If you maintain a high level of communication with your customers, they are much more likely to trust your brand over time. Increased trust means increased purchases — and great word of mouth. Responsiveness is a discipline, though, that you have to build within yourself. Here are some tips to help you get started with increasing your own client responsiveness.
Set aside 30 minutes to an hour before you start the rest of your work day to deal with customer communication. This is one of the easiest tasks to keep putting off for later; however, you need to make sure that your customers hear from you. Also, if they see an email from you first thing, you will come across as a hard worker — and nothing builds trust like a solid work ethic.
When you receive an email or a voice message, respond as soon as possible. Do not let an end come to your work day without responding in some form, even if it’s a quick email to say that you will call first thing the next day. The key is keeping your customers feeling like you care about them. They will not trust a business that does not seem caring — which means you will not do as well.
You may find that you are getting a lot of the same requests. That’s OK — just write one template so that you can copy and paste the boilerplate into an email. Be sure to add such personal touches as the individual’s name, and add a sentence or two about that person’s particular situation, but don’t be afraid to use boilerplate to communicate. After all, time is money.
Is your business really booming? Then delegate the job of answering emails to one of your employees. You don’t have to answer every communication personally. Once you’ve done your tasks at the beginning of the day, as far as customer responsiveness, put the job on an employee’s plate. There will be some questions that only the business owner can answer or resolve. For the rest of them, let someone whom you have hired answer the avalanche of repetitive questions.
Clients can also answer each other’s questions. Once your business gets to the right size, set up an online forum on the website, where customers can go to ask questions. Those with more expertise about your product will be able to answer questions that others have — and usually they’ll be excited about the chance to share their expertise. The best part is that you didn’t have to answer the question and that you didn’t have to pay the person who answered it. You not only have satisfied customers — you have experts to help your clients.
Always answer requests within one business day if you want to keep your customers happy. Trying these ideas out will help you keep within that time frame and create a happy customer base. There’s no substitute for contented customers when it comes to building a solid niche.