Are you a studentpreneur, business owner or offer digital services online? At the crossroad of trying to figure out why your business is experiencing low patronage. Daily sales are plummeting; customer loyalty is zero. It seems like you are under some kind of curse to stay stagnant and not succeed in the business arena. Suspecting your business competitors are using a diabolical strategy to make big sales and retain loyal customers. You may as well have resolved within yourself you are just unlucky businesswise. Your religious leader has identified the witches from your ancestral home responsible for your small or large scale business venture not making enough money.
What if I tell you all these presumptions may all be wrong? The problem may be that you are making a particular common business mistake performed by many business owners around the world. Consumers are not loyal to your business or brand because they are pushed back by a turnoff. Failure to make necessary adjustments would ruin your chances of reviving your business.
The ultimate guide to building a successful business is applying the right strategies to attract and retain customer loyalty. Some of these strategies include choosing the right location for your store, advertising, packaging, networking, partnership, service delivery, flash sales, excellent customer service, e.t.c. The crux of every business transaction is your customers getting maximum satisfaction for your service or product. They must see the complete value for their money. Failure to meet your customer expectation would negatively affect your business. Kings do not accept shitty service.
In the New York best seller book “Contagious: How Things Catch On.” Jonah Berger talks about how the word-of-mouth strategy can be used by business owners to make their product sought-after. Do you know what happens when you can establish a good customer relationship with your customers? They not only get delighted by your service but also talk about your product and recommend it to their families, friends and colleagues. All for free of charge because you treated your customers like kings. It is why you must make your customers happy by delivering top-notch customer service.
The impact of a good customer relationship transforms into customer loyalty. Customer loyalty would bring a consistent increase in your business sales. You need to work towards offering quality service that would give your customers or clients maximum satisfaction. The goal is to make them keep coming back and promote your business to others with word of mouth. Let me give you a practical illustration as to how poor customer service can affect your business resulting in loss of loyal customers.
About a month ago, my lifestyle blog URL got blocked by the Facebook bot for not meeting the community guidelines. I failed to verify my blog URL on Facebook Business Manager. To get my blog unblocked on Facebook, I needed to contact Facebook Business Live Chat. The Live Chat option is not available to many Facebook users. That means I had to contact a third party person to reach out to a Facebook customer care representative on my behalf. I slid into the DM of three persons who bid they could get domains unblocked on Facebook.
“Hey! Can you help me get my blog URL unblocked on Facebook?” I asked.
The fellow gave me a price tag for the service that was a little bit above my budget. As a potential customer, I went on to negotiate the price.
Guess what? The fellow ignored my message probably because he felt insulted by me negotiating the price. I may have sounded like a kind of joker to him.
“Hi! How much will it cost me to get my blog URL unblocked?” I asked.
The response was prompt, but there was a problem. The asking price quoted was above the price tag of Contact A. I went on to negotiate the fee, the fellow did not give in. However, he asked me how much I could afford. After quoting my preferred cost, we settled for the same price tag as Contact A.
“Good day. Can you get my blog URL unblocked on Facebook?” I asked.
The response came late. I immediately informed Contact C I would no longer be needing his service.
His response was shocking. “You did not intend to pay for the service,” he said to me.
Going by the above conversation, you already know who I would recommend or be willing to do business with in the future. Though Contact A price was okay, he failed to understand that a client always has the liberty to negotiate. No matter how ignorant a customer may sound, you have to give them excellent service.
Many business owners get irritated when customers attempt to negotiate. When you encounter these set of clients, always try to make them see the reasons why your price tag is okay. Appeal to their emotions by referencing different factors why the price can’t lessen any further.
Fortunately, Contact B understood the importance of a good customer relationship. The fellow did not only respond nicely to my messages; he went on to ask how much I was willing to pay for his service. Probably was trying to gauge the situation and take advantage of the ongoing negotiation.
As an entrepreneur or business owner, ensure that your customers feel they are in full control during a negotiation. It massages their ego and makes them feel good about themselves.
Contact C was off the radar. Even though I no longer needed his service, he would have wished me to stay safe. Who knows whether I may need to contact him in the future for other business.
Speak well to your clients even when they patronize your competitors. It increases your chances of gaining their loyalty later in the future. No one would want to patronize you after being insulted by you. You can never insult a king and go scot-free.
A few years ago, I had just arrived at the vibrant oil city of Port Harcourt, Southern Nigeria. Settling down wasn’t much of a hassle because I am a Warri boy. The day came for me to do my first shopping in the garden city. I visited the busy Mile 3 market to get provisions and other household items. Mile 3 Market in Port Harcourt is notoriously known to be the den of pickpockets in the whole of Rivers State, Nigeria. If you are not vigilant enough, you could lose everything. A few years ago, there was a story about a young man who lost his male reproductive organ in the market.
When I arrived at the market after a few minutes of trekking, I became clueless as to where I could get the things in my shopping list. I began the search for a wholesale provision store while caressing the cash in my pocket to be sure it had not evaporated. Walked into the first provision store I sighted. The woman gave me a scornful look like I had come to steal. To my relief, she did not have the particular refill milk I wanted to purchase. If not for her misjudgment, she probably would have tried to convince me to get another brand of milk available in her shop.
Like a young soldier, I walked briskly deep into the heart of the market. Though I already began to panic mildly believing I would not locate any shop to buy provisions. At that moment, I spotted a beautiful lady sitting in front of a provision shop. I approached her shop or rather enchanting smile. Right from that moment, I knew I would become her loyal customer for the remainder of my stay in Port Harcourt city. Expectedly, her reception was breathtaking. Above all, she had everything on my shopping list. Well, not everything like everything. You get me, right?
That was the beginning of a blossoming customer relationship. I made sure to buy my provision, toiletries, soaps, e.t.c. from her store. Sometimes, I would put off purchasing basic things I could obtain from the kiosk close to my house. I would always prefer to get them from her shop when I made a trip to the market. As time went on, I became conversant with her mother, who owns the provision shop. Sometimes I would offer little assistance here and there when there were lots of customers that needed attending.
The lesson here is that like in every aspect of life, first impression matters. I became a loyal customer just by the smiling face of a business owner. People become loyal customers when you treat them respectfully. Customers want to feel like kings. Never dismiss would-be customers irrespective of their age, sex or gender. The average looking individual may be of great financial value to your business.
Do you walk or drive the extra distance to buy a product from a particular store even when you could just purchase the item somewhere else? You are probably a loyal customer that gets the urge to buy things from a shop where you are conversant with the store owner. Shop where you are respected and treated nicely. Your goal as an entrepreneur or business owner is to build a loyal customer base. Such creation is only possible when you offer premium customer services to your clients.
Redesign your Business Narrative
What is unique about your business or service you offer? Do you go with the norm or you brainstorm to provide a unique business concept? A few months ago, I would have to walk some distance to get my gas cylinder refilled. Sometime around March, a gas mini gas station opened next to my compound. Initially, I was sceptical about taking my gas cylinder to the new store for a refill. I was not sure if I would get value for my money like I was struggling to get some other place else.
The first time I went to the store for a refill, something remarkable happened. My gas cylinder got handled like a treasure. The shop owner took time to clean the body of the gas cylinder with soapy water and towel. I had never experienced such act elsewhere. Nobody had time to cater to the gas cylinder of their customers. I instantly became a loyal customer.
Developing Good Business Customer Relationship
Developing an excellent business customer relationship may not be as easy as it may sound. Some customers are too burdensome to handle. You will want to call their bluff and trash the “customer is king” mantra. Last year, I ventured into a scratch card business. It was a soft business. The money was quick, little or no risk. I buy exam scratch cards in bulk and resell to an already available market.
Everything was going well until I encountered some troublesome clients. They would call me and sound as if I had defrauded them of their money. At times, I would receive indirect insults from some clients. The experience was quite daunting. Impulsively, I would always get the urge to react. I just had to calm down to make more money.
I understood the logic of business-tomorrow. A business philosophy; you tolerate troublesome customers to get them to buy from you again. After all, a king can behave as he wishes.
Train yourself psychologically on how to handle difficult and angry customers in different case scenario. You have to be mentally prepared to deal with such situations to convert them to loyal customers.
The Friendship Strategy for Business Revival
You need to get to know your customers on a personal level. Begin by knowing their names and their shopping format. You could even predict when they will come to the store. Maybe during the holidays, you can give discounts to your loyal customers. Everybody loves freebies. Customers can detect when they get the royal treatment. They will stick to your business if you treat them just right.
What is Good Business Customer Relationship?
Excellent customer relationship is when you treat your customers as kings. You offer services that give value for money. Customers are happy and feel good about themselves.
It is a process where you connect with your customers. You know what to what and how to respond to their inquiries. It gives the customer the impression that they mean a lot to your business. Welcome every buyer to your store with a warm smile and speak nicely to them. A happy client becomes a loyal customer.
How do you provide quality customer service?
- Treat your customers nicely
- Treat them with respect
- Listen to their complaint
- Make them feel special
- Try to get to know their names
- Learn to predict their shopping list
- Offer a special discount to them
- Always say thank you to them
- Periodically give rewards to your loyal customers
- Create a thank you message for your loyal customer
- Have a phone line customers could reach you with during business hours
How do you handle difficult customers?
- Listen attentively to their compliant
- Stay calm even if they shout at you
- Allow the customer to vent their anger
- Beg them to calm down
- Nicely, explain the situation
- Offer them alternatives
- Accept responsibility if the problem is your fault
- What’s your experience as an entrepreneur?
- Do your customers give you a hard time?
- How best do you handle the situation?
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