Nothing impresses a customer more than a business that goes the extra mile. We explain six simple ways to take a ‘best practice' approach to grow your business.
You've probably heard the expression “happy wife, happy life”. But in business it's all about having a happy customer. If you're struggling to hit this target, chances are your venture is floundering.
That's why it is so important to adopt best practice principles. Is it worth the extra effort? Absolutely! Look at things this way. Advertising, which is expensive, increases brand awareness. But it doesn't build customer loyalty and retention.
That's where best practice comes in. It encompasses a range of steps that will not only encourage customers to come back to you with repeat business. They will also tell their friends, family and co-workers about you.
With this in mind, let's take a look at six steps that can help you be everything your customers want - and more.
1. Formalise a customer service charter of your own
Draft your own customer service charter to reinforce exactly what you aim to give customers in terms of best practice. As with all goals, be realistic, set measurable targets (for instance, “I will aim to return a customer's call within one hour”) and share your customer charter with employees so everyone is working off the same page.
2. Let the customer know what to expect
Explain to your customers what you offer, how you operate, and what they can expect from dealing with your business. Most importantly, let each customer know how they will benefit from choosing your business.
Then – and this is the clincher – go beyond what you have promised. As the expression says, “under promise and over deliver". It won't fail to impress your customers.
Listening is a valuable skill, and your customers want to be heard. It can be tempting to impress your customers by running off a lengthy list of your achievements and qualifications.
But remember, your customers are most interested in what you can do for them. The only way you will know what your customers need and want is by listening to what they say.
4. Be a person…be you
The feedback we receive from Mortgage Choice franchiseesis that customers come back to them again and again. Why? Because they treat their customers like real people. Not a number, not a statistic. Real people. Building relationships is a two-way street. It requires input from you to build trust and empathy. So put the clipboard down for a while and be open to engaging with your customers on a human level. It will build the foundations of a lasting business relationship.
5. Be there when customers need you
Respond to your customers promptly. Best practice response times are short. We're talking minutes not hours or days. If you can't engage in a lengthy conversation immediately, at least acknowledge the customer and provide a time for when you will call back. Then stick to it.
The longer you take to respond, the greater the likelihood your customer will move on to your competitors.
6. Follow up and stay in touch
Create a formal list of touchpoints to say ‘thank you'. Many Mortgage Choice franchisees take the time to send a thank you note after a first meeting, on settlement of a loan and then on an annual basis. It costs nothing but it shows you care, and that's essential to building customer loyalty.
To be part of a growing business that follows best practice across a range of areas, and provides franchisees with the tools to reach their full potential, discover how a Mortgage Choice franchise could be right for you or call us today on 1300 650 330.