Whether you own a restaurant, a hair salon, or any other type of business, creating consistently stellar customer experiences plays a major role in your success. And with technology allowing people to relay their experiences through other outlets besides word-of-mouth, like social media, public forums, and review websites, the cost of one bad customer experience is much higher than it used to be. Fortunately, positive reviews have the ability to reach consumers just as quickly as negative ones, so the quality of your company’s customer service should be high on your priority list.
Consumers aren’t always easy to please, and now more than ever, they look for instant gratification. Take a look at how demanding and impatient you are in your own daily life. If you want to conduct an online search, for instance, you expect every website to open right away. No waiting. No delays. The moment your expectations are not met, you close the page and move onto the next. Immediate results are what we all want now whenever we’re tasked to do something, so a customer who has to wait an extra minute on a check-out line at the grocery store because the cash register is outdated is net getting a stellar customer experience. That minute probably feels more like an hour.
The good news is that as a business owner you have considerable control over your customers’ experiences - by hiring people with the right disposition for the job and staying up to date with the latest technological advancements to efficiently and effectively meet your customers’ needs.. Doing this will allow you to reap all the benefits of exceptional customer service:
One obvious benefit to providing stellar customer service is repeat business. When consumers know that their needs are paramount to your company’s employees, returning to your restaurant or retail establishment is an easy decision..
Besides becoming regulars, consumers who are satisfied with your company’s customer service are more likely to share their praise with others, thereby increasing the number of referrals you receive. You can use this to your advantage for your online presence. Though word-of-mouth is still an effective way to market your products and services, getting consumers to recognize your company on the internet—social media, review websites, as well as the company’s own website—will help your online presence reach even more potential customers. Having a beautifully designed website won’t do you much good if nobody visits it.
With more customers, your company will experience an increase in sales, which means more money to repay lenders, hire new employees, invest in the latest technology, and ultimately, expand your business. Obviously, increasing your sales will significantly improve your cash flow as well.
Investing in new technology can lead to even happier customers. The customer check-out could be the last touchpoint you have with your customers, so you don’t want them to leave you on an unpleasant note after they’ve had an exceptional experience up until the time they pay for their goods or services. If you have the latest credit card processing terminals and point-of-sale systems with updated software (and the ability to process EMV-enabled cards), you will not only improve the check-out experience for your customers, but also ensure the protection of their card information. Best to not have them leave the store with an unpleasant taste in their mouths because the checkout process was slow or they felt their card data was in jeopardy. You want them to rave about the quality of your products, as well as your superior customer service and modern amenities.
Better Work Environment
A company that provides consistently exceptional customer experiencs doesn’t just benefit consumers—it also has a positive effect on the employees. For instance, having happy customers makes for happy employees. No one wants to deal with hostile consumers because their attitude will rub off on the people around them. In addition, employees empowered to go out of their way to deliver and actually do deliver above-and-beyond experiences for their customers feel better about themselves and the job they do. This can have a transformative effect on one’s job satisfaction.
By radically improving your customers’ experiences of doing business with you will increase sales, which will lead to more profits with which you can hire additional employees, which should result in in a calmer work environment because employees won’t be pulled in different directions and they can focus on one task at a time. Or perhaps you can use increased profits to retain your most customer-focused employees by paying them better or hiring more talented ones that demand better pay.
Having exceptional customer service is important for every business, so if you make it a priority, your company will stand out from the others in your industry and attract even more customers. This will add to your bottom line and improve your workplace environment. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring consumer needs or thinking that one unsatisfied customer won’t negatively impact your business, because in today’s world, people are inclined to share with everyone, not just those they already know.