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Making a Lasting Impression

Nowadays it is harder than ever to find loyal customers. In the 20th century most business was done face to face and everyone knew each other. However in today's society with social networking and online shopping, it's harder than ever to find customers and keep them coming back. The age of knowing every customer who walks through the door is over but there are ways to keep a loyal clientele. The best thing about having loyal customers is word of mouth. Word of mouth promotions can lead to even more loyal customers in the future. It is more important to take care of the wants of the customers than the needs of the company. One motto I have heard several times is "Work hard and be nice to people." That one mantra can change the outlook for any company in the customer service field; because that one simple idea is the real reason customers stick around. This can determine the success or failure in your business. Dr. Rosanne D'Ausilio, an industrial psychologist, president of Human Technologies Global, Inc. and author of Customer Service and The Human Experience said it will help any business succeed. D'Ausilio believes "that people are people, and regardless of the business' size, it is all about the mission of the company and being dedicated to their customers."

What Makes a Loyal Customer?

A loyal customer is a company or individual that keeps coming back to a business time after time. If a company is known for high customer loyalty it will bring in more clientele. People want to know that they are going to be treated well, that someone truly cares about what they want and will spend the time to listen. In my experience our loyal customers keep returning because we know what they want and we make it extremely easy for them to get the order done without a lot of back and forth communication. People want a transaction that doesn't take a lot of time and they can trust you to deliver what they need. These are the customers that go above and beyond to spread a positive word of mouth and refer other companies in the process. These type of customers are less likely to take their business elsewhere and tend to be less price conscious when they are a satisfied customer.

Keeping a loyal customer

One of the most important reasons a customer keeps coming back is because of the quality of the products. When quality products are offered with exceptional customer services and pricing there isn't a reason why the customer would want to shop anywhere else. Being able to go above and beyond to provide quality products and service shows the customer that you value their business. Another thing to consider is keeping prices lower than other companies who offer the same products, which will help bring in traffic. Another great thing to offer customers who are buying in quantity or spending a large amount is an incentive of a percentage off their order.

Regardless of the company or industry, problems always occur in business, it is inevitable. The ability to handle problems efficiently and with care will create long term customers. Customers need to feel like they matter and handling an issue promptly and professionally is the key to keep them coming back, even if a minor issues does occur. Some of the biggest complaints people have with large companies is the inability to talk to a real person and being stuck talking to a machine. People want to feel like they are being heard and that some type of resolution can happen quickly. In larger companies it is inevitable to have a machine help separate calls out but making the process easier for people to get in touch with a representative is important.

One thing that can attribute to bad customer service is how an employee is treated in the work place. People who are treated badly at work are more likely to treat their customers in the same manner. There are many people who live by the idea of "if you are nice to me I will be nice to you." That simple concept is hard for others to see. Kindness spreads, the idea should be "I will be nice to you and then you will be nice to me." A great quote comes to mind "kill them with kindness" this quote is widely used because even the most upset person will start to feel less anxious or angry when the person they are talking to is kind and helpful. In almost every instance some type of resolution is possible but patience and kindness will make the experience more pleasurable and less toxic.

Making a Lasting Impression

One of the expectations of consumers is that companies deliver what they ordered and that it is a quality product. People expect the best and it is the companyís job to make sure they deliver on that. It is always a good practice to stay in touch and ask for feedback because there is always room for improvement. As a growing company is it important to improve performance and adapt to the ever-changing market. Part of that ever-changing market is the consumerís needs and availability of a certain product. It is easy to find the same product on multiple websites so it can be difficult to be in the forefront of all the competition. Having a reputation for customer service, and lower pricing can put one company ahead of the rest. A related article on growing your company offers insights on why customer service is so important when building a company.

In concluding this article, important things to remember are to be nice to people and work hard. That simple instruction can change the face of any company. Northwest Creative Imaging has a great customer service policy that is dedicated to our customers. The main goal is to bring in customers that are going to be loyal to you and by being loyal will spread a positive message about your company. Making customers feel like they are being heard and taken care of will provide a positive experience for them and will make them want to continue to do business with that company. When they are made to feel like they are one in millions and that what they want doesn't' matter is when they tend to look elsewhere for the same thing. Be unlike the rest and give them what they want a friendly voice that sounds like you are smiling and a positive attitude that is the secret to success.

References:

Celmer, Lynn. "The Psychology of Customer Service." americasbestcompanies.com. America's Best Companies Sept/Oct 2008. Web. 16 August 20013.
http://www.americasbestcompanies.com/magazine/articles/psychology-customer-service.aspx