— By Maria Espie Vidal
In any business structure, be it a corporation, SMB, or retail, the first question that comes is how to keep customers happy. Happiness plays a crucial role to ensure a smooth flowing operation. Happiness should always be the core of your company culture. Pay attention to the happiness of your people, managers, and most importantly customers — both new and returning.
For years, customer happiness has always been a priority for businesses. You probably have heard the phrases, “the customer is always right”, or “customers come first”. These are geared towards improving the quality of experience they get from your business.
Providing great customer experience is not just about making more money but rather, it gives you a sense of fulfillment knowing that you have satisfied your customers’ needs and managed to keep them happy with your brand. There is a great feeling that comes from contributing to the success and happiness of your customers.
It makes your job more meaningful and not just a mere source of income for you and your boss.
It gives you a purpose, which eventually helps you enjoy what you are doing. And if you start enjoying what you do, loving the role you play in your company, you are less likely to feel the burden and stress of your work.
Finding Your Purpose In Customers
One of the main reasons why employees quit their jobs is they find it difficult to comprehend the role they play to the company. This simple feeling of being lost or confused can turn to a ball of stress, which can do more harm than good not just for the customers but for the entire company.
Some may feel unwanted by their boss especially when these managers tend to micromanage everything and nit-pick on their work. Or, it is also possible that these employees feel empty playing the role assigned to them. Thus, this leads the company to suffer high employee turnover rate.
It is the role of both the manager and the employee to find their purpose in the company they’re affiliated with. Employees should not feel limited by their job descriptions when it comes to delivering customer satisfaction. Always feel free to suggest ideas even on areas that are beyond your role.
This goes the same with the manager who should be able to recognize an employee’s efforts especially when they step outside their job descriptions to keep customers happy.
Everyone should feel important and be able to recognize how they contribute to each other’s happiness and especially of their customers.
6 Essential Business Etiquette Tips
This is why many businesses are keen to practicing essential business etiquette tips. Having the right attitude not just towards your boss and colleagues but most importantly towards your new and current customers can help maintain a smooth flowing operation and a stellar company image.
Practicing business etiquette goes beyond ensuring your customers are happy. Etiquette also keeps your company environment healthy and light. It helps you avoid unwanted conflict between employees or towards bosses.
If you’re a budding business, here are 6 business etiquette tips that would help you keep customers happy.
- Make sure you pay attention. Anticipate your clients’ needs, know their expectations and observe how they communicate. If he/she has been a long time customer, you would certainly pickup patterns and habits, and major interests.
For example, you may find some clients be more comfortable talking over the phone rather than reading a bulk load of email and vice-versa. Over time, you should already be aware of what your customer prefers. So if they hate browsing through emails, you should already expect that the next time you send them one, it should contain an invite for a phone conversation asking them of their most convenient time for a chat.
- Try to learn your customer’s schedule. If you can, it is best if you try to know what your client’s day-to-day schedule so you can appropriately plan how you interact with them. This is an extension of paying attention to details. Know what a person’s days are like and show respect.
If you know that Mondays are typically a busy day for them, don’t add to their burden by sending a heap load of reminders. Save your emails and/or reports during days when it’s less pressing for them. So if Wednesdays are a bit less pressing, then schedule your emails then. Showing sensitivity goes a long way.
- Take initiative to ask what their highest priorities. And, more importantly, what does their boss want. Is your contact the decision maker or not? What role does he play and how does he represent your client? There’s nothing wrong with going the extra mile in knowing your customers.
Learn how your client is managed, what type of company culture they are associated with, and their communication style so you can help them accordingly. By knowing more and being sensitive on what makes their boss tick, it would be easier for you to act and deliver what is needed.
- Always plan ahead. Never be complacent. Keep a positive thinking but never be complacent with anything. Precaution is always better than cure.
Prepare in advanced for any predictable chaos. Planning helps everyone stay ahead and also prepare for contingencies without panicking. It also allows room for more calculated and inventive thinking.
There should always be a Plan B, C, D, E, etc. Anticipate any error or any possible consequence for every decision made and every route taken. Decide on what action and who should be accountable to execute them before presenting any proposal to your client.
- Admit your mistakes. And do something to amend it quickly. The last thing you want to do is to play the blame game. Not only is this irritating for your colleagues and clients, it’s also a display of unprofessional attitude.
If you made a bad call, apologize and adjust course. Be accountable always. Recognize that even the best laid plans may not always go the way you’ve hoped. This is why you have to ensure that you’re ready for any predictable errors that come your way. There will always be a 5% chance that your plan may not go the way you want it to be.
Nobody’s perfect and you can’t win all the time. It’s best if you admit to your mistakes and never resort to excuses that displace the blame.
- Go beyond expectations. It is better to do more than what is asked than doing things by the book. Step outside the proverbial box and jump in to help out when you’re good at something. If you know you have the skill-set that allows you to offer more, just do it and extend your hand to help.
Are you great at marketing? Why not offer ideas, tips, and suggestions? A different set of eyes can provide fresh perspective to a project.
These are just a few of the things you can do to improve your customer relationship. Practice good business etiquette at all cost and create a company culture that your clients will enjoy working with.
If you keep customers happy, it not only brings in more income but also a positive perception towards you, your brand, and your team.
Author Bio: The author of this post, Maria Espie Vidal, writes for TimeDoctor.com – a time tracking and productivity monitoring software designed for tracking hours and productivity of remote teams. Its goal is to help people stop wasting their time on distractions and instead finish what is important to them and their organization.
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