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It’s not a secret that no business can be successful without customers. It’s also very important to keep your customers happy to make sure they come back for more and spread the word about your business. 

But how do you make your customers happy? 

Ask your customers what they want

If you want to make your customers happy, the best way to do it is by simply asking them what they want! Why keep guessing when you can get honest answers? You can do it by conducting online surveys, sending an email with a link to leave a review or asking in person when they visit your premises. 

Once you have those answers, don’t just ignore them. Of course, you can’t fulfil every single request but pick those you can, make those changes and make your customers happy by giving them exactly what they want!

Treat your customers as individuals

Make your customers feel special.

When someone calls you or visits your premises, don’t make them feel like a number – make them feel like an individual. Make sure you understand their concerns and offer the best solutions for their individual needs.

When sending your newsletters, include a personalised message. Also, remember that not every customer is in the same stage of the customer journey. You might want to customise your message depending on that. 

Why? Because someone who’s never bought from you is interested in different content than someone who’s been your customer for ten years. For example, your potential client will want to know more about why they should buy from you or receive a discount for the first purchase while your most loyal customers will want to know your company news, how you give back to the community or what plans you have for the next year.

Know what you’re selling

It’s especially important if you sell products made by someone else.

If you run a restaurant, you need to know everything about the ingredients you use, what dishes contain certain allergens and be able to recommend dishes to your customers depending on what they like. 

If you own a clothing store, you need to know how to style the clothes you sell, where they have been made, how to take care of them as well as be aware of current trends, so you can please those customers who are looking for something fashionable. 

This applies to any business in any industry. You need to have knowledge of what you sell as well as the whole industry you work in, so you can answer any questions your customers might have or give advice they didn’t even know they needed.

Reward loyal customers

A customer holding discount (loyalty) card template with rounded corners.

Customer reward schemes are one of the best ways to keep your customers happy and excited about coming back to buy more! There are a number of options you can choose from:

  • Discount cards – receive a discount every time you buy or get special prices on selected products
  • Stamp cards – receive free or discounted item/service after making a certain amount of purchases
  • Point-based programme – collect points with your purchase to redeem a reward. A reward can be a free item, discount or limited edition product that you can only buy with the points
  • Paid loyalty programme. A great example is Amazon Prime – you pay a monthly fee to get free fast delivery
  • Tiered loyalty programme – the more you spend the more benefits you receive

Keep your promises

Look at the ways you promote your business. What are the promises you make? Do you tell people that your products and services are of the highest quality? Do you say that you reply to any enquiries within 24 hours? Make sure you keep those promises. 

What happens if you don’t? For some customers, that promise you make is the main reason they have decided to choose your company over your competitors. If they don’t receive what they’ve been promised, they will be disappointed, might leave a negative review as well as tell their network that your business isn’t trustworthy. 

If for some reason you can’t keep your promise (for example, if you receive more orders than expected and can’t deliver everything as quickly as you usually do), let your customers know that in advance. Explain the situation and make a visible note on your website. This way you will avoid causing any disappointment or even ruining your reputation. 

Show appreciation with small gestures 

People love when businesses show their appreciation and value every customer. 

Small details such as a handwritten thank you note, a sweet surprise in their package or a cup of coffee when they visit your office don’t cost much but can make a massive impact. It can improve your customer’s mood, make them more likely to buy from you again or recommend your business to others.

Don’t ignore complaints

No matter how much time and effort you put into your business and making sure you provide the best for your customers, there will be times when someone isn’t 100 per cent happy or you make a mistake. 

However, it’s important to remember that receiving complaints or negative feedback is a great way to see what you need to improve within your business. Of course, some people can be rude and say negative things for no reason. But if you receive a detailed review that explains how you haven’t met your customer’s expectations, you should never ignore it. 

Analyse it and come up with a plan on how to change things, so you don’t disappoint any other customers or please the same customer if they decide to give your business a second chance!

Here’s a great video that will help you learn how to deal with negative feedback.

Understand the cost of losing a customer

A worried manager and employee at a coffee shop looking at the reports realising they have lost some customers and profits

For big companies losing one customer probably won’t make any difference. However, for smaller businesses, even one lost customer can make a negative impact.

When you lose one customer you don’t only lose one transaction. You lose an opportunity to build relationships with that customer, any future interactions as well as a number of potential customers. You might be thinking how? That one customer that wasn’t completely satisfied with your business will likely share their experience with their friends, family and colleagues. And when those people think about buying from you, they will choose not to just because they’ve heard some negative feedback from someone they know.

Improve your response time

Time is money. 

Improving your response time is beneficial both for you and your customers. 

If someone has questions about your product or service but can’t get the answer quickly, they will probably look for another option and choose your competitor instead. This means you lose a potential customer.

And if you provide the answer quicker than they expected and most importantly, faster than your competitors, you will make a good impression and they’ll be more likely to choose your business even if it wasn’t their first option. 

Make sure your employees are happy

happy employees talking and laughing. happy employees are more likely to care about their job as well as treat customers well

Happy employees = happy customers

Treat your employees fairly, with respect and help them have a work-life balance. If they’re satisfied with their working conditions, they will be likely to spread that positive energy to the customers, have a passion for helping them to find the best solutions to their problems and go an extra mile to make sure they’re happy with the service!

Feature your customers on your social media pages

Did someone buy from you and shared a picture on their social media? Reshare it.

Did someone send you an email with positive feedback? Ask if you could share their experience on your pages together with their photo.

Did you just make someone’s day by providing your service? Capture their emotions and share the images! 

If someone is showing love for your business, show that love back! Some people get very excited when their favourite brands share pictures of them or content they’ve created. So why don’t you do something as simple as this to bring a smile to your customer’s face!

Give back to your community

If you’re a small local business, you’re also a part of a community. 

It makes people happy to support and give their money to those businesses that give back.

Providing jobs, donating to charities, volunteering, sharing your knowledge at events or at local schools – are all great ways to do so. 

Did you know that 43% of UK adults think it should be a lawful requirement for businesses to be giving a percentage of their profits to charity each year? Also, 20% would choose a company that donates at least 5% of their profits over the competitors and 17% would recommend a company like this to their friends and family.

Always keep your details updated

Has this ever happened to you – you decide to visit a coffee shop in the evening, check their opening times on their website or Google maps but when you get there – it’s already closed? Or have you ever tried to call a business but instead got through to someone else because the number you found online was wrong?

Situations like these don’t make anyone happy, right?

So always make sure your details are correct and updated immediately after you make any changes.