Getting new customers can be quite a challenging process, and retaining them for a longer period is one thing that most people find hard. First, you’ll notice that they’ll question the quality of what you’re trying to offer them.
The quality of your service or product will have a serious impact in the customer acquisition process.
If it’s poor quality, it means the chances of making your customers repeat buyers will be very lean. But if it’s high quality, your chances are on the high side—everyone wants quality. But just as quality is very much appreciated and valued by customers, and as much as it is an important element for building a strong business foundation, so too are these two elements.
#1 Keeping To Time Frame
Your customers value their time and whenever you fail at delivering on time, you harm your reputation. Clients value their time twice as much as they value the quality of the service or product.
Quality alone isn’t enough to make them stick around for long; you’ll need to do even better.
I’ve lost good paying clients in the past just because I wasn’t being time-conscious. Customers feel you don’t take them seriously when you fail at this. You can’t possibly gain a client’s trust or retain them if you are terrible at timing.
I never truly saw timing as a very important element in service provision, and I didn’t know the emotional trigger it pulls when a client’s time is wasted. Sometimes it can make them cancel the order and outsource it to someone else.
Worst case, you’ll still have to pay a refund or risk being arrested. I once had a client that tried to sick the police on me for not delivering a web design project on the specified delivery date. We agreed on two weeks, but issues came up with my computer I was working on, and the web host as well crashed which made me spend more time on the project . I also didn’t communicate the issues I was going through in detail. This experience almost ruined me.
By the time I broke the silence, it was sort of too late, and it was a horrible experience for me. It harmed my reputation. It took a lot of effort to restore my reputation and convince people to do business with me.
Not everyone is ready to listen to your story of how your tool got stolen or broke down, or how your laptop screen got broken, all they care about is time, time and time. If you want to truly keep a good relationship with your customers, learn to be time-conscious and keep to the agreed upon time frame.
Time is money.
What could be worse than running behind schedule and lacking a good communication system between you and your customer? This is a very irritating experience for most customers. Forging a strong customer service department will help you gain more trust now and in the future. This way they’ll have the assurance that if they run into any problems, your customer care system is responsive and reliable.
A strong communication shows that you care about them and not just their money, it shows that you are genuinely interested in the success of their project as much as they are. Most bigger corporations fail in this aspect because they are no longer paying attention to this third element of building a positive reputation.
When they start out small, they always take this more seriously, but as they grow bigger, their customer care system begins to degrade. This is why smaller companies or service providers gain more trust, especially when the customer knows they can easily hold someone accountable.
A customer service system is a caring system, it allows customers to easily reach out to you as a service provider to pour out their complaints or to track the progress of their project.
So many service providers do a bad job at letting their customers know what’s going on. I’ve had a ton of bad experiences like this too—cases when someone who’s carrying out a task for me suddenly went on silent mode . It feels bad that someone you have trusted with your money and possibly a strong idea just goes crickets on you. It definitely calls for great concern.
To truly build a strong customer relationship and to win them over to do business with you repeatedly, you must understand that opening up to them is very important. Let them know when things a going well, and quickly inform them too when you run into some difficulties.
Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.