Loyal customers are the bread-and-butter of your business. Loyal customers need less “hard sell” to get them to place repeat orders. They keep coming back and, as long as you keep offering them a good relationship, they are worth hundreds of pounds in free network advertising.
The key to creating loyal customers is in striving to improve customer satisfaction. From the very first time they have contact with your business – even if that’s through an advert or by word-of-mouth – to payment of their most recent invoice your attitudes and procedures should work towards increasing their satisfaction with your company right throughout the sales process and beyond.
Know If Your Customers Are Satisfied
Are you measuring how satisfied your customers are or are you just bumbling along pinning “thank-you” cards to the noticeboard every now and then? Most dissatisfied customers won’t come back so, unless you seek out information through customer surveys and repeat business analysis you may never know how many of them there actually are.
The caveat here is not to overdo the feedback requests. Customers don’t mind clicking a smiley face to gauge how happy they are – they do begrudge being pestered to fill in long, boring, time-consuming surveys. The beauty of CRM is that it can mine your customer data for a lot of satisfaction metrics without needing to bombard your customers with questions.
Expect Repeat Custom
Your sales team should be focussed on building relationships with buyers and becoming preferred suppliers so make sure to include this when planning sales training. Planning to manage their account is essential to building a quality relationship that means they call you when they next need to place an order. And to this end it is important to keep the wilder promises of your sales team in check because disappointing your customer further down the line will result in even greater dissatisfaction than if you stick to the truth all along.
Maintain A Consistent Relationship
Customers see only your company. They don’t distinguish between the salesman that sold them the product and the after-sales support technician talking them through setting it up. So, it’s important to train everyone with a customer facing role to be consistent and to use your CRM to ensure anyone dealing with that customer has the whole file in front of them.
Know When to Quit
Sometimes a sales lead just isn’t interested. There are many reasons why this could be, and automated tools can help your sales team to identify the sales pipelines that are going nowhere. Why does this matter for customer satisfaction? Because even if they’re not going to be a customer this year then, if they’ve had a good experience then perhaps they’ll be future customers. Maybe when their business is bigger or when you bring out a new feature. If you continue trying to sell fish to someone who wants beef all you’ll succeed in doing is making them avoid you in future. Acknowledging that you’re never going to close this deal and withdrawing gracefully still counts as improving customer satisfaction.