This is one of the most important commandments, so take note!
As you know (or will soon come to know if you’re a beginner), if you want to make more money in your business, you need to sell more stuff to your current customers.
Well, it takes far more effort and expense to turn a visitor to your website into a customer than it does to simply sell more stuff to current customers who have already thought highly enough of you to give you their hard-earned money.
Something that a friend and internet marketing expert, Jim Yaghi told me a while ago, has stuck with respect to how I view our customers. Here’s what he said…
Imagine that you are musician playing your instrument on a street corner.
Hours and hundreds of people pass by you without ever stopping.
Finally one person stops to listen to your music and puts some money into your hat.
Who do you play for?
The person who was interested enough to stop and listen to you and give you a tip, or the hundreds of passersby who haven’t paid any attention to you?
Then, before long, another couple of people join the first person. They also drop money into your hat.
Who are you playing for?
The answer should be obvious…
You should play for the people who stopped by and thought enough of what you’re offering to stop, listen and give you a few bucks.
Ask them for song requests….that’ll encourage them to stay for awhile and maybe even give you more money!
Here are 7 Ways You Can Honor Thy Customer:
1. Always over-deliver.
You always want to exceed your customer’s expectations. If you do, they’ll be far more likely to purchase from you in the future.
If a customer has trouble accessing their purchase or you aren’t able to deliver what was promised ALWAYS do your best to remedy the situation promptly and consider giving your customer a little something extra for the hassle. They’ll appreciate it!
2. Give Your Client the VIP Treatment
Customers love to receive the royal carpet treatment. Give it to them! Offer “customer” specials. If you’re about to launch a new product, give them an early-bird special price, or just early access to purchase your product. You could also send them a gift certificate with a discount code that they can use to purchase another product as a discount.
3. Be accessible to your customers.
This can be via a support ticket system, email, telephone number, etc. If your customer cannot reach you if they have an issue with their purchase, they’ll get mad. A mad customer can do a tremendous amount of damage to your brand and reputation. Especially online.
4. Promptly respond to customer support requests.
Just the other day, our internet was down. I had a TON of work to do, and I was completely annoyed. So, I called the cable provider’s phone number, jumped through all of the hoops of “Press 1 for this, Press 3 for that” and finally got a message that said that there was an outage reported in my area, and to Press 4 to speak with a customer service representative about the outage. I pressed 4, and promptly got a busy dial tone.
I was furious!
Then, I went to their website to see if they had posted any information about the outage or estimated time to resolve the issue. Found nothing.
Went onto Twitter to see if they had an update. Found nothing.
When to their Facebook page, only to find a boatload of unanswered comments from angry customers who had experienced the same frustrations I had.
Really, really bad customer service experience. In fact, when our contract is up, we’ll be moving to a new provider.
I would’ve been satisfied if someone had just answered my call and pretended to be concerned. I got nothing, so I’m one very unhappy customer.
Don’t make the mistake Cable One did!
(Side Note: These poor, uninformed folks at Cable One have no clue that their Facebook Page is totally damaging their brand. When potential customers are looking at their Facebook page they are going to see a lot of unhappy customers and a company that doesn’t care. Not a very sound marketing strategy.)
5. Have a clear refund policy in place.
If you are selling your own product online, you must have a clear refund policy in place. Tell your customers:
- The time limit to request a refund. (i.e, a 30 days)
- How to contact you to request the refund (email address, mailing address, phone #).
- Any additional terms or restrictions on your refund
- Expected processing times for the refund
- What form will the refund take (check, same as the original form of payment)
A refund policy is worthless if your potential customers/customers don’t know about it. So, always let them know about that policy and make it easily accessible.
6. Always HONOR your refund policy.
Promptly refund your customer’s money when requested (if they asked for the refund in accordance with your refund policy).
You never know what circumstances dictated their request, and even though your customer requested a refund, they’ll have a pleasant memory of their business dealings with you, as opposed to a negative one. They may very well purchase from you again in the future.
PLUS, your failure to promptly issue a refund can cause issues with your merchant accounts. If you don’t promptly refund your customer’s request (assuming they request the refund in accordance with the terms of your Refund Policy), and they complain to their bank/credit card company, you’ll get a “charge-back”.
Charge-backs can hurt your reputation with your merchant account provider, leading to higher fees or even suspension of your account. That’s really bad!
7. Stay In Touch With Your Customers.
You should consider sending them holiday cards, ask for their feedback, send them surveys to see how you can better serve their needs in the future, just as a few suggestions.
I’ve found that customers really love getting something in the mail from you. So if someone purchases your product, consider sending them a “thank you” letter via Snail Mail. It gives your clients the much needed offline contact to show them that you are, in fact, a real person!
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how to treat your clients in order to ensure you’re able to get the most money possible out of your existing customer list. In the Beginner’s Guide to Building You, Inc. (brought to you by The Savvy Entrepreneur(tm), I’ll be teaching more in depth strategies, so make sure to get on the Early Bird Notification List.
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