Digital marketing is a big deal right now—many companies allocate a percentage of their budget for it, and that percentage is increasing every year. If you work in a big company, the digital marketing budget is probably relatively easy to find and invest, but it’s not as easy for a start-up or a small company. So how can a start-up compete in this digital era? Invest in people! Use those digital marketing tools and then top it all off with a heaping helping of customer courtesy. Many companies forget about some simple gestures that can make a big difference. Small companies should rely on the following tips to make sure their customers are satisfied, and the best part of all is that it will basically cost them nothing except an extra smile:
- You don’t need to allocate big budgets. Most small companies are worried that investing in customer courtesy takes time, people, and money. You don’t have to be a big corporation to assist your customers well. A good starting point is to train your current employees to always answer the phone in a friendly manner, try to solve the customer’s problem completely, and if they can’t do it, make sure they pass the call to the right person, who will handle the query.
- If the customer comes to you, take care of him. new customers can be a great opportunity to thrive, so why treat them badly? If someone shows interest in your product, it means that there is a good chance for you to close that sale easily. But remember—that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t guide that customer through the deal. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you are safe just because they’ve already made up their mind; even though this customer already plans on making a purchase, he cares about his money and wants to make sure it is well invested.
- after a while, a customer starts to show signs of indecisiveness, ask him if there is a problem and then help him solve it. Listen to his needs and help him find the best deal. He will think of you as a trustworthy person and will come back to you in the future to buy more, so instead of one sale, you will have generated two or more. J
- Be proactive and don’t limit yourself! Your customer might not know all the different product/service solutions your company offers, so he might have come planning to buy something that turned out not to be what he wanted. Don’t let him go so easily! By now, you should know what he wants, so think fast and act even faster! There must be something that you can offer that works perfectly for him.
- Make sure your new customer doesn’t feel left alone. If you are selling products that need to be integrated or need some customization (for example, software or a management system), make sure there isn’t too much “waiting” time between first contact, closing the deal, solution integration, and any kind of post-integration assistance. Assign the customer’s account to someone who will act as a project coordinator and will touch base with the client to keep him posted on what is going on. They’ll communicate both good news and bad news and make sure it isn’t the customer who’s contacting you first to know what is going on and why it’s taking so long. This brings us to the last point:
- Don’t lie to your customers, especially when they’ve pointed out that you are not telling them the truth. We often don’t want to admit that we did something wrong, and admitting to a mistake such as “I was careless” is never easy, but truth always pays back. At the end of the day, we are all humans, and we make mistakes. Admit to your wrongdoing and try to solve the situation as promptly as you can. Your customer will appreciate your sincerity and will keep on trusting you.
Whether you work in a small or big a company, the human touch can often make a difference. Even if the web is something extremely popular and it is working better than ever, don’t forget about customer courtesy. Very small practices make a very big difference.