10 tips to keep them coming back

10 tips to keep them coming back

As a small business owner, you have a unique opportunity to provide a passionate and dedicated service for your customers.

Get this right and your customers will sing your praises to others. Most importantly, they will stick around to do more business with you too.

This is why you need sticky customers. Read on for 10 tips to keep them coming back for more…..

Great customer service will make the world a better place

Imagine all those happy customers.

Maya Angelou quote "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you make them feel."

You have helped create a warm glow for them instead of the usual huge frustrations. Too many of us are treated poorly, without respect, and just not listened to. Become their ear, make them feel better, just simply CARE.

There will be less moaning (except for the weather perhaps). Customers will start to share their feel-good stories instead.

Little by little it may help to lift the mood of the nation.

Let’s start the customer service revolution

Great customer service has such massive potential.

Exceptional service makes you stand out from competitors. You will gain loyal followers, repeat business, build strong relationships, and subsequently grow your business.

I believe it’s more than that, it’s our bigger purpose.

We have a duty to get good at this because your customers really do matter. Be thankful they choose to do business with you. Without them, you don’t have a business anyway.

We can set the tone for others to follow in our footsteps. By doing this well, there will be no choice in the end. It will become what consumers expect. Do or die for businesses!

Here’s what I recommend you need to think about…….

10 tips to keep them coming back:

  1. Be YOU. People want authentic – customers will spot bullsh*t a mile off.
  2. Get in the right mindset. Care about your customers and about the service you provide to them, no matter what is going on for you.
  3. Map the whole journey a customer might take with you (including before you know who they are) and do exactly what you promise you say you will. Just doing exactly what we promised can be a win-win situation. Imagine the possibilities if you can exceed expectations.
  4. Provide something useful/helpful/interesting for them – think about what they need, want, have to solve, and try and be a solution.
  5. Own it. It’s all your fault. Even if it was your employee that did the wrong deed. You didn’t train them properly, or you hired the wrong person. Tough, but in the eyes of the customer none of that matters to them.
  6. Gain testimonials and/or press coverage to help build credibility. Ask for feedback to understand what you can hone and improve.
  7. Act quickly. If you can’t, get in touch and explain when what and why.
  8. Keep in touch. It’s not your customers’ responsibility to remember to do business with you. Let them know about what’s coming up, special offers, loyalty schemes. Provide more value to help them.
  9. Demonstrate your values. Display and explain them if relevant. Be charitable and the reasons behind your choices.
  10. Be energetic, can-do – say YES.
A group of people at a hen party
I don’t just cover mine in chocolate, but it helps!

If you want to get a head start in the customer service stakes adding chocolate into the mix is a great idea. If you want some more, try my 100 Ways to WOW.

How to work in some WOW

How to work in some WOW

As a small business owner, you are in a unique position to create some wonderful customer experiences in your business.

Quotation about customer service from Maya Angelou

Make it a top priority, it will reap rewards. 

Here’s how to work in some WOW for your customers:

The J word!

Yes, your customers are embarking on a journey with you.

This experience starts before you know they are looking at you. 

Your business personality, via your website and social media platforms, is providing an impression of you and your services/product.  

Have you created the right impression to attract your ideal clients?

Is the journey to purchase something clear, correct, and delivers exactly what is promised?

Not everyone is ready to buy right now.

How can you ensure you encourage further interaction?

Create a strong business personality

Be you. You may be providing or selling something that many others do too, but no one else is you, so you will bring something unique to the interaction.

People see through fake and quite frankly, we have had enough of that sort of thing – be authentic and customers will love you for it.

Feel the fear often. If you are sharing a story or posting something that brings a little fear into your being, then you are most likely hitting the right note. We are programmed to be reserved, especially in a business setting, but bring your whole self and your customers will feel they have got to know the real person behind the brand.

Keep in Touch

Provide some useful information.  

Write a blog!  

Send out a fact sheet or relevant information that would prove useful for your customers.

Invite them to subscribe to a newsletter – then regularly write to them.

Not everyone is ready to buy when they first meet your business. They may be ready to buy some months down the line.

Keeping in touch provides an opportunity to strengthen a relationship with a potential customer. It may also provide an opportunity for previous customers to buy again.

Be Disciplined

Post regularly on social media channels.

 Deliver the newsletter when you said you would.

Respond quickly to enquiries.

ALWAYS do what you said you would, or explain why you can’t.

Gain Feedback

Ask what people liked and didn’t like about working with you.

Listen to what is being said.

Hone and improve where you think it’s necessary.

Talk about what you have learned, inform clients of changes you are going to make.

Get the basics right

You can provide fancy gifts and make grand gestures as much as you like. If you are not providing exactly what you said on the tin in the first place, then this will fall very flat.

Review the whole journey a customer will experience with your business and ensure that everything works properly.

If you employ staff, make sure you train them properly and empower them to be able to make the right decisions.

