The Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the overall Holiday Shopping Season were a huge success for my small company. While transitioning from EBAY sales to direct sales through my site I have had a great migration of past customers coming to my site to buy my products. This post is about my customers and my service principles and beliefs. Because this business provides for my family and my young children and its success is the a most special dream of mine, I take it very seriously and I treat those customers like I would treat my own family. My heart is overwhelmed with joy and appreciation for your support, all the kind words and encouragement and for your trust and repeated business at my store. Even those who have simply visited and clicked through my store have contributed to the success of my business. I cannot thank you enough for this generosity and kindness. You are helping to make a dream possible for me and my children and I am forever in your debt! God willing it will continue to grow and flourish, it is my hearts deepest prayer to be able to serve the people and to repay them in kind with honor, integrity and generosity.
In any business the key to success is customers. Without them you simply don’t have a business. The best way to keep customers is to take great care of them. When they have a need, find out what it is and give them your true best advice. That might mean you don’t make a sale but your customer will get what they need the first time and they will remember you for steering them in the right direction. Make policies and be sure that they are adhered to, at least in the sense that those are your bottom line promises and that you will fulfill them no matter what. But, also be willing to go above and beyond in each and every situation that arises. Go above and beyond without being asked to do so. Go above and beyond before during and most importantly after the sale.
Remember as a seller and a customer that in almost any line of business that problems will eventually arise. Give each other a chance to make any wrongs right. These situations are the time when you can truly shine as a seller. These are the times when you can win fully the heart of your customers and if you can win your customers heart you will gain a customer for life. That’s not to say that a relationship can’t be ruined, but that if you always work to provide the highest level of customer service you can achieve almost 100% customer retention. People will come back for great service. Let your heart guide your business practice. Step into your customers shoes each and every time as a matter of habit. This will help you to understand how to win your customers heart.
I have learned in my many years in multiple professions that not everyone naturally possesses these skills. I have been innocent bystander to many situations where I know that if I were that customer, I would not have been happy with the service, maybe even have been a bit irate. I have always felt as though these skills come naturally to me. I have also found that I have unintentionally honed these skills through experience. It’s as simple as slowing down the conversation, showing empathy for the customers’ needs and finding out how to best meet those needs and doing that graciously.
When a customer gives you a sale they give you a little bit of power. If enough people give you their business, eventually you will gain a significant amount of profits which will in turn give you more and more power as a business. But this power is not power in the sense that you make the rules or do whatever you want. These matters are part of the business environment in which we operate and we are bound to those rules if we want to operate with some level of success and perpetuality.
The power that you acquire is the power to do something. It’s the power, the cash flow to be able to stop bad things from happening to your customers. It might be free shipping, expedited handling, a special request or maybe a defective item or something damaged during delivery. You may not even have enough profits yet to cover the cost of correcting the issue and may have to dip into your own personal pocket to fix it. Do it. Keep your sights on the fact that doing the right thing will work its way back to you just as doing the wrong thing would. Providing the best of customer service will win you more customers and that will eventually translate into higher profits which will cover the costs of the resolution tenfold.
Being reluctant to cover the costs of a resolution is not a good idea. Customers can sense this hesitation and it makes the shopping experience seem less safe. Let your customers see you serve them with grace and appreciation. If you are giving up some of your profits to them to ensure their satisfaction then do so with a smile, a good attitude and don’t let them feel bad about asking for the service they should be able to freely expect. Do for them what you would want done for you in a similar situation. Try to do it without your customer even having to ask for it.
We live in a society with a fairly safe business environment. You can take a small amount of investment and combine it with a whole lot of sweat equity and grow it into a massive operation. The limits of success are often boundless. But just a few angry cheated customers and you can bet that your success will be limited. Internet ratings, social media and the increasing connectedness of our society mean that businesses can no longer get away with lackluster customer service. The consumer can no longer be brushed off or ignored. The playing field has been leveled between the corporations and the consumers. Businesses that adopt the principles that align with their customers’ expectations of a 2020 business entity can count on huge success. The rest can count on Bankruptcy!