A lot of effort is put into gaining clients and capturing market share. Companies spend millions of dollars on advertising and marketing campaigns annually to gain clients; once those clients come through the door, no one wants to lose them.
Focusing on customer satisfaction is critical, because happy clients become repeat clients. Maintaining clients is even more important for small businesses. By following three simple tips, you can help ensure your clients become happy, repeat clients.
1. Eliminate confusion by effectively communicating with clients.
Effective communication is key in any business relationship. Clients expect to be informed on the progress of their company's project and they want to know when deadlines are going to be met. A customer relationship management (CRM) system can greatly improve your communication with your clients. With a CRM system, all your communication activities -- emails, phone calls, meetings -- can be documented in one central location. Your staff will be on the same page when communicating with customers, and your clients won't be left confused or frustrated.
2. Manage projects effectively and exceed expectations.
Customers become repeat clients when they are certain you know their needs and will work to exceed their expectations. Project management tools are a great way to keep up with client projects -- and ahead of the competition. One such solution is Insightly, an online CRM system built for small businesses that has built in project management tools. It lets you define tasks, set milestones for projects, send and receive email reminders, and track project performance against benchmarks for each customer.
With all your communication records accessible from one centralized location, you won't need to rely on multiple business platforms to track results, time, team progress or budget items. When you have the power to track results and performance, you can focus your efforts on deliverables.
3. Remedy losses and make customer satisfaction a priority.
Yours may be a business that's honed its communications skills and developed efficient project management, but from time to time every business has customers who require immediate attention. What may seem to be modest problems can prove to be the greatest source of customer frustration.
Innovative companies give employees the authority to remedy customer issues and empower them to solve problems on the fly. They can, among other things, give discounts, offer an upgrade, or extend a warranty. Once the customer's frustration has been remedied, the solution can be easily documented in the CRM system for future reference and process improvement.
When you make effective and efficient customer relationship management a priority, you're putting your best foot forward. Eliminating confusion among clients, exceeding expectations and giving your staff the authority to address customer concerns as they arise can help you improve your customer service processes and develop loyal, happy customers who keep coming back.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for Chamber of Commerce.com. She specializes on small business tips and writes business news. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and connect businesses with their local Chambers of Commerce.