The right mindset

As soon as we mention customer service, you start to be bombarded with examples of disasters and sob stories. They might be amusing, or we may learn a lesson or two – but this is not the right mindset for creating some WOW.

Let’s give examples of how a company turned a disaster into a success. Let’s get thinking positively. Most importantly, let’s try and get in the mindset of our customers and focus on their needs and what would make them happy.

A wonderful opportunity

Here’s the great news. You only have to do exactly what you say you will do to win some brownie points from your customers.

Then, and only then can you start to add in some WOW. 

These are little extras that make you stand out from the crowd.

I recently came back from a camping trip. Each night the owner would drive around and deliver giant marshmallows on sticks for the guests to toast on their firepits. She did it with such joy and enthusiasm, we all looked forward to the marshmallow run each evening. Inexpensive, a bit of fun, but a huge tick in the WOW department.

Word-of-mouth recommendations are the holy grail of marketing. Nothing says buy from this company than a friend talking about a great experience.

Here are 100 Ways to WOW that you might find useful!

Chocolate Works Wonders

Heart drawn in chocolate

Add a little chocolate into the mix and you have a wonderful recipe for success.

My Getting Sticky Customers workshop works with teams and business owners wishing to focus their efforts on customer experience and of course, includes chocolate.

“Having time out from everyday work to focus on what we do and why we do it was amazing! The session has reinvigorated my desire to help and wow customers and to make a difference to someone’s day. Dawn is excellent at making you think about things in a different way – lots of light bulb moments for me!”  Sarah Henson, delegate, Solihull

What customer experiences have been positive for you – come and share your story on my Facebook page.

Or maybe this has inspired you to start your own business because you know you’d be brilliant at creating some WOW moments for your customers? Why not give us the opportunity!

Creating some ‘WOW’ requires more than just chocolate!

Creating some ‘WOW’ requires more than just chocolate!

I love people (and chocolate too of course) which is why I created The Melting Pot. Creating the best possible experience for customers is a true passion of mine. A workshop environment provides a golden opportunity to really cherish every guest and ensure they leave happy (with bags filled with chocolate)!

A group of people at a hen party

The Customer Journey

The experience itself is just one part of a journey for my customers – one that starts long before I’m aware of their presence. They will be experiencing my business via my website and social media platforms. I must build a relationship with them (whether they decide to take part in a workshop or not). I need to keep in touch over a period of time, strengthening our connection until they are hopefully ready to buy.

Your Business Personality

I work hard at creating the right business personality for The Melting Pot. This involves first impressions. The way I present myself and my business. How I act on social media, my writing style, aiming for quick response times, sending regular newsletters, and of course, my workshops. I’m fascinated by learning more so I always ask for feedback too. Gaining insights from my customers means I can continually review, hone and improve what I offer.

Getting Sticky Customers

One business entrepreneur once said to me “I want what you’ve got in your business – I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but I want it in mine.”

Never one to pass up a challenge, I set to identify all the elements that go into creating a great customer experience.

I created a workshop called Getting Sticky Customers. We cover all the basics on getting good at creating the best customer experiences and I added chocolate into the mix too! The aim is to get our customers to stick around while we might get a little sticky with the chocolate too.

What makes great customer experience?

My aim is on building the best relationships with clients (and creating a ‘WOW moment’ now and again to really make me stand out from the crowd). It starts by doing exactly what it says on the tin. If you mention it, it needs to work in the way it’s described/expected. Simples but so many companies don’t do this. Until this element is nailed, don’t bother trying to make your customers go WOW as it won’t work.

In my opinion, it’s not about theory, spouting statistics on customer retention, and yet more examples of bad customer service stories (yawn, we’ve heard them all before). It’s about getting in the right mindset, sweating the small stuff, and noticing examples of what we CAN DO to create some WOW moments for customers. It’s about getting inspired!

Mindset Matters

Quotation from Maya Angelou

I believe the biggest factor is my mindset – how much genuine emphasis I put on making things the best for my customers really matters. If anyone is going to part with their hard-earned money and spend it with me, I really care that I do my best for them. That has to come above anything else.

Then I keep a close eye on all the operations, customer interactions, and managing expectations. If you spell out how something is going to work, the customer understands the process and is not left to worry. The way I act on the phone, at events, such as conferences or networking, face-to-face meetings, and via written word all count. I am always the face of the business in whatever setting I am in.

I need to ensure the basics are working properly first – it’s as simple as doing what I promised I would. If I can’t do that I need to hold up my hand and explain why. I then need to keep in touch and keep the customer informed of what’s happening and when to expect a result (or not). Only then can I look at how I might create some WOW for customers.

This has to be done authentically, and I have to be myself, albeit a ‘business-personality’ style version of me! Don’t try and be false, or act in a way you can’t sustain. That’s just exhausting and people will see through it eventually.

Add Chocolate

Mention chocolate and some of the work in getting people excited is done for me, I do agree. But get the experience wrong or treat the customers badly and no amount of chocolate will win them over.

If you are interested in working with chocolate, here are five reasons that might be of interest!