Finding the key to a client’s heart… it’s vital, yet at the same time, such a difficult thing to do! Exceeding client’s expectations can make the difference between getting the contract and not getting the contract, what are expectations? When a person uses the services of a company they have certain expectations of that company, and if they are disappointed, they will go elsewhere. So, how can you go about finding that elusive key to their hearts? Read on!
1. It’s the little things that matter
As Evanne Schmarder said, think of expectations as being promises that are made to the client. All a company has to do is to keep those promises, and the customer will be at least satisfied, but that won’t give you the key to their heart. Companies have to go that little bit further:
- New customer? Why not offer them a discount on their next order?
- Loyal customer? Give them a small gift you know they will find useful as a token of your gratitude.
- Returned client? Make sure they will come back again and again - give them the opportunity to benefit from your services in a financial way - a small discount or an extra service for free will help you win the client’s favor, and who knows, maybe the next day, he/she will bring a friend who will become your client as well!
- The holiday is coming? Perfect! It is a great chance to make yourself known worldwide. Put a special offer, hook your audience and enjoy the new clients.
If you’re a small business just starting out, then just make sure that your client relationship management system is the best it can possibly be. Make notes on conversations you’ve had with them so you can refer back later on – was their child poorly that day? Ask how they are next time you’re in contact with them! Is it their birthday? Then send a card from the team!
Don’t be afraid of establishing close relationships with the clients. Bonuses, gifts, and special offers can help you to earn the loyalty of your auditory.
2. Know the emotional expectations of your customers
Almost all companies know what rational expectations their customers have of them, and they can meet these through the little promises that they make. A far harder task is to meet the emotional expectations, often because you may not know what the emotional expectations are!
Top tip here is to ensure that all expectations are managed from the start. Clarify with the client the precise service that they will be receiving and ask them if there is anything else that they would require. Do this on a regular basis, especially with repeat or loyal clients, as expectations can often change over time.
So, how to learn the emotional expectations of clients?
- Set an inquiry. This is your chance to get the answers from real people in a timely manner. Of course, not all customers will have time and desire to run the interview, but you have to be a step behind - make them leave a thought. How? Well, it is not really hard. First of all, you may offer a service to those who give you the answers. The second option is to offer a discount - let people get a promo code when they are done with the review.
- Ask your mates. If some of your friends fit under your target audience, you have a chance to get the answers gratis. Why not arrange a meeting and discuss the points that worry you both. Of course, your peers may not want to talk about work, but who has said that they should know that you are interviewing them? Well, get ready for the meeting, think about the issues you would like to discuss and mull over the ways to make your friends talk about it. One more tip - start afar and do not bring the paper with question ideas with you.
These are only a few ideas to follow, and you are to find out the best way for you.
Agree to a deadline you know you can beat!! Clients will love the flexibility that they have when a project arrives ahead of schedule. However, this depends on your industry. If you provide items on a “just in time” basis, arriving early can prove disastrous, so know your business and what is realistic!
Now, you have to apply efforts in order to come up with a strategy that will allow you to organize the work so your clients receive the results on time (or even before the deadline).
Here are some ideas on how to arrange the work.
- Hire enough staff. This will help you in many ways - you will be able to complete the work on time as well as get more orders.
- Analyze the time limits. Do not take up orders with unrealistic deadlines. What does it mean? If you know that a particular job needs, at least, a few hours to be completed at a high level, do not let clients set shorter deadlines because you will suffer from this a lot. First, you will deliver a low-quality result, and it is more likely that the deadline will be missed.
- Control the staff. Of course, it is quite difficult to have an eye on everyone. Thus, make sure each professional takes only one order per time. This will motivate them to work faster and deliver better results. One more tip - if you want the employees to do their job well, let clients say when the work is over and they are satisfied; in this case, there is no chance to deliver low-quality tasks and skip to the new one.
Always manage your time and don’t relax too much - customers will not forgive you a missed deadline!
Don’t assume you know the answer to a question – proactive questioning can demonstrate your genuine interest in the client and can prevent costly misunderstandings.
What does it mean? Be interested in your clients - ask them about their experience, thoughts, issues, and other feelings that can influence your communication and cooperation.
5.Seek continuous improvement
Strive to find out what your clients think of you. What do you do well? What do you need to improve on? There’s always room for improvement and use your existing clients to help that improvement process along. As W. Edwards Deming said, companies should always seek continuous improvement.
- Get more specialists. Learn your audience, get to know what they need, and make sure you are able to provide them with these items. Do not stay still improvement is the way to success as well as new customers.
- Let your workers learn. There is no field that stays at a stop. Thus, make sure your employees and services are up-to-date. Letting workers attend some courses, seminars, communicate to share ideas, etc. will guarantee you the forward-minded staff.
6. Get everyone on-side
No matter how great the leadership, the company, or the product on offer, the key to the client’s heart is your staff. Invest time and money in finding, training, and keeping the right people, and your business will thrive.
As long as you care about your business as well as your clients, you are more likely to succeed. Do not wait until the honor comes itself. Analyze the market, have a look at the competitors’ services, special offers, and other important points and mull over the ways you can be better than they are.
Do you know any other methods how to win client’s heart? Share in comments!
Lauren Bradshaw is a passionate creative writer with 15 years of experience being an academic writer as well as 10+ years of experience in content marketing. Currently, Lauren holds the position of a senior publishing editor at CustomWritings