Opening an online shop is easy, but the real challenge is to keep it open. 42% of startups fail because they failed to meet a market need. I am a serial Entrepreneur for around 6 years now. In this period I have created 5 start-ups. Out of them, 3 failed massively. While 2 went pretty successful. Where I went wrong? To tell you the truth. No matter how many money you invest in your business, or how successful your business plan is, if you do not take care of your customers, you will be thrown out of the league for sure.
Here are some tips that can help you to keep your customers happy and simultaneously make some good money out of them.
Why is Customer Feedback important?
Firstly, let us see why customer feedback is important. My first startup was an online gift portal. The first month went great. No complaints were received. The second month passed by, still no complaints. This was pretty alarming for me. No complaint means we are doing something wrong. I asked my team to dig deeper. They came to the conclusion that customer was not giving any feedback. I took the responsibility myself. For a week I called all the customers who placed an order with us. Astonishingly, I was cursed. The problem I came across was that our rider was very rude. And most of our customers didn’t complain about him, they simply switched the brand. Once the problem was rectified I changed the SOP and customer feedback became a regular part of our routine work.
Be consistent with your Communication
The more you communicate, the fewer problems you will face. If I didn’t take that step and talked to the customers, I wouldn’t have rectified the problem. Customers are our best teachers. They exactly point on what is wrong with us. And if they keep the customers in the loop, we might learn a bit of wisdom from them.
The best approach is to let the customers know that they can talk to you when you mess up. It is better than the customers curse you than curse you in front of other people. Let them take all their anger on you. Learn from that mistake and rectify it as soon as you can.
Use Social Media
You can either use it or abuse it, but what you cannot do is to ignore it. Social Media can either rock your reputation or dig you down 6 feet under. You need to be very careful with social media. Social Media is a great tool to network with your customers and provide them ease by cutting a slack of going through all the customer support. You can directly listen to the customers. You can build your reputation over social media.
Use all the channels of social media to connect with your potential customers. Use social media to establish your brand personality. And use that personality to find a sweet spot with your customer. Once you find that sweet spot, you can leverage that to fulfill their need and ask your price.
What you don’t want is disrespect customers or upset them. Because if you do so, social media will act as a blazing fire to destroy your reputation. There are even groups that give customers permission to share their bad experiences and let other people know if the company is doing something shady. Be very careful how you deal with customers in social media.
Focus on Customer Experience
Good customer service will get you, customers, great customer service will get you turn that customers into raving fans. These fans will them support you, love you, cherish you, and will speak for you when you’re not in the room.
A major reason for my failure was I didn’t focus on customer service. In my fourth venture, I started the customer service right from the start. The result, I got instant success. Few good customers and I were ruling the social media. People started trending my brand. And all that was possible just because I focused on customer service a little more than ordinary.
Give Relevant Offers and Promotions
“No matter you’re selling cakes or selling cars if you’re not selling what customer want, they won’t bother for your existence.” Josh Matt, brand strategist at Branex – a web design agency. This is my friend who started from scratch and now doing great with his life. His advice is direct and pretty much relevant. If you do not take feedback from the customer and ask what customer wants, you will be forgotten. Smart Entrepreneurs pivot their business as they grow big. You can do the same. For you to be successful you need to ask what customer wants and give them in most desirable ways.
Create localized offers and promotions for customers to attract the local market first. Once the trust is built, you can offer it to global customers. But in all of that ensure that you’re offering something valuable. Something that justifies the price you are asking.
To wrap it up. Customer service is one sure-shot way to get solid leads for your business. Word of mouth is the most authentic form marketing you can do. And the only way to get more customers is to create a memorable customer service experience.