Do you ever get the feeling that your strategy to hold onto existing customers or acquire new ones is not working? Studies show it can cost up to five times as much to bring in a new customer. So what can you do to improve your chances of obtaining new customers or making sure you keep the ones you already have?
Review your customer service skills.
How do you handle your customers — new and old? Do you give them your undivided attention when you speak to them in person or on the phone? Are you pleasant with them or will they know that you’re having a bad day? Do you really take the time to find out what their current needs are? Do you guarantee and stand behind your products or services? Do you deliver on time?
If your customers — the people who keep you in business — took the time to pick up the phone or come in, the most beneficial things you can do are to pay attention and be polite. Next, determine what they want or need and how best to accommodate them. Always keep your word and never go past a deadline because it will not be forgotten. And if by chance you are not able to help, tell them so but offer to assist in finding someone who can.
Review your follow-up policies.
Do you return calls? Do you follow up with new prospects in a timely manner? Do you stay in touch with your existing customers? Do you actually provide information and materials you’ve promised?
Customers and prospects alike want to believe they are your one and only – and if that’s the case then you can’t possibly be having a bad day, can you? In order for them to know they are important to you, you must return calls and provide information in a timely fashion. If you stay in touch with people, no matter how, they will feel connected.
You always want people coming away from an experience with you feeling comfortable. If you consistently maintain good customer service skills and follow-up procedures, your customers and prospects will feel confident and respect you. Otherwise you’re leaving people hanging and they will go elsewhere.
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEBSITE? You can, as long as you let me know and include this complete blurb with it: 10/3/2008 Virtual Assistant Kimberly McCloskey publishes the newsletter “Productivity Pointers” featuring articles on how we all can improve our productivity. Ask for your subscription at kimberly.j.mccloskey @ gmail.com.