The business landscape has always been highly competitive. It’s never been an easy task to stand out from the crowd, attract customers and turn them into regulars. But back in the good old days businesses could check all these boxes by finding out what their audience wanted and meeting their expectations. Providing quality products and services and having a good marketing strategy were enough to keep customers happy and get a company off the ground, but that’s no longer the case. 

Average doesn’t cut it anymore in the business world. These days, if you want to retain customers and make your business thrive, you must go the extra mile and do everything in your power to exceed customer expectations. You’ve got to dazzle the audience and deliver that wow factor in order to keep them coming back for more. Otherwise, they have a wealth of options at their fingertips and they can easily choose one of your competitors over you. 

If going above and beyond is the key to success in business, how can you achieve that in a day and age when consumer behavior and demands are changing faster than ever? It’s not exactly rocket science. There are some basic tactics you can put into practice to improve your level of service and give your customers the best experience possible. 

Be proactive 

If you want to build a customer-first culture for your business, you should do your best to get in the mind of the consumer and anticipate their needs. The idea is to give clients what they require before they get a chance to ask for it or provide them with something they didn’t even know they needed. For example, if a client is looking for professional powder coating services, but is not familiar with the process and the technology used in the field, having a great website with relevant content and a FAQ page can be of great use. You should be familiar with the most common problems your potential customers face and obviously find solutions for all of them. Don’t wait for them to contact you and ask for help. If you notice an issue, be the one who makes the first move, and address it straight away.  

Ask for feedback

It’s next to impossible to give your customers what they need and a little something extra, if you don’t know who they are. Before you implement any marketing strategies it’s essential to understand who you’re addressing and know what your customers want from you. You don’t have to play a guessing game here, since it’s not that hard to obtain this valuable information. All you have to do is ask the right questions and you’ll find out everything you need to know straight from the source. Most customers are more than happy to share their thoughts and ideas with you, so getting feedback from your target audience won’t pose a challenge. That way, you’ll learn what you’re doing right, what you’re doing wrong, and where you can improve. 

Offer personalized experiences

Providing good customer service is a must, but you must strive to make it outstanding. How exactly can you do that? By personalizing your offer and giving clients a unique experience they can’t get elsewhere. More than the quality of the products and services, clients appreciate the overall experience they have with a business. If you manage to make them feel special and show them you care, they’ll have no reason to look for alternatives and that can be the beginning of a long-lasting relationship. Adding a personal touch can start with a friendly chat, giving recommendations based on their wants and needs, offering rewards etc. 

Use an omni-channel approach 

Today’s technology gives you the chance to interact with your audience in a variety of ways, and you should definitely use all these channels to your advantage and meet your customers where they are. That’s exactly what the public expects from businesses nowadays. However, there’s an important aspect to keep in mind when being active on multiple channels – you have to ensure a seamless and consistent experience across all channels, be it online or offline, so your customers are met with the same level of service, no matter how they choose to interact with you. 

Surprise you customers 

Meeting customers expectations makes you predictable, which is by no means a bad thing. But we’re talking about exceeding customer expectations here, so predictability won’t do. That’s why you have to create an element of surprise and do something your customers don’t expect you to do. Who doesn’t love a nice surprise every now and then? It doesn’t have to be anything extraordinary – even small gestures such as sending a handwritten greeting or a small gift for their birthday will make your clients feel special and remember your brand. 

Follow up with your customers 

Businesses that care about their customers and want to go above and beyond to keep them satisfied, don’t direct all their marketing efforts towards promoting their offer and trying to get people to buy their products. The main focus should be on creating a connection and building a strong relationship with your audience. Following up with your customers after they’ve purchased a product from you is an important step in this direction. A quick phone call or an email asking about their experience with your company can go a long way in strengthening your bond with customers. 

Take responsibility 

No matter how hard you work and how much you try to please your customers, there’s always going to be something that won’t work as planned and mistakes are bound to happen. It’s not the end of the world if you make a mistake, and even though customers will be displeased in the beginning, they’re more likely to forgive you if you take responsibility for your actions and apologize. In fact, being open and transparent about your vulnerabilities can work in your favor and foster a sense of trust in your customers. 


Author's Bio: 

Cynthia Madison