Want to grow? Be obsessive about customer experience

Small businesses must focus on customer experience in order to grow and reach their greatest potential.

There are many ways to improve the customer experience, whether you own a restaurant, boutique, print shop or other type of business.

Key areas to start the refocusing effort include employees, social media, feedback and environment.

Here are simple, yet effective, ideas to refresh your focus on customer experience:

<EMPLOYEES

Thoroughly trained employees are your No. 1 asset in customer experience; they are your best investment.

Making sure customers are satisfied should be their No. 1 priority, and they must be trained to think this way. When hiring, make this clear, and be sure managers get this message, as well.

<ENVIRONMENT

How do customers feel when they enter your establishment?

A clean, organized environment is one where customers will feel comfortable. They appreciate the effort you put into making them feel that way and will show it through repeat business and referrals.

<SOCIAL MEDIA

Are you hearing your customers? Social media give you an opportunity to personally connect with existing and future customers.

You can simultaneously reach customers, their local friends and your community. An advantage of being a smaller company is personally connecting with customers and the community at an intimate level.

Ask for feedback, reviews and opinions; always thank customers for a great review. If an unpleasant review comes in, address it. View it as an opportunity to make things right.

Without social media, you may have never had that chance. Be sincere, polite and genuine; people will recognize that.

Social media should be used to connect with customers, engage them and get feedback. They also are a fantastic way to get customers excited about your business and products.

There are many ways to use social media as a tool. Be sure to remain consistent and present regularly.

<FEEDBACK

Social media are not the only avenue to get strong feedback. Ask for reviews on your website and promote that philosophy in store, as well. Offering incentives for reviews is always a good idea.

There are many opportunities to learn what your customers want and how they feel about your business. If you want to grow and improve, you need this valuable input.

<

Make the effort to build and nurture customer relationships. And if you open lines of communication, don’t forget about them.

Regularly post to social media platforms and monitor notifications and messages you receive through them. If you provide a phone number with a voicemail, monitor it.

Overall, communication is key. Customers should be heard, appreciated and valued.

Focus on making their experience with your business as positive as possible, each and every time.

Murtaza Jaffer is the co-owner of EBC Printing in Trexlertown. He is a print/marketing materials solutions provider and can be reached at murtaza@ebclv.com.

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