Five objectives you need to satisfy customers
Successful businesses are built around their customers. If you want to stay in business for a long time, you need to learn about your customer's needs and how to keep them satisfied. We live in a economy that is driven by consumers and if you don't spend time researching your customers needs, you will quickly find yourself out of business. Here are five objectives you need to satisfy your customers:
1. Keeping up with the times. Part of maintaining a solid customer base is to keep up with the times. Make sure you are staying ahead or up with technology. This means you need to upgrade your computer systems, web site, etc. People are looking for a company that is able to handle all of their needs like online shopping. Take a look at pizza companies for example, many of them have created web sties where their customers can design and order their own pizza without calling in or going into their store. Giving customers an easier way to order food has increased sales and customer satisfaction for many of those businesses.
2. Provide the power to choose. Customers like to have the power to choose. They need different options at different price levels. Creating one amazing product and only one product will not sustain your business for the long-haul. Take a lesson from Apple and their line of iPods. They have created a large variety and sizes to fit practically every customer's needs. This is a great way to sustain your business for a long time.
3. Marketing. If you want to gain your customers attention, you need to market to them. Word-of-mouth marketing works to a certain extent, but to truly help your business take off you need to get out there and market to them. Depending upon the size of your business and your budget, consider partnering with other organizations to get your name out there. A big part of marketing is your web site. Customers need to find a place where they can go to educate themselves about your business and to gain more information. Always provide a short and a long product description to help your customers find the information they need when they are researching your business and your products.
4. Customer service. True customer satisfaction comes through customer service. How do you interact with your customers? Do you have a store where they come in and shop or do you do all of your business online? Face-to-face interaction is one of the best ways to build rapport with your customers and to keep them coming back for more. If you deal with them online, try and get back to them within a day or two of sending an email. Quick responses will help to build your rapport and boost your online reputation. Spend time training your employees to make sure they know practically everything there is to know about your business and products so they can answer any question a customer has. Proper training allows an employee to do their job better, which is a big way to build customer satisfaction. Listen to the needs of your customers by sending out surveys and improving things that they suggest.
5. Know your competition. To keep your customers satisfied, you need to know who you are up against. Customers want you to stay competitive. Watch for sales and offers that they are running so you can entice your customers to stay with your company. It also helps to keep an eye on the competition so you can find out if they are designing new products. Even watching the design of their product packaging is a great way to stay one step ahead of them.