There is more involved in customer relations than simply making a sale or handling a complaint. If you seem to be having problems keeping customers, you more than likely need to work on improving your customer relationships.
Here are some things you might want to think about regarding your business:
- Do you keep your store clean? Is it easy to find things there, and are products nicely displayed with prices visible?
- Are your invoices, sales receipts…all paperwork…accurate, easy to read, and professional?
- Are you providing products that do not generate a slew of complaints?
- If you provide service, is it done in a timely way? You will only worsen customer relationships by saying you’ll be there at 1:00, showing up at 2:30, and taking twice as long to complete the service than was told to your customer.
- If you do not have return customers, or people coming in that were recommended by others, you are doing something wrong. Talk to them, and ask for suggestions. They may feel that your prices are too high, they didn’t like the way you handled a complaint, or that you just didn’t care. Show an interest in their opinions and ideas. Listen to them!
- Are your employees unhappy? Don’t for a minute underestimate the value of a happy employee that believes in you, your business, and the product and service he is selling!
- Have you tried email ads, post cards, special offers or free gifts? The worse the economy gets, the more people need to feel that someone cares enough to make it a bit easier for them.
- While getting new customers is always important, improving customer relationships with repeat customers is even more useful. You may get a new customer in with a special dale or discount, but the repeat customer, who already knows, trusts, and enjoys doing business with you will come in and make a purchase when there is no sale. Statistics show that return customers spend an average of one third more than new ones!
There is no question that the priority of your business should be to focus on pleasing your regular customers. Improving your customer relationships may take some time and effort, but will cost you far less in the long run than trying to constantly bring in new business that never returns!