Having run a few businesses, if there's one thing I've learned it's this. The customer is everything.
There is a lot of businesses that only focus on getting new customers, and few budget for retention. Some call it customer service or experience, and I think it's the businesses that pay attention here that do well. Your customer is more than a sale. When they're happy, that can mean recurring revenue and referrals too.
But it all starts with that customer experience mentioned earlier. It's simply not enough to do ok. If you want to stand out from the competition, then good isn't good enough.
The old saying about catching more flies with honey than vinegar is certainly true here. To make the most of each customer, you have to be certain that you are exceeding expectations at every interaction with your business. Whether that's when they visit your store, speak to someone on the phone, engage via live chat, deliveries, or any similar type of interaction with your company, it should be top notch at every step.
But there are also the potential customers, the ones that have either see your business in passing or found it online. Let's call them pre-customers. Even at this stage, how they view your business will have influence.
When a consumer is searching for a local product or service, about 9 times out of 10 they will see online reviews, and most of them read these. How can they not? They appear in search results and are hard to ignore. There is only room for 3, and it's the ones with the strong ratings that will be seen.
One way to attract those pre-customers is by ensuring you have a strong presence with customer feedback and reviews to entice consumers so they might consider your business as an option for their needs. It doesn't matter if you're a restaurant or realtor, if your business is online, you shouldn't ignore them. This is one small business mistake that many do that is so easy to manage and can make a difference when you make time. When you listen to what your customers have to say, opportunity can strike. Everything from feedback to complaints can provide insight on what matters to them.
Those reviews you see everywhere from ecommerce to local businesses like retail and restaurants appearing in Google results don't happen by accident most of the time. What is often referred to as reputation or review management, it's both a challenge and process that requires monitoring and commitment to get results. Another area that reviews are popular is travel, where reputation management for hotels can directly impact revenue and how many rooms are filled.
Where I'm going with this is, it takes a great customer experience to earn admiration, and that allows you to ask for reviews so that others which are not yet customers are also able to see your positive ratings and what others have to say about your business.