Knowing your customers: How to make customers feel special

You know your business inside out, but do you know your customers inside out?

Acquiring new customers is five times more expensive than keeping the ones you already have, so customer turnover could be the largest financial burden for your business. By getting to know your customers and learning how to make them feel special, you build up a detailed picture of them and take steps towards retaining their business.

So, what CRM software can you use to help you know your customers better? How can you increase customer satisfaction? And what can you do to make customers feel special?

We’ve recently produced a guide to improving customer loyalty and here our some of our ideas for making your customers feel special.

What is customer satisfaction?

In short customer satisfaction is a measure of how your business meets or surpasses customers’ expectations.  It means retained customers generate long-term business for you, delivering positive feedback and great testimonials. Without it, customer churn increases and reputation risks damage through negative word of mouth marketing. In fact, in our recent customer experience survey we found that one in three consumers would ditch a company for good after just one below-par experience.

How do I increase customer satisfaction?

Understanding what your existing customers want and delivering it to them effectively is the best way to satisfy; meaning you can secure repeat orders, keep and retain your customers and benefit from positive word of mouth. Ways of doing this might include;

Customer loyalty schemes

You can immediately make a customer feel special and valued with a reward or loyalty scheme that offers them perks throughout the year…and they might even tell their colleagues and friends about it too! For example, we gave our lucky SageCover customers their very own VIP area at our recent SageWorld event.  Nice armchairs, trendy bags and tasty cakes all round!

Analysing customer data

Use the data you are gain everyday to find out a little more about your customers – like their propensity to buy at certain times of year or previous products they have bought – anything that might indicate their purchase preferences and behaviours. Then tailor your marketing to fit with the profile you have built up of them – something personalised or highly topical to them is much more likely to get through. Getting the right CRM software, or Customer Relationship Management software, can help with this.

Encouraging customer feedback

Giving your customers a chance to engage in two-way dialogue with you is vital. This could be through feedback surveys, social media, review meetings etc. It shows that you are more than just a business; it shows you have empathy and that you want to develop a relationship with customers – no bad thing! Here at Sage we try to do as much as possible.  We’d love you to hear from you through our Sage UK Twitter feed, our Facebook page or even by commenting on this blog.

Effective complaints management

Customer complaints can be telling, so it’s essential to deal with them efficiently, fairly and ensure the customer receives a satisfactory response and follow up. If a complaint is handled effectively, it can give you important root cause information that may help you to predict future issues or trends.

Improved customer service

Customer service needs to be sincere for it to be effective, so it’s vital to ensure that your staff are trained to fulfil this. If your staff can consistently treat all customers with respect and show efficiency, you will gain customer satisfaction and are sure to retain their business in the long-term.

Iain Ramsay, Small Business Team