When you run a business, it’s important to regularly remind yourself that without your customers, you would not have a company at all! So many businesses treat their customers as little more than an afterthought and it rarely works out well for them.
If your customers aren’t happy, and if they don’t feel like you are taking them seriously or treating them well, they won’t stick around for longs and your business will soon be in big trouble.
Okay, but how do you know if you are neglecting your customers and making them unhappy? Below are some of the key indicators to look out for:
1. Not upgrading your infrastructure
Technology changes so fast that even if it was state-of-the-art when you installed it, it will not remain that way for long. That means you need to keep up with the times and upgrade your infrastructure regularly too.
If you don’t, your customers will soon notice that the service they are getting from you is not as good as the service they could be getting elsewhere and they will vote with their feet.
A prime example of this is those old websites that are cluttered, difficult to navigate, and extremely hard to actually make a purchase on. Why would a customer bother to visit your website and make a purchase, if you can’t even be bothered to prevent them with a clutter-free, user-friendly website in the first place?
They won’t, but if you invest in a custom eCommerce web design that works for them, they will be happy to do so. This is just one example, but you get the idea!
2. Having poor customer service
Customer service is the backbone of any business. If your customers feel like they have been treated very well by your customer service team they will be more than happy to stick with your company because there is so much poor customer service around and it can be soul-destroying when you’re on the receiving end of it.
How do you know if you are currently offering poor customer service? If you don’t offer a range of contact options including telephone, email, and live chat, if your customers are left waiting for more than a couple of minutes on hold, and if your customer service staff are rude or uninformed, chances are you aren’t giving your customers a great experience and they will soon get sick of it and try a competitor instead.
Customers, on the whole, don’t actually ask for much; all they want is to be able to speak to someone friendly and knowledgeable when they need to and for any problems to be sorted out quickly and satisfactorily, which is the minimum you should be doing really.
3. Not rewarding loyalty
If you aren’t rewarding your loyal customers, then you are doing something wrong! It is fast cheaper, for starters, to retain existing customers than it is to find new ones.
Not only that, but customers who show you loyalty are what is keeping your business afloat, so throwing them the odd freebie or letting them earn points towards various rewards is the least you can do.
It is also more likely to have them raving about your business and how good you are to friends and family, as well as leaving positive reviews online, and you will probably know how effective word-of-mouth recommendations can be for businesses in pretty much any sector!
4. Not letting them know they are important to you
In a similar vein, letting your customers know they are important to you in other ways, whether that’s sending a handwritten note with tier order or sending them a Christmas card every December, may seem like such a little thing, but it helps to show your customers that you do not take them for granted, and when they feel valued, they are more likely to continue being a customer.
5. Not engaging on social media
As a business owner, you probably know how effective marketing your products and services on social media can be, so chanced are you post on there most days.
The thing is, you can’t just post your sales pitch and leave it at that if you don’t want your customers to feel neglected; you also need to take the time to positively engage with their comments and strike up conversations so that they feel like more than just another potential sale to you.
Oh, and doing this will likely be far more effective at generating conversions for your company anyway!
6. Not listening to feedback
If you get a negative review do you ignore it, rail against it, and keep doing what you’re doing or do you listen and learn what you can from it? If you do the former, you are neglecting your customers.
Yes, there are always going to be unfair or malicious complaints, but they are usually n the minority and most people who complain have at least the nugget of a fair reason for doing so.
By listening to them, doing what you can to put things right, and maybe changing the way your company does things so that it is less likely to happen again, you show your customers that you really care about them and that as a business you may not be perfect, but you are doing your best to do right by everyone who interacts with you.
As you can see, it is actually pretty easy to end up neglecting your customers even if that was never in a million years your intention. So, it is really important that you regularly evaluate and reevaluate your business processes to see if you have let one or more of the above slack.
It’s easy to slip into neglect, but it’s also really easy to get back to treating your customers right too, and doing so is what is going to keep your business afloat and maintain a good reputation for your company, so although it might make more work for you and tutor employees, it is really important!