Something that all business owners find out pretty quickly when they launch their business is that you cannot simply step in and become everyone’s new favourite company. It’s very likely that there’s plenty of competing businesses that have been around much longer than you and that everybody trusts. That’s the keyword you should be concentrating on. Trust is earned through hard work and proof that you’re not just after their money. While the whole point of running a business is to make profits, you also need to gain the trust and respect of your customers so that not only do you make decent profits but so that your customers choose you over your competitors. So, here are some tips on how you can prove your worth to your customers!
What’s the first thing you do when you’re considering buying from a company that you’ve never bought from before? It’s likely that you check out customer reviews on the items that you’re after. Use your product testing time wisely and ensure that all of the reviews (good and bad) are displayed where people can see them, and this is usually on your website. You should also have your product testers fill out a short survey on how easy you were to deal with as a company and display these stats on your social media profiles. If you find that your reviews are worse than good, then you need to make some changes before launching your business properly.
Have reputable suppliers
When proving to your customers that you’re worth it, you will also need to ensure that you’ve got only the best suppliers. Your customers will need to know that not only are you providing them with the best service possible but also that the products you use come from the best sources too. Think about if you were to hire someone to come and fix your roof, you’d not only want to know that they are going to take great care with your home, but you’ll want to know that the materials they’re using are bang on too. From roof lights to hatches, you’ll be asking the questions to make sure that you’re getting the best for your money. Make sure that you’re able to provide this information to your customers so that they too, can be satisfied that you’re obtaining materials from reputable suppliers.
Donate to charity
One way to do something amazing and win over the hearts of many potential customers is by donating to charity. You’ve probably seen adverts for charities and noticed that they are sponsored by big names and this is for a reason – it’s a great way of marketing themselves and making their company look good! Donating a small percentage (or big, whatever you may choose) to charity will instantly make you and your company look more trustworthy.
Give them something for nothing
We realise that this sounds a lot like bribery, but giving your customers something for nothing is a surefire way of getting them on your side. You can do this by:
- Giving them a hard to miss out on promotional deal the first time they use your company
- Free merchandise
- Offer free consultations before they have to commit to any purchases with your business
- Coupons to spend in-store or online on your products
- Free downloadable items like ebooks or templates on your website
Giving freebies away is a fantastic way of also generating leads, and they promote spending without you having to do much at all. However, the gesture of your business giving away something for nothing will grab the attention of the audience that you’re after.
Check up on them
One way to show your customers that you’re trustworthy and worth putting their money into is by checking up on them after they have purchased from you too. If you’ve collected an email address from them, why not drop them an email to see if they are satisfied with what they’ve purchased? You can also use email as a chance to send them more freebies to entice them back.
Another way of checking up on your customers is by simply picking up the phone! For example, if you’ve just fitted a skylight into their roof, give them a call and see if they are satisfied with what you’ve given. More often than not you’ll find that there are no problems and this is because if there were, you’d have already heard from them! However, showing your customers you care about them by checking up on them will help earn their respect.
Resolve conflicts fast and efficiently
In every business, there’s going to be conflicts with customers and that’s simply because you can never please everyone. So, when conflicts arise it’s imperative to resolve them fast and efficiently. Here’s how you can do that and earn some trust back:
- Offer money off their next purchase with you.
- Refund all or part of their purchase to show you’re sorry.
- Simply apologise! People are often more understanding than you may think and may be looking for just that – an apology!
- Prioritise their case to show you’re serious about their complaint.
- Taking responsibility for the issue at hand.
- Provide your customer with an explanation of why your service or product failed – this time.
- Listen to your customer!
- Provide empathy for the inconvenience they have experienced.
- Be sincere with your apologies. An apology that’s lacking emotion, empathy, and also remorse won’t mean a thing.
Remember that the faster you resolve the conflicts with unhappy customers, the more chance you have of seeing them again!
Treat them with respect
Finally, one of the most effective ways of gaining respect is by giving it! A simple fact of life is that you can’t expect respect from someone you don’t show any respect to. Here are some great ways of showing respect to your customers:
- Address your customers properly. ‘Sir’ and ‘Madam’ often suffices. If you’re in a position where you know the customer’s name, you should use their name. For example = “I am extremely sorry for the inconvenience, Mr Jones. Let me see if I can speed this process up for you”.
- Go out of your way to help your customers. Someone who goes far and beyond to keep you happy is worth your respect.
- Anticipate their needs. We understand that this isn’t always possible, but knowing small details such as whether to pack your customer’s bags or not will make a difference.
- Make your customers feel welcome. You may already know how intimidating it can feel to enter a new store and not feel like you belong. Greet your customers with a smile and make chit chat to show that they are more than welcome.
- Treat them as if you would a dear friend or family member that you respect. Manners and respect cost nothing and your business will suffer if you and your staff members can’t get on board.
- Don’t be afraid to apologise and admit you’re wrong. As mentioned earlier, people are understanding and when things do go wrong, sometimes all they want is an apology.
Respect is earned and not a birth-given right, so make sure you’re giving your customers the respect they want and you’ll soon find that not only do they respect you too, but you’ve proven that you’re worth it to your customers!