Saturday, April 13, 2013

Online Business: Keep Clients Coming Back

Even if you don’t run your own business, there’s probably a large part of your job that includes dealing with clients and customers. It’s a fairly fundamental rule of any business that if you want to be successful, you need your clients to keep coming back to you. Repeat clients are the backbone of most company’s income sheet, and a repeat customer is going to be a happy customer. If the customer is happy with the service that you provide, they’ll tell others, which leads to further business for you. It’s all so elemental that sometimes it’s forgotten.
Number one with a bullet is delivering on time. If you’re the only glass manufacturer in a small town, you might get away with showing up a few hours or even a day or two late with the new panes for the local bar, but as soon as there is a choice, you can bet that the bar owner is going to change his service next time he changes windows. If your business is online, you can be sure that there is someone offering the same product or service that you are. Make sure then that when you get an order, deliver it in the time period that you quoted to the client. Keep them waiting, and you’ll be waiting a long time for them to call back.
Follow Through
Getting the product delivered on time is really only half the sell. Make sure to offer after-sale services, whether it is regular maintenance, tune-ups, or anything else the client needs. As says, after sales support means “treating every request as urgent” and responding on the same day, if possible. Also, maintain client records so that you’ll know exactly what it is they’ve bought from you and what needs to be done to set it right should they need support after delivery,.
Every Client is Special
It’s quite amazing how many times this is forgotten. If you have a good product or service, this will no doubt attract customers, but if your business grows to the point that you take yourself out of the frontline of customer service, make sure your staff treats  customers and clients the same way you treated the very first person who walked through the door (or dropped into your inbox, as the case may be). Go the extra mile, and make sure that your repeat clients are contacted regularly with online updates, and send out cards at holidays.
Discounts for regular customers are a must for all businesses. One of the busiest establishments you’ll enter any time of the day is probably going to be your regular coffee shop. You can make a pretty sure bet that right next to their cash register, they’ll have little cards that offer a free cup of coffee for every $5 or $10 purchased. This sort of promotion is the key to getting people back time and again, so make sure to always try and come up with ways to make your business an attractive place for your regulars to come back to. 

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