3 Surprising Tips to Keeping Customers Happy
Whether you are catering to a new customer, long-time customer or someone who has visited your store only a handful of times before, it’s important to keep ALL your customers happy. Below, gain 3 tips to help you achieve customer happiness that won’t cost you a dime… yet can help you make lots of them!
1. Avoid Employee Turnover
While the heart and soul of your store is likely you – the owner – if you have anyone else working in your store, you chance losing customers if you lose an employee. The faces that make up your business connect with customers as part of their jobs, and when you lose someone for any reason, you likely lose customers returning to see those same folks, as well. Treat your employees well to avoid employee turnover, and encourage longevity of employees by providing annual raises, bonuses and other incentives. Naturally, good employees will be identified by customers, as well, so welcome customers to share their favorite in-store experiences. You may be surprised at how much feedback is directly a result from the folks working in your store!
2. Ease Customer Dispute Situations
Whether you like it or not, customers disputes are bound to happen. A disgruntled customer may be upset about your return policy, bad customer service, lack of inventory or your store hours. It doesn’t matter what it is that provokes them, it just matters how you handle it. When a customer is upset, disappointed, annoyed, frustrated or just plain rude, calmly let them speak and say whatever it is they want to say. Interrupting them, not listening carefully and trying to quickly resolves scenario can backfire if the customer doesn’t feel like they are being heard. Once they have said what they want to, gently respond with your resolution. If your resolution doesn’t make them happy, identify if you want to bend your own rules to better accommodate them (not necessary, but you’re the boss to decided). Another thought? Provide them a store gift card of $5 or $10 (or whatever amount you can afford that will encourage them to still come back to your store) and apologize for their unhappiness. The old saying “it’s the thought that counts” goes a long way.
3. Don’t Always Sell Things
Now this isn’t what you probably want to hear, but hear us out. If a customer clearly states they want something and you absolutely know you don’t have it or anything like it, consider how else you can help them. That may mean referring them to another local retailer down the street. The point is, you won’t always get the sale… and that’s okay. The key is to always make your customer happy, though. If they remember a great experience in your store – even without a purchase – they are more likely to return again. Plus, actions go a long way and it’s very likely they will speak highly of your customer support to friends when you genuinely support them versus always trying to close a sale.
What tips do you have to help keep customers happy? We know there are countless! Please comment below.