25 Ways to Amaze Your Customers Business Matters Guide

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... without flying a banner over the city, sponsoring a hot air balloon or doing anything that requires a chicken suit.

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  • A WORLDWIDE BUSINESS MATTERS GUIDE

    CUSTOMERSAMAZE YOURWAYS TO

    25

  • Its no secret that the world of

    business has changed.

    In days gone by, it was enough to have the catchiest jingle, the glossiest brochure or the best looking product.

    Now we live in an information age where our customers are inundated by marketing messages, media and all that other noise competing for their attention.

    Never before have customers had more power. Instead of using just one supplier for a product or service, they can use multiple suppliers from different countries, and select them based on factors ranging from their price point to a product review they read on someones blog.

    Were living in a fiercely competitive climate for business so here are the three little words that can make all the difference:

    Amaze your customers.

    The good news is that you dont need crazy discounts, big budgets or publicity stunts with banners, hot air balloons or chicken suits.

    Being amazing means doing small things that let your customers know that you care about what they want, and are willing to listen to what they need.

    Being amazing is not as hard as you might think its just a matter of making the right sort of effort in the right places.

    PAGE 1

  • BUSINESS MATTERS GUIDE PAGE 2

  • Lets start with a golden oldie. It costs five times more to win a new customer than it does to keep an existing one.

    The key to any successful business is a steady customer base. If you can wow your customers, theyll come back to you. Keep on satisfying, and even amazing them, and you can be sure your resources are being used wisely.

    Its really that simple.

    Prospecting for new customers is an essential part of any business, but amazing your current customers should be your number one priority. Why? Because regular customers:

    Areoftenlesssensitiveaboutpricetheyappreciatethe big picture

    Aremorelikelytobeinterestedinanyextraproducts or services

    Willhappilyrecommendyoutoothers

    Takelessofyourtimeandmoneytokeephappy

    Are you ready to be amazing?

    1. KEEP THE OLD MAKE NEW FRIENDS BUT

    PAGE 3

  • Make your customers happiness your top priority.

    Big corporations spend millions of dollars on advertising to tell customers how much they care about them, while cutting even more from their customer service budgets.

    You can amaze customers by genuinely caring about what they think and giving them what they need. Theyre thinking me, me, me so make sure youre not!

    Of course, one of the best ways to breed this kind of culture is toleadbyexample.

    Make sure your staff are all well-versed in your businesss customer service policies and show that you care about even the tiniest details such as reserving the best parking spot for visiting customers, and not for yourself!

    2. SHOWTHEM YOU CAREDONT JUST TELL THEM

    BUSINESS MATTERS GUIDE PAGE 4

  • 3.Weve all visited those websites that make it just too damned hard! You cant clearly tell what the company does, you cant find the product info you want and even getting back to the homepage makes you almost lose the will to live.

    The only way of contacting the company is through an online form that takes four days to get a response, and by that time youve found what you want anyway on a competitors website.

    Here are some quick tips to give your website the wow factor:

    Ifyourenotawebdesigner,getoneinforachat.Theyllhelpyoutomake your website easy to navigate using a design that suits your business and your brand.

    Reading froma screen is different to reading fromapage, sobigchunksoftextjustdontwork.Usebulletpoints,plentyofheadingsand short, readable sentences to create easy-to-read web copy.

    Ifyoursitehasmorethanafewlinesoftext,itsworthhiringanexpertto optimise your content theyll research and include the keywords that will appeal to both search engine robots (to get a higher search engine ranking) and to your human website visitors.

    Thinkfromyourcustomerspointofviewwhyaretheygoingtoyourwebsite, and what do they want from it? Tell customers who you are, what you do and how they can get hold of you. Give them a reason to visit and theyll choose to stay.

    WOW THEMWITH YOURWEBSITE

    PAGE 5

  • Know of a business which exists to seamlessly administrate world-class leadership skills as well as to collaboratively utilise unique catalysts for change?

    Business language is a trap. We integrate, unify, synergise and revolutionise leveragable deliverables and nobody is quite sure what we mean.

    We all fall into the habit of repeating corporate jargon. But using it doesnt makeusseemsmarter,moreprofessionalormoreexperienced.Usingjargon makes us seem distant, aloof and like we dont care whether people actually understand our messages.

    To get rid of the waffle, you can:

    Use a shorter or simpler word when possible instead of utilise, say use.

    Reduce technical jargon facilitate a Visioning Session is really hold a meeting.

    Avoid clichs and buzzwords ditch customer-focused, best practice and strategic processes.

    Heres the amazing part no one will think less of your company if you remove the filler and make your reports, brochures, websites and manuals easier to understand.

    In fact, theyll love you for it.

    4. QUITCORPORATEJARGON

    BUSINESS MATTERS GUIDE PAGE 6

  • Everyone is an expert on something including you.

    Blogs and e-zines are great, but sometimes its just nice to put something into the hands of your customer that theyll want to keep on their desk and refer to.

    Put your best tips into a handy booklet and give it out free to potential and existing clients. Dont push your products too much no onewants to read one big ad. Just be a reliable, interesting source of useful

    information.

    Let them order it from your website, send in a coupon from a print advertisement or pick one up in-store.

    Give it a catchy title, too, like 25 ways to amaze your customers without flying a banner over the city, sponsoring a hot air balloon or doing anything that requires a chicken suit...

    5. GIVE AWAYA FREEBOOKLET

    PAGE 7

  • If you make big promises and then fall short on delivering them, youre not likely to get a second chance with that customer.

    To be amazing, you should under-promise and over-deliver (instead of the other way around) by looking for small ways to add value to your customersexperience.

    Say youre running a car repair service. If your customer is picking their car up at 4pm, make sure its ready by 3pm. Even if something goes wrong at the last moment (delaying the repairs by 20 minutes), it wont be your customer who is left waiting.

    Or if youre having a set of important documents delivered to a customer, orderthecourierforanhourearlierthanyourcustomerisexpecting.

    These small things dont cost your business any more, but can turn a first time customer into a happy, regular one.

    Dontjustmeetyourcustomersexpectationsexceedthem.

    6.DO MORETHAN YOU SAYYOU WILL

    BUSINESS MATTERS GUIDE PAGE 8

  • Everyone says their business is the best at something. Add credibility by proving it with a shiny trophy or framed certificate.

    There are loads of industry awards around, and your business could be winning them right now. Often the pool is smaller than you imagine, particularly in local and industry-specific competitions.

    Give it a try its not as hard as you think. Ever heard that 90% of winning is just being there?

    If you dont think you have time, enlist the help of a professional team to research and write award submissions for you. Or you could even create or sponsor your own industry award and encourage your clients or staff to enter.

    7. BECOME ANAWARD-WINNINGBUSINESS I just want to thank everybody Ive ever met in my entire life. Kim Basinger

  • Its not enough to do great things if nobody knows about them.

    Public Relations (PR) can get your best side seen by your customers as news in the places theyre

    already looking newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and the internet.

    ExperiencedPRguruscanputtogetherpressreleases that drip newsworthiness and help your business to establish relationships with opinion-forming contacts in the

    media. With persistence, you can even become a source of reliable and lively comment on issues affecting your industry.

    Some studies show that editorial has up to seven times the credibility of advertising. Amaze your customers when the media represents you as an industry leader, an award-winning innovator or a green-conscious thought-leader.

    Best of all, its not advertising its news. Amazing.

    8. GET YOURNAMEIN LIGHTS

    BUSINESS MATTERS GUIDE PAGE 10

  • 9.A picture speaks a thousand words so whats your logo saying about your business?

    Your logo should capture the essence of your business and what makes you unique.

    Unless youre a graphic designer, a home-made logo and branding set might be sending out the message that youre not really serious about what you do or sell. If your logo looks low-quality or old-fashioned, think about what that says about the rest of your business.

    Ifyourenotsurewheretostart,takeyourideastoanexpertdesigneror branding consultant. They can help you to figure out whats working, and whats not, with your corporate image.

    Make sure your logo is saying amazing things about your business.

    GET SOME

    COSMETICWORK DONE

    PAGE 11

  • Every piece of material your marketing department puts in front of your customers may be slick, perfectly aligned with your brand and brilliant but what about the rest of your business?

    Think about your brusque IT automatic reply message, the peeling sign on your front door or your bland invoices...

    Customers dont only see what your marketing department produces they encounter several different parts of your organisation.

    Here are some ways to make every customer touch-point amazing:

    Walk the walk Get your team to help map out your customers typicalexperience,fromthatfirstcalltoyourreceptionorcallcentreto the final invoice or reminder letter, to find out where the sharp edges are.

    Talk templates Get marketing or a professional copywriter to create a series of templates for standard letters and emails and make sure all employees know where to find them.

    Be on-brand Have your invoices, forms and other regular communications redesigned to match the rest of your brand.

    Capture communication issues Meet regularly with other departments to share customer feedback and solutions.

    10.MARKETINGMOVE OVER

    BUSINESS MATTERS GUIDE PAGE 12

  • Everybody likes free stuff, but pens, mouse-mats and stress-balls are pass, and theres only so many notepads one person can use in a year.

    Make your giveaways relevant to your business and actually useful because the more useful they are, the more impressed your customers will be.

    Technologycompany?GetsomeUSBflashdriveswithyourcompanyname on them.

    Cateringfirm?Hardlolliesbrandedwithyourcompanyslogo,brandedbar mats or aprons could be perfect.

    Financialservices?Lookintoengravedmoneyclips,brandedpiggybanks or embossed folders so your customers can keep track of their

    cash.

    Find a corporate gift thats practical, relevant andspeaks volumes about your business

    and your customers will think of you whenever they use it.

    11.DITCHTHE MOUSE-MAT

    PAGE 13

  • BUSINESS MATTERS GUIDE PAGE 14

  • Its a badly-prepared army that sends its troops to the frontline with no basic training.

    Being the first point of contact for a customer is being on the frontline. You never know who or what is coming, so your staff members need to be equipped with standard procedures and contingency plans.

    Here are some quick tips for amazing phone service:

    Dont think of phone calls as an inconvenience Without your customers, you dont have a business.

    Answer promptly and enthusiastically After the third ring, each ring not followed by a pickup reduces goodwill and increases impatience. It suggests to your customer that theyre not important enough for you to answer their call. Also, give your company and name, and train your staff to do the same. Dont make a customer guess or have to ask if theyve reached the right place, or the right person.

    Write down the callers name as soon as they introduce themselves and use it as often as possible People like hearing their name and it helps establish a rapport.

    Be prepared Dont put them on hold while you find a pencil, finish talking to colleagues or rummage for price lists and other commonly-used objects that should be nearby.

    Customer service staff should be trained to deal with customers in a way that works best for your companys reputation and its worth devoting money and time to.

    12.DONT BEPHONE-Y

    PAGE 15

  • Business cards are a widely used, and yet underused, promotional tool.

    Think about how you use your business card. Is it just a source of your name and number? Does it contain a list of your services? Is there a place to write appointment times or scribble product specs?

    Here are some ways to make your business card amazing:

    Get it professionally designed so it matches your other promomaterial.

    If youre always writing on the back of it (appointments, productdetails), only get one side laminated so you dont end up with streaky scribbles.

    Putamagnetonthebackforcustomerstostickituponafridge.

    Putsomethingusefulonit,likeamaptofindyou,alistofservicesoryour opening hours.

    13. MAKE THE MOST OFYOUR BUSINESSCARDS

    BUSINESS MATTERS GUIDE PAGE 16

  • Having big-name clients is likely to attract more big-name clients. And one way to land the big fish is to submit amazing proposals and tenders.

    But you dont want your meticulously researched tender to sit on a customers desk gathering dust it needs to be read.

    Proposals, reports and tenders arent just dumping grounds for facts and figures. They are where art and science should unite to produce finely crafted, accurate and, above all, absorbing capsules of data and information.

    Remember toonly answer thequestionsaskeddont cramyourtender with every piece of information about your company, services or policies you can find.

    Useimages,diagrams,graphsandtablestobreakupbigblocksoftextandgetitprofessionallydesignedtogiveitthatextraedge.

    If youre not sure how to go about fine-tuning your tender, professional writers and wordsmiths can help you reduce your 400-page monster into a polished document that has more chance of winning than being condemned to the dreaded round file.

    14. AMAZE YOUR YOUR AMAZINGCUSTOMERSCUSTOMERS WITH

    PAGE 17

  • Sometimes, what you have to offer is simply not what a customer is looking for.

    But it doesnt have to be the end of your relationship. Be honest and accept that this doesnt have to reflect badly on you, because you cant provide everything to everyone.

    Instead, amaze customers by providing them with a useful referral to another business.

    Heard your customer wants to get their office redone, launch a new website or buy some new fleet cars? Refer them to your

    preferred supplier.

    Not only will your customer be amazed at how helpful you are,

    but your referrals could pay dividends when the favour

    is returned.

    15. SHAREYOURCUSTOMERS

    BUSINESS MATTERS GUIDE PAGE 18

  • 16.Time is money and money makes the world go ar...