Keeping Your Customers Satisfied

BY: ON TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2012

A successful business depends on much more than quality marketing. Although a healthy marketing campaign is an important cog, you need thousands of efficient, working parts to create a well-oiled machine. Marketing can and should go well beyond bringing customers to your cause or website. From start to finish, your customers should be satisfied with what they receive. The golden goal is if they return to you when they need your services again. Thinking about the long-term value of a customer is more useful than simply “getting them in the door”. But let’s be real. Making 100% of your customers completely happy is not always an option. When issues arise, it’s important to take control and address the problem as quickly as possible.

There are many ways to track whether people are satisfied with your company. The first (and often times most difficult) way, is to split your customers. If you have a larger company, involve your analytics team and break-up the “new” and “returning” customers into different channels. If you are the owner of a smaller company, it may be as easy as writing down which customers come back, and if they do not, why. Online forums and social media websites are great places to see what customers are saying about you. Conduct a search on relevant websites and see why your customers are dissatisfied with your company.

However, it’s never good to try and let it get to this point. Other people searching for your product might see these reviews and be scared away. The main goal is not to fix these issues, but to stop them before they ever happen. If they do happen, don’t skimp on making it better. For example, if you run an online company and the purchasing process is laborious, it’s important to fix the issue. Something like that, although seemingly superfluous, could seriously damage the long-term image of your company. It’s always proper to fulfill a customer’s realistic expectations, whether they’re big or small.

One way to solve problems is by keeping your contact information readily available to the public. Keeping it on your website or even on direct mailing materials, such as address labels, is a great way to show that you can be contacted easily. Putting your information on return address labels is especially great for those customers that are not technologically savvy. Often times, you can troubleshoot customer issues through social media. In a study done by Maritz Research, 86% of people who tweet (on Twitter) their problems towards a brand would like those problems answered. Of the problems that were responded to, 75% of people felt satisfied with the answer. While not all of the issues are broadcast through Twitter, it can be used as a valuable channel to sew up customer problems. Finally, having an easy way for customers to reach you directly (either through phone or quick-response email) is important. When people know you are available, they will respect you more.

While fixing issues for dissatisfied customers is a must, it’s better to try and solve the problems before they begin. Create your products and services with the expectations of the customer in mind. If you end up with customer problems, execute a solution plan quickly and directly to show the customer that you care about their personal well-being. While marketing the product is important, keeping the customer happy gets them coming back time and time again.

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