Any business lives or dies through its customers. Without them, there is no revenue and, ultimately, no company. In this way, you can draw a direct line between customer happiness and profitability.
But how can you maximize this important measure? The answer can become surprisingly elusive.
After all, happiness itself can represent a slippery concept. It’s hard enough to measure in ourselves, much less track it in other people. However, you have a responsibility to optimize the satisfaction of those buying your goods or services.
Learning about your customers’ emotional experience can uncover new growth potential. One study showed that nearly three-quarters (72%) of customers will talk about a positive experience with at least 6 other people. Nearly one in eight (13%) will spread their good cheer to at least 15 others.
That’s a lot of free advertising available from making your customers happy.
There’s a flip side to this dynamic. You can’t always tell when customers hit a breaking point. The same survey noted that just one in every 26 unhappy customers will report their grievances with the company. Most of the time, dissatisfied clients just jump to the competition.
Build a Customer-First Culture
From every level of your organization, your company should look to promote customer satisfaction. Make this goal central to your overall corporate culture.
Take a top-down approach to make this possible. Target every effort with customer happiness as an eventual objective. Then, achieving it will flow naturally out of your everyday operations.
Your customer should get to choose what form of communication suits them best. Make this possible by providing multiple points of entry.
Don’t assume your customers are happy just because you don’t hear many complaints. Encourage feedback and actively seek out comments. Not only will you keep your clients happy, but these discussions could also lead to important product improvements over time.
Play the Long Game
Don’t look to make one-time sales. Get too aggressive or too short-sighted and customers will perceive your product as a con job. Rather, try to develop long-term relationships with every consumer.
Consumers want to trust their vendors. They want to know they are investing in the cutting edge. In addition, they want to know that a long-term relationship with you can take them into the future.
Putting your customers first isn’t just part of a honeymoon phase where you’re trying to impress a new client. Form a strong connection with their business needs and goals from the beginning, and this will give them the confidence going forward that you understand their vision for the future.
Encourage this confidence by promoting your company as a thought leader in your industry.
If you try to establish a long term relationship with your customers early on, you will likely notice quicker if there is an issue. What’s more, you’ll be able to patch problems up sooner, too.
Cultivate Your Own Culture and Thought Leadership
Maintaining happy consumers starts with the right culture. Your entire organization should maintain a customer focus. This will align your core values, focusing resources on the goal of maximizing the satisfaction of your buyers.
In addition to this underlying cultural commitment, you should project these qualities outward. You can start by asking for testimonials from your best customers. These will help cement your reputation for future buyers.
There are other ways to achieve these goals. For instance, you can create a meaningful conversation with your client base by promoting yourself as a thought leader in your industry. This will improve your name recognition, bolster your brand, and enhance the public’s esteem of you as an expert in the field.
You can promote thought leadership in a few ways. Start by simply launching a blog on your website. This will give you a way to communicate with the outside world and show off your institutional knowledge.
Further your commitment to this strategy by investing in educational services. Host a webinar where you share additional information to customers and to the general public. These services will promote a closer relationship with people interested in your products.
Establish Open Channels of Communