10 Tips on How to “Wow” Your Customers

1. Find unique ways to say thank you and show your gratitude.
I know it’s a simple thing, but how many of you go out of your way to say thank you to your customers?  And don’t wait until Christmas; find opportunities to show gratitude everyday. How about after every sale, appointment or referrals?

2. Provide your customers with leads.
You don’t have to start a marketing campaign for your customers, but keep an eye out for opportunities to refer business to your customers. Tell people to use your name when they contact your customers so your customer will know the lead is coming from you. 

3. Hire good staff.
Especially the ones who your customers first come into contact with. Hire people with upbeat, positive attitudes. I would go as far as saying that the person who answers your phone is one of the most important people in your business. Remember your company only gets one chance to make a great first impression. 
I’ve always believed that in most cases if you find people with great attitudes you can train them to do specific tasks. 
4. Use your customer database to collect information about your customers.
For example make notes of birthdays, wedding anniversaries and other important occasions in their lives. Send out cards and letters on these special occasions. You can even offer discounts and gift cards. These kinds of gestures express your interest in developing a long-term relationship, not just a quick one time sale.

5. Turn your customer complaints into opportunities to strengthen business relationships.
I was at a restaurant a while back and their food made me sick.  I called the restaurant manager; he became defensive and started making excuses. No business is perfect, so from time to time you will get complaints from customers. Don’t make excuses; just find out from your customers how they would like you to solve the issue.

I use to order pizza regularly from that restaurant, but since that incident I haven’t spent a dime at their business. If they were smart business people they could have offered me a coupon or gift certificate for my next visit. Heck, even an apology would have been a good start. They missed an ideal opportunity to develop an even stronger relationship with me. 

6. Offer your customers unique bonuses for buying your products or services.
Think of something out of the ordinary and offer it for free. Try to find something that will get them talking to their friends and family about you. I know some of you are thinking this is going to cost you money.  I suggest you look at it as an investment in your business, one that will give you a profitable return.

7. Reward Referrals.
I’m assuming that all of you send thank you cards or letters to your customers if they give you referrals. That’s the norm so in order to make your business stand out in the crowd; you have to go even further to reward your customers. How about including a pair of tickets to a local entertainment event? Gift certificates 
are a nice touch. Rewarding your customers when they give you referrals will encourage them to give you even more referrals. Keep your customers in the loop about the results of their referrals.

8. Go the “extra mile”.
Show your customers that you are willing to extend yourself beyond your regular duties or policies to meet their needs. For example if a customer requests a product in a specific model or colour that you don’t carry, why not call around to some suppliers to see if you can find it? Make a special order just for them if it won’t cost you a lot in time or money. 
9. Ask your customers how you can improve the way you do business with them.
Talk to your customers and your target market to find out how you can improve your products or services and what you can do to make it easier and more efficient for them to do business with you. Survey what issues and challenges they are having and how you can help solve them. Maybe you can even use their feedback to help you develop new products and services that can be profitable.

10. Look for ways to let your customers do business with you, the way they want to do business.
I don’t know about you, but one of the things I really hate to hear from customer service departments is “it’s against our company policy”.  Give your employees the power to be flexible when responding to the needs of your customers. Remember think about the “life time value” of your customers.

Paying personal attention to your customers or clients demonstrates that your goal is to develop mutually benefiting relationships. Aim for creating “customers for life” and people will do business with you repeatedly and provide you with endless referrals. They will become “raving fans”.
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