Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. ~ Damon Richards
Making your customers happy is one of the most important investments you can make. The best customer is a happy customer. They will purchase from you more often, stick with your services longer, and refer more customers your way.
We asked our community of Entrepreneurs to share their experiences and thought processes on pleasing customers. Here are their responses:
Mike Glanz – Founder and CEO of HireAHelper
As a marketplace with low revenue per customer, we can’t please every customer. However, we can mitigate that issue by over-communicating what our service is, and isn’t, upfront. If customers understand what they can expect, what role your company plays, and what services you are and aren’t providing, they’ll have appropriate expectations for remedies, if things ever go unexpectedly. There are lots of customers we’re a great fit for, it isn’t a bad thing to let the customers that we aren’t a great fit for find something that suits them better.
Jesse Lakes – CEO of Geni.us
The overall key to making customers happy, keeping them happy and keeping them engaged is listening. It’s important to pay attention – to listen. It’s important to give them attention when they want or need it as well. At Geniuslink, we know it’s on us to regularly follow up and build that relationship with our clients. We always want to make sure that our clients are getting maximum value out of our product. Building a good product goes hand in hand with that and, at Geniuslink, that is our top priority. One of our team members takes ownership over compiling feedback, praises, and complaints from all of our communication channels. He organizes and tags comments, does analysis on them and tries to find trends. Then he works with our CXO and product team to make sure we are building what our clients want and what will benefit them. We then track overall client satisfaction through NPS (Net Promoter Score).
Torie Borrelli, Founder of The Vida Well and Holistic Nutritionist
Over the years, I’ve learned that you can’t make everyone happy, and after years of getting down on myself, I decided that you can always improve. Active listening to your community/clients is crucial to “winning” at the happiness game. I am a firm believer in providing as much education as possible to my clients so they feel fully prepared and set up for success while we are working together and beyond. Plus, when you provide your customers/clients with a true value they don’t question your position, voice, price tag, or whatever it is that you’re selling. People can get recipes and a wealth of nutritional information completely free nowadays, but what they can’t get from googling (i.e. a personalized relationship, 1-on-1 nourishing coaching session, etc.) they can get from me. To increase customer retention, I build a solid foundation from the beginning, provide realistic and sustainable lifestyle strategies and utilize proven medical/nutritional practices that address their very individualized concerns. I think everyone should have access to health education so I consistently create free programs, tools and resources that anyone can apply to their own life. Additionally, feedback forms and being active on social have been key players in gauging their satisfaction and interest level.
Amanda Loveland – CEO of modbod
Our customers have been so awesome and supportive over the years! We have found that they like to have a voice and want to feel heard. Because of this, we do our best to make sure we are communicating with them the best way we know how. Communication is really key for us in achieving success and serving our conscious community.
Crosby Noricks, Founder and Director of PR Couture
Much of the success of PR Couture has stemmed from my mantra to “lead with generosity.” From providing a wealth of free resources to inviting our community to respond to our welcome email by telling us what is top of mind for them (and personally answering responses – providing a kind word and links to helpful articles or experts), I strive to let our customers know that the veil between us is thin; we are accessible, committed and a kind company to deal with. My favorite strategy to increase retention is to surprise and delight, using automation tools to help us anticipate need and deliver a solution without being asked.
Florin Cornianu, CEO and co-founder at 123ContactForm
This is actually one of the pillars for our growth from day one. Since then, we have always tried to establish a personal relationship with our customers because we believe if we gain their trust, then they will stick with us longer and they won’t be afraid to contact us when they need to solve problems.
Although we don’t provide phone support, we use livechat and email and it seems to be working. One key element is the fact that we never outsource the customer support operations. We keep it in house because we believe in a close proximity between our support specialists and our developers.
It actually takes 3 months for a newly hired specialist to become efficient because we have a very elaborate training program that turns a newbie into a customer support expert.
Leo Kanell – CEO/Founder at Fundwise Capital
You must deliver value above and beyond the price point in order to create happy clients. It begins with making sure that your offer is not only superior to the competition, but that it is unique and memorable and dominates your industry. Know what the competition does, but innovate and do it completely different than they do. Always have a superior competitive advantage by thinking outside the box. Utilize what other businesses do in other fields and then translate those innovations into your business. Understand that there will always be a certain amount of unhappy clients because we live in a broken world, always close them out with refunds, compromises and move them out of your pipeline asap. Focus on establishing strong online reviews as that will help to grow your business big time!
Jill Ombrello – Founder & Dentist at Onsite Dentists of Texas
I take every opportunity to exceed my customer’s expectations. I want to give each customer of mine more than I receive, whether it’s financially, emotionally, psychologically, or physically. The intention is to surprise my patients by truly caring about what is going on their lives and supporting them as much as possible. For example, I sent one of my patients flowers at work thanking her for the referral. Everyone thought the flowers were from her husband and she was so excited to say they were from her dentist! I also had a client that was so stressed after her husband died that I offered to help her set up for her garage sale at 6:00am on a Saturday morning to help her sell some of her husband’s things. She still cries every time she sees me because she couldn’t believe her dentist was so kind to her and went above and beyond during such a difficult time.
Pepper Rutland – Founder, President and CEO of MMR Group Inc.
Customer satisfaction is always Number One. We are in the service business, so we find that dependability, attention to detail, and honesty regarding schedule, are key points. Repeat business is earned. Sometimes one mistake can replace an awful lot of successes. In the end, most customers want what you promised. If you can’t get it done in a timely fashion, you are better off facing the music sooner rather than later.
Adam Tau – Co-Founder of Miller Tau Financial Group
We find ways to spend time with our clients—outside the office. My company aims to host one client appreciation event a quarter. It’s a time for us to have fun together, deepen the relationship, and learn more about each other minus the work-talk. We’ve hosted dinners, wine tastings, even a workout class! In that one, I think it was especially fun for them to see me out of my suit and tie, sweating with the rest of them. I do not expect anything in return for these events; the aim is to make them happy, have them see me as a human being, and have them continue to enjoy working with my firm.
Chris Scalese – President, Fortune Financial Group
We keep our clients happy in a number of ways. We have 3-4 client appreciation events throughout the year where we invite our clients to a social event. It might be a day at the ballpark since the Yankees Triple A minor league franchise is locate in Scranton. It might be a night out at the movies, or a Valentine’s social event for the ladies of our practice.
We also host 3-4 client education events each year. These are events where we’ll bring in outside speakers to talk about topics that we know our clients are interested in. We’ve had speakers in the past speak about identity theft, estate planning, and things to know about nursing homes. We also send our clients a weekly e-newsletter with economic updates as well as a quarterly printed newsletter with timely topics both financial and non-financial related. Finally, we bring in each client for a one on one meeting at least once a year to review their retirement situation.
Duane Boise – President & CEO at EMED
My clients always come first because their health is my priority. In my line of work, my team and I must be prepared for the unexpected, paying attention to every single detail in order to provide the best care possible to every individual we see. But my efforts extend beyond each individual person. My mission is to also extend the same care and attention to their loved ones, whether it is in moments of celebration or in the dark depths of loss. I view all of my clients like my own family and, therefore, their families, spouses, and friends also become a part of my family by extension.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.