Promoting your business

Customer satisfaction: keep them coming back for more

Sales growth, customer service and customer loyalty are all intertwined. No single sale is enough to build the longevity of your business. Today you need to provide exceptional service, customer satisfaction and a standout customer experience if you want your customers to come back again and again.

Customers will go elsewhere if they don’t believe their expectations are being met, or if they’ve had a negative experience. You may have over-delivered on countless occasions, but one bad customer relationship management experience can be reason enough to terminate a contract or cancel a sale. Even worse, in this day of social media, they may relay their bad experience to hundreds, even thousands, of potential customers via sites like Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook.

However, if you over-deliver your customers will become willing brand ambassadors, using social media sites to tell others about your business and products.

How customer service can create lifetime loyalty

See every customer experience as your opportunity to transform them into lifetime customers. Here are some tips on how to do this:

Aim to over-deliver on customer expectations

Create a customer experience strategy that sets expectations slightly lower than you know you can feasibly provide. For example, it can be as simple as promising delivery within two weeks and actually being able to deliver in a week. Build company and staff KPIs around these types of specific expectations across the business and ensure you are always over-delivering. 

Confirm your customer made the right choice 

Tell each purchaser what they bought and reiterate the benefits it will bring them. Help your customers rationalise their purchase so they can explain it favourably to their partner, boss, family and friends. This will encourage them to be your best brand advocates.

Good customer service skills don’t always have to be high-tech

Employ metrics

Metrics help ensure customer projects are delivered on time, on budget and to the highest quality. Traffic light reports produced by project managers to reflect the status of these measures and act accordingly and promptly to their status. Traffic light project status reporting is an effective technique for project management. It allows you to give a status to each section of a report based upon the colours of a traffic light that is: Red (issues), Amber (OK) and Green (good).

Give your brand a face and a BIG personality

This is a highly effective way to entrench yourself in customers’ memories. Use a business blog to spread exciting or interesting news. Keep customers interested with customer-centric content – it's a great way to help build your brand personality. Take a look at how well Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, does this. Communicate your brand personality across the business so everyone can presents this brand face to customers.

Keep communicating, even when things go wrong

A good customer experience manager knows that sooner or later, something will go wrong. Be transparent, open, honest, ethical, approachable and flexible in your reactions to any issues that arise. Explain to customers what went wrong and assure them why it won't happen again. Communicate effectively and work with your customer to fix the problem.


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Maintain a fresh and interesting website

Ensure when customers visit your site there’s always something new and interesting to see. Move content around and shake it up a bit. Give the public different opportunities to see more of what you offer. 

Provide incentives for first-time customers to come back

Consider a coupon for a discount off their next purchase or a frequent customer card that offers a bargain after several purchases. Perhaps offer a ‘new customer packet’ that includes information about your products and services and coupons from your company and other nearby businesses.

Use customer loyalty programs

Show customers your appreciation of their loyalty. Depending on your business consider a loyalty scheme, offer discounts, give regular customers added extras or appreciation vouchers when orders reach a certain number, have a ‘happy hour' where the customer receives a gift when orders over a certain amount are reached.

Send a thank you note

A simple thank you email or note can resonate well with new customers as it's a gesture that's no longer widely used. Maximise the opportunity to let them know about other services or products that may be of interest to them.  However, make the ‘thank you’ the focus of your note to improve your customer loyalty.

Look at your post purchase brochures and online information 

Ensure the content impresses customers and gives the impression you are a knowledgeable expert in this area.

Use your customer's name

Whether your sales are made online or in a bricks and mortar shop, personalising the initial sale and remembering to use your customer's name for subsequent sales will add the human element into the interaction.

Personalise customer service 

Good customer service skills don’t always have to be high-tech. Ditch the 20 minutes of hold elevator music on your phone response and have a friendly, sincere-sounding person answer your customer service line promptly. Have a fast and personal online response as well. Quality customer service is not only an important part of crisis prevention or addressing problems. Sometimes people contact customer service with a question, or to give a compliment.

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