The world of business has become more customer-centric than ever before. Consumers have the power to write reviews and post on social media about both bad and great experiences with businesses. There are plenty of business markets that are saturated which will require a startup to offer ultimate customer experience. The thought that this begins once a customer buys could not be further from the truth. The experience begins as soon as there is an interaction between a salesperson or other staff.
Pushy salespeople can lead to a bad reputation for a company as nobody wants to be constantly harassed after declining multiple times. There is a difference between a lead that wants a product or service but not at this time and one that will never want a product/service. The transition between the salesperson and account manager needs to be seamless. These are a few ways to improve customer experience with the end goal of boosting customer retention and more will be listed below!
Monitoring Reviews and Complaints Cannot be Stress Enough
Customer reviews can be a huge asset for a business especially when posted online. Monitoring these reviews is imperative as both negative and positive reviews should be addressed. A positive review should be as likely as a negative review to receive a gift certificate or discount. You cannot just reward the unhappy customers as you want to bring all customers back time after time.
Reviews can come on social media as well so respond to these quickly. A person might delete a negative tweet or Facebook post if they feel like their situation has become remedied. Below are just a few things that customer review monitoring can do:
- Lack of monitoring can look like lack of care for the customer.
- Showing great customer service improves customer experience.
- In the cases of a restaurant, this could allow the customer to have a better experience with a discount. Getting the former unhappy customer through the door allows for a second shot to turn the person into a satisfied customer.
- The feedback in reviews can be valuable. If a consistent complaint arises then this can be remedied so it is no longer a problem in the future.
CRM is Essential
Using a CRM is essential and it makes it far more convenient when it is easily integrated with other platforms/technology the company uses. Detailed notes should be taken during every client interaction as you do not want anything to slip through the cracks. An account manager forgetting about an important conversation can happen when juggling a multitude of accounts. The CRM also allows for an easy transition from one account manager to another. The CRM will also come into play during the sales process as the account manager will want as much information from the employee that closed the sale as possible. Below are things to focus on in the CRM:
- Keep dates for upselling in mind as a customer’s contract is coming to an end.
- Detailed notes and recap emails sent can be stored here. At times, a customer might misunderstand something so a recap email after a call/meeting can help clear up any issues.
- Small things like what has been pitched should be noted. A client will not want to jump on a call weekly if they are constantly being harassed to spend more than their current monthly budget.
Ask Current Customers for Feedback
Current customers being asked for feedback can provide quite a bit of insight. Happy customers might have a few suggestions that can increase the experience for all customers. Even asking about new potential offering like that of services/products can generate data. Customer surveys are a good way to gather data but they usually do not generate too many outside of the box ideas. Giving customers a discount for feedback can also entice them as your current customer base is a startups most valuable asset.
Loyalty programs make a customer feel truly valued by a company of any size whether it is a startup or large corporation. Customers could receive discounts or free tickets to events/conferences the startup is hosting. Figuring out the right structure that maximizes benefits yet does not impact profit margins by very much will be a difficult balance to attain. Small things like offering free items at a restaurant on a customer’s birthday is done by a variety of franchises.
Customer retention being nearly perfect is the way to healthily grow any type of business. This will take incredible customer service and provide a great experience to everyone that comes into contact with the business. The aspect to keep in mind is that there are some clients or customers that you will not be able to make happy. The customer could be too demanding or simply tries to make staff at the company miserable. Dropping problem clients is a common practice at startups as a problem client can lower the quality of work provided to other clients by being time-consuming.