Small businesses must focus on customer experience in order to grow and reach their greatest potential. There are many ways to improve the customer experience, whether you own a restaurant, boutique, print shop or any other type of business. How do you begin to refocus on the customer experience? Key areas include – employees, social media, feedback, and environment. Here’s a few simple, yet effective ideas to refresh your focus on customer experience.
EMPLOYEES Thoroughly trained employees are your number one asset in customer experience; they are your best investment. Making sure customers are satisfied should be their number 1 priority, and they must be trained to think this way. When hiring, make this clear, and be sure managers get this message as well.
ENVIRONMENT How do customers feel when they enter your establishment? A clean, organized environment is one where customers will feel comfortable. They appreciate the effort you put into making them feel that way and will show it through repeat business and referrals.
SOCIAL MEDIA Are you hearing your customers? Social media gives you an opportunity to personally connect with existing and future customers. You can reach current customers, their local friends, and your community simultaneously. An advantage of being a smaller company is personally connecting with customers and the community at an intimate level.
Ask for feedback, reviews, and opinions; always thank customers for a great review. If an unpleasant review comes in, address it. View it as an opportunity to make things right. Without social media, you may have never had that chance. Be sincere, polite, and genuine, people will recognize that.
Social media should be used to connect with customers, engage them, and get feedback. It’s also a fantastic way to get them excited about your business and products. There are many ways to use social media as a tool. Just be sure to remain consistent and present regularly.
FEEDBACK Social media is a great way to get customer feedback, but it’s not the only avenue available to you. Ask for reviews on your site and promote it in store as well. Offering incentives for reviews is always a good idea! There are many opportunities to learn what your customers want, and how they feel about your business. If you want to grow and improve, you need this valuable input!
Make the effort to build and nurture customer relationships. And remember, if you open lines of communication, don’t forget about them. Regularly post to social media platforms and monitor notifications and messages you receive through them. If you provide a phone number with a voicemail, monitor it. Overall, communication is key. Customers should be heard, appreciated and valued. Focus on making their experience with your business as positive as possible, each and every time!