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The Bizgrok Library features news about and articles by Bizgrok and Bizgrok customers that offer helpful information or advice. The information, opinions or advice is strictly not the responsibility of Bizgrok - meaning Bizgrok isn't responsible for the accuracy of the information or advice or suggestions contained within any article published here, nor for anything you do with such information, advice or suggestions. If you have an article you'd like Bizgrok to feature, email our editor with your topic and short description of your article's content. Return to Library Main Page

Keeping Your Customers

You work hard to attract customers and to provide quality products and services. But is that all you need to do to retain customers and to grow your business? Certainly not. As a small business, you may not always be able to beat the competition on price. So what keeps your customers coming back? In addition to quality services and products, it is the relationship that you build with your customers and the trust that they have in you and your staff that builds loyalty.

This trusting relationship is built bit by bit with each transaction, each meeting, and each contact you have. Your customers want to be treated with respect, they want you to have their needs in mind and they want feel that they are important to you.

Building Solid Customer Relationships

  1. Start with a friendly and polite greeting. Be pleasant and positive. Attend to your customer and make them the focus of your attention.
  2. Respond to calls and questions promptly. Even if you don't have the solution to the problem, keep in regular contact with your customers and let them know what progress you are making on solving their problem or getting answers to their questions. Don't leave them wondering if you've forgotten about them.
  3. Listen to your customers. Ask them how you doing and what else they need from you.
  4. Have a human answer the phone. A pleasant and courteous greeting will start any type of phone call on a positive path. You and your staff should identify yourself and ask how you can help your customer (or potential customer).
  5. Take responsibility for errors, oversights, and even questionable mistakes that the customer perceives as yours. The old adage, "The customer is always right", is still powerful. Try to resolve customer complaints or conflicts quickly, and politely. Remember that proving you were right and the customer was wrong might win the battle. but it may also lose the customer! Help your customer resolve problems with you in a way that helps everyone feel satisfied with the outcome.
  6. Help your business run as efficiently as possible. Keep your customer records computerized and accessible by your sales and customer support staff. Whenever possible, your staff should take care of customer issues without having to contact the customer a second time.
  7. Customers want to be treated as individuals. Communicate via personalized correspondence. Modern word processing tools allow you to personalize even large mailings.
  8. Expect employees to be courteous and knowledgeable: Train your employees to project a positive image. The customer's needs and questions should be the primary concern of your employees, not discussing personal matters or internal company problems, especially not in front of the customer.

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