounds with you.
9 Deal with Dissatisfaction
Have a policy in place for unhappy customers. Accept, before you even make your first sale, that not everyone is going to be completely happy with you all the time and try not to take it personally. Have a scale of reparation, starting with replacement products and leading up to a full refund for truly disgruntled clients. Make it clear that you are sorry for whatever misunderstanding has occurred and try to keep a line of communication with your customer throughout the process – not always an easy thing to do!
10 Boast a Bit!
If customers mention how very happy they are with your service ask them for a printed testimonial or even ask them to let their friends know how happy they were with you. In today’s world of instant communication across the globe one person’s word of mouth recommendation can see a positive flood of enquiries, orders and interest in your business!