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6 Ways to Make Your Customers Happy in a Changing Economy

  
  
  
  

dreamstime 10909523 economyThe economy is still suffering the effects of the Great Recession, and businesses have been forced to adapt accordingly. Many companies have to rethink the way they do customer service in light of shrinking budgets and smaller staff sizes.

Customer service is often one of the more economical ways to differentiate your business from the pack. It is cost-effective to offer world class service that will keep customers coming back to you, rather than the business down the street.

We have six ways to make and keep your customers happy in a changing economy.

Do Something Different

How do your competitors treat their customers? What could you do differently to make your business stand out from the crowd?

Finding an edge in a highly competitive market isn't easy, but it is essential if you want your company to be one of the last men standing. Brainstorm ways to make your business different from the rest, and try implementing a policy or two at a time until you find that silver bullet that sets you apart.

Listen to Your Customers

Some things never change, and one of them is the need to truly listen to what your customers are saying. Never assume that you know your customers' needs or expectations; instead, ask them regularly if you are meeting them. When a customer is unhappy with your service, get proactive to help them walk out satisfied once again.

Find Ways to Meet their Needs

Once you have used active listening to identify your customers' needs, find the most efficient and effective solution to their issue. This will happen when you train and empower your staff to provide the right solutions at the right times. Let you staff know where they can bend rules or go beyond policy to ensure a customer walks away happy.

Direct Your Focus

The focus of your business should always be your customer, but this becomes even more critical during economic hard times. Your business was created to serve your target market originally, and no one who works for your company should ever forget that simple fact. Whether you are implementing policies or introducing a new product, always do it from the customers' points of view.

Start Your Service at the Top

Customer service will only be a priority for your company if it is a priority for those at the top of your corporate hierarchy. Everyone in your company should be signed on for the same customer service philosophy, which becomes a large part of your company identity. Whether it is an investment of your time, resources or training, customers should always be at the top of the list of beneficiaries of your efforts.

Incent Your Staff

When the economy goes sour, employees naturally begin to feel insecure about their employment and their financial health. To ensure morale among your customer service representatives remains high, provide incentives for top notch service and other desirable skills. These simple steps can have a profound effect on the overall quality and performance of your staff.

Customer service is always an essential part of a successful business, but during tough economic times, it becomes even more critical. Now is the time to ramp up your service level and differentiate your company from the rest in the competitive market we now work in.

- Meredith Estep

Comments

Find ways to distinguish yourself from the competition - get creative and think outside the box! Customers in a rough economy will appreciate the extra step and customized solution!
Posted @ Tuesday, October 25, 2011 8:04 AM by Keri
I believe that, even in hard times, as long as you keep your customers as the primary focus, your business will be successful.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 25, 2011 8:12 AM by Lisa
Finding a way to meet your customer's need is a great way to set yourself apart from other businesses. Even if it is not a service you can provide, simply providing the name and number of a reputable business that does offer those services can make your company stick out in their minds.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 25, 2011 10:09 AM by Jenny
Making your customers the top priority will keep them around despite hard times. Sincerity also goes a long way in a hard economy.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 25, 2011 11:33 AM by Brittni
Showing your customers that their satisfaction is your top priority, no matter how the economy is, will help ensure customer retention. But, if a customer has to make hard decisions based on current times, they are more likely to stick with a company that knows how to treat them right.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 25, 2011 11:54 AM by Amanda
Stepping up your customer service during a rough economy will help you to stand out from you competitors. Customers spend their time and money with those that make them feel important. Great article! 
 
Posted @ Tuesday, October 25, 2011 2:08 PM by Rache
In times like these, it is just that much more important to show your value to your customers!
Posted @ Wednesday, October 26, 2011 7:48 AM by Kristy
Customers can tell when your entire company (from top to bottom) is focused on serving them in the best way possible.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 26, 2011 8:26 AM by Alan
Recently I had to have some car repairs done. As a woman, this can be a daunting task, especially when my knowledge of cars pretty much ends with how to drive and refuel them! This fact, sadly, gives opening to many repair shops to take advantage of my ignorance. However, the experience this time was nothing short of AMAZING! Upon entering the shop front I was greeted by three gentlemen all of whom were talking to customers dropping off and picking up their vehicles. It was immediately apparent every man working there was courteous and mindful of providing the best service. Not only did they repair my car correctly the first time, they washed it as well! Needless to say, this repair shop is THRIVING and will continue to do so as long as they provide such service. Their service has certainly won me!
Posted @ Thursday, October 27, 2011 8:27 AM by Stacy
It is very important to show the value of your company to the customer. By doing so, you will gain their loyalty.
Posted @ Thursday, October 27, 2011 8:46 AM by Jenny
This is nice in princial but hard in practice I think. Visit IT support costs
Posted @ Thursday, November 24, 2011 10:54 AM by It support costs master
Great customer service tips! Businesses should not only listen to their customers, but they should also do something to what they have heard. I believe that happy customers are those that get things beyond their expectation. If we can wow our customers, we can make them more loyal to our business.
Posted @ Tuesday, September 03, 2013 11:29 PM by Entreb
Entreb, thank you for your comment!
Posted @ Wednesday, September 04, 2013 12:55 PM by Meredith
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