An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Exceeding Client Expectations
Your reputation as a brand is intricately tied to how well you meet client expectations and the experience you provide. Figuring out what customers want isn’t always easy, though. Fortunately, there are some tried and true ways you can not only meet but exceed client expectations for your new venture.
According to the Small Business Administration, 99.9% of United States’ businesses are small. As an entrepreneur, your company likely falls into the category of 500 or fewer employees. Even though your budget for marketing and sales might be lower than a large corporation, your customers still expect a certain level of customer experience (CX).
While many things enhance the CX for your brand, there are some tried and true methods that work for most entrepreneurs to help them establish a positive brand image. Here are our favorite tips to improve your CX today.
1. Listen to Your Customers
You can’t meet customer expectations without knowing what they are. Train your staff to listen to potential customers. What pain points do they have? How can you solve them and do they fully understand the solution and what it will achieve?
The CX can be catered to each client’s needs, but only if you understand their problem. You may need to turn some clients away if you aren’t a good match for their issues. It’s better to turn down business than to develop a reputation as someone who can’t follow through on their word.
Once you make a sale, you should follow up with customers. Customer retention helps grow your business faster than you might imagine. Not only do you keep those hard-earned clients, but you’ll gain new ones via word-of-mouth referrals.
Around 68% of a company’s sales come from existing customers. They’re more likely to buy from you again and spend more than for the first purchase. Work hard to ensure you do meet their expectations and they’ll remain loyal to your brand.
3. Personalize the Experience
People are tired of generic ad campaigns. Make sure any interactions are personalized. Base interactions on your buyer personas, but also tap into the power of automation, cookies, and data to greet people by name, remember their past purchases and make suggestions you think they will appreciate.
A good example of a company personalizing shopping experiences is Amazon. They greet the customer by name, show them suggestions based on past buying behavior and save browsing history.
Your personalization may look different, depending on what type of industry you’re in, but you should strive to make interactions specific to the user.
4. Be Transparent
In the latest transparency trends report, researchers found 81% of shoppers feel transparency is “extremely important” or “important.” The more expensive an item is, the more vital transparency becomes to consumers.
Be honest about any limitations your client might run into with your product or service. Take the time to share who you are at your core. What do you care about? What values do you hold? Don’t worry too much about whether everyone will like your policies. Instead, seek the audience who appreciates what you bring to the table.
Be authentic and people are much more likely to respond to you positively. They’ll also know what to expect as they’ll have a better understanding of who you are and what matters most to you.
5. Use Positive Language
Instead of telling customers “no,” learn to turn things around with positive language. For example, if a client wants you to give them something that’s outside your comfort zone or abilities, don’t just say you can’t.
Instead, explain what you do offer and why you excel in those areas. Simply changing the way you speak can have a huge impact in how customers walk away from the experience. They may still have a positive impression of you, even if you didn’t fully meet their demands.
6. Gather Feedback
Get feedback from your customers. In the early days of your company, you may not fully satisfy your customers. Learn from any mistakes and change things along the way so future interactions with clients or new customers are better.
Survey each person after they’ve bought and tried your product for a while. Ask them what you can do better. Listen to their ideas. You may not have the ability to implement everything, but you might also change your marketing a bit to better showcase what your product is capable of.
7. Offer a Seamless Omnichannel Experience
One way to exceed customer expectations is to think a step ahead. Today’s consumer may interact with your brand across various touchpoints, including social media, your website, a brick-and-mortar store and via an app. They should receive consistent engagement across each platform.
You should also ensure each channel shares information with others. For example, if a customer contacts your store via phone but they previously engaged in a live chat, the phone rep should be able to pull up the previous live chat and know what was discussed and solutions offered. Don’t make your clients repeat themselves multiple times.
8. Become a Customer-Centered Brand
Think about the needs of your customer throughout every interaction you have. For your company to truly become customer-centered, you must consistently put your clients first. Train your staff to come up with creative solutions for problems. Give workers the freedom to fix things without worrying about repercussions from upper management.
If you want a reputation as a brand that exceeds client expectations, then you must work hard to go above and beyond the call of duty. Reach out to customers before they have to reach out to you, give them workable answers and show them you appreciate their business.