Written by: Tiffany Ann Bottcher, MBA, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Customer experience is key in any service-based business. If you make your customers happy, they will keep coming back and, referring their friends. In this article, we will discuss tips on how to make your customers happy and provide an excellent customer experience. We will also cover the importance of customer feedback and how to use it to improve your business.
Have you ever wondered why people spend thousands of dollars on their wedding invitations, making the investment knowing that the invitation is likely to end up in the trash? The wedding invitation serves as the first indication of the tone and formality of the wedding to follow. It is the first glimpse that guests have into what the day will be like and how much fun they will have. The invitation sets the stage and gives people a reason to get excited about attending your wedding.
Creating a great customer experience from the very beginning can have a similar effect on your business. When done well, it can make customers happy and keep them coming back for more.
Start with a great first impression
First impressions matter, especially in the service industry. Your business needs a cohesive look that sets the tone for the service to follow. Everything from your social media posts, to your logo, brand colours, and messaging should foreshadow the service experience.
If you have a luxury service, your branding should make that clear.
Your website is often the first introduction that potential customers will have to your business. Make sure it’s up-to-date, user-friendly, and informative. Add photos and videos to give visitors a sneak peek of what they can expect.
Your business is a reflection of you and your values. When customers can see your personality shine through, they feel like they know you and can trust you. Be genuine, be yourself, and let your unique voice come through in all of your communications.
It is important that when trying to create a cohesive branded business that you remember to include the personality of you and your team. Using social media stories can be a great way to show a more candid personality-filled version of the business.
Inconsistency creates doubt and confusion. In building standard processes you can ensure that each client receives the same experience. As your team grows, ensure future leaders understand the values and expectations.
Having consistency allows the customer to have a certain level of comfort as they know what they can expect when they come to your business.
This is one of the many reasons why it is important to have a set process for how customers are taken care of from start to finish. It also ensures your team is trained on the process, and that each person is using what is considered the best way.
Communication is key
When it comes to customer experience, communication is key. Make sure your team is on the same page when it comes to communicating with customers. Have a clear process for answering questions, responding to complaints, and following up with customers.
If you are in business for a while you will already know things don't always go according to plan. Providing clear communications and updates provides a better customer experience than radio silence.
Saying thank you
Saying thank you is always a nice gesture, but it’s also good business. Showing appreciation for your customers lets them know that they are valued. Saying thank you can also encourage customer loyalty and referrals.
There are many ways to say thank you to your customers. You can offer discounts, send a handwritten note, or give a small gift. Whatever you do, make sure it’s personal and heartfelt.
Your customer could take their business to a competitor, ensure they know you appreciate them.
Feedback is a gift
Encourage customers to leave reviews and feedback on social media, Google, or Yelp. You can also send out surveys or poll your audience on social media. Make sure you take the time to read and respond to all of the feedback.
How you respond to a less than amazing review can show your integrity, and professionalism. Take the time to respond, acknowledge their complaint and work to resolve it the issue. Accept feedback and use it to improve your service. While feedback isn’t always easy to hear, when someone is willing to offer an outside perspective it is incredibly valuable.
Customer experience should not end when the service does, if anything it should be amplified. All too often businesses stop offering their clients their excellent customer experience when the service has been completed. Don't stop! When the service is complete, and the provider goes above, and beyond to solidify that experience it really helps the customer journey go full circle.
It could be as simple as a handwritten thank you card, or following up a week later to see how everything is going.
A happy client will return to your business, and will also sing your praises to their friends. Take the time to create a great customer experience, it will pay off in the long run!
Customer experience is key in any service-based business. By following the tips we’ve provided, you can create a process that ensures each customer has a positive experience from start to finish. Consistent communication, saying thank you, and encouraging feedback will help you build relationships with your customers and keep them coming back for more.
Tiffany Ann Bottcher, MBA, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Tiffany-Ann Bottcher, MBA is the CEO of Bottcher Business Management Agency. She helps service-based business owners to scale their businesses without losing sleep. Tiffany-Ann is a best-selling author, speaker, and host of the "Service-Based Business Society Podcast". As an operation and automation expert, she has helped businesses from all over the world streamline their processes and increase efficiency. Tiffany-Ann combines her education in accounting, corporate finance, and communications with over a decade scaling service-based businesses to eight figures and beyond.