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3 Keys to Keep Your Customers Coming Back – Part 2

by Bria Leave a comment

Picking up from last week’s post.  Here’s the final step to keep your customers coming back. 

Step #3: Track how well your business is delivering an excellent experience at each step.

Once the customer care and daily operation systems are in place, you or a team member needs to monitor them.  Are you and your team consistently doing what you’ve set out to do with your systems?  Unfortunately, if systems aren’t monitored, they often fall back to human variability and the consistency is lost.  Once you’ve lost consistency, you’ve lost your key to bringing customers back again and again.

The bottom line is- to keep customers coming back for more- certain things must happen in a certain way every time for people to feel like they are getting the best possible experience and for them to trust that they will get that same optimal experience the next time.  Your attention needs to be focused on creating and monitoring the systems to produce that outcome.

3 Keys to Keep Your Customers Coming Back – Part 1

by Bria Leave a comment

Want to know one of the easiest ways to grow your business? 

Consistently create a memorable experience so your ideal customers will come back to you again and again and they will refer other ideal customers to you.  Whatever you are offering, if your business is service-based, people are paying for an experience. It’s your job to make it the best experience possible.  

Follow these 3 steps to make that happen:

Step #1- Make No Assumptions. 

Don’t assume that you know what your customers want.  Ask them!  You can use surveymonkey.com, at no charge, to survey your customers about what they have liked about your business and what they think could be improved.  Ask every customer who buys from you the same questions. Clients and customers are generally more than happy to tell you the truth about their experience with you once they know you care.

Step #2- Create a System of Customer Care that is Unparalleled in Your Industry.  From the time a customer calls you or finds you on the internet or walks into your store, to the time they buy from you, their experience needs to be awesome.  From what you’ve learned from your customers/clients, create a step-by-step plan to make sure every level of their interaction with your business is the best it can be.  What extra perks or warm experiences can you add along the way?  It’s critical that every customer touch point, from the very beginning to the end of a transaction, is phenomenal.   The ONLY way to do that is to carefully systematize your customer care.

Consider one of my clients who owns a wine store.  The basic sales flow for a wine shop is as follows:

  1. Customer walks in the store or calls with questions.
  2. Customer looks around for wines that look interesting.
  3. Customer may have some questions about the wines.
  4. Customer may try wines if something is offered.
  5. Customer chooses wines s/he wants to buy.
  6. Customer waits in line and gives wine to the clerk.
  7. Money is collected.
  8. Wine is put into a bag and carried to the car.

 

Excellent customer service needs to occur at each step so the overall experience is optimal.

It doesn’t matter if you sell products or services; the outcome you want is the same- a top-notch customer experience, at every step, every single time.  Look at your steps from your customer’s eyes.  How can you make them better?

Read the third step next week. 

Entrepreneurs- Minimize Growing Pains in Your Business

by Bria Leave a comment

An interesting thing about running a small business is that it’s SO easy to get stuck constantly putting out fires.  And the only way out of running from fire to fire are three words most entrepreneurs dislike- systems, delegation, and team.  (Yuck… right?)  And even trickier- the systems and team that worked for your business in years 1-3, don’t work when your business is in year 5 or 10.  It’s like telling your 15-year-old to go to bed at 8:00 because that was what they needed when they were 10.

As your business grows up, your systems, delegation and team need to grow up with it.  Here are a few tips to help:

Be open to looking at stuck points clearly- as they are now- and implementing new strategies.  Just as a parent may want to see their teenager as a little girl, we parent much better when we see them as what they really are- a teenager- who needs different rules and limits. 

Same with your business.  What are the stuck points NOW? 

What used to work that is no longer working?  An example is my client who enjoyed easy and constant referrals prior to the crash of 2008.   Things are different now.  We had to look closely at what NEW low-cost marketing strategies, follow-up system with past clients, and referral-building activities needed to happen in order to bring back steady business. 

She is now enjoying a steady flow of business because she was open to seeing what needed to change and open to implementing the new strategies.

Look honestly at your current team.  One of the hardest things for my clients is building the team they need NOW and for future growth.  It’s so easy to cling to the assistant or the team that worked in the past.  Who wants to fire people? It’s really hard.  And yet- if you want to grow with more ease, it’s imperative to develop a team that fits your next level and supports you right now, at the highest level possible. 

Sometimes extra training fills the need.  Other times, letting go and re-hiring is important.

Does anything need to change on your team so your business runs more smoothly?

Open your eyes to who are ideal clients and who are NOT for your current business.

As businesses and their owners evolve, ideal clients and customers evolve as well.  I used to want to work with anyone and everyone who was starting a business, had a business, wanted a business, and so on- as long as they  wanted also to live a balanced, healthy life as well.  And as I’ve evolved, I’ve realized that my ideal clients are established entrepreneurs who want to run better businesses so they can enjoy better lives.

So it no longer makes sense for me to spend my time and energy giving talks at events for start-ups, for example, because those entrepreneurs are not my ideal clients.  Their struggles are not the same as the struggles of established entrepreneurs.

Who are your ideal clients and customers NOW and for your “next level”?  Once you are clear with that, you can create the systems and sales strategies to attract them, and save lots of time and energy by NOT working to attract the clients who fit your younger business.

I hope you had an “aha” moment in this article that was helpful.  As always, please reply below if you have any questions or comments.

Business Quote – The Golden Rule

by Bria Leave a comment

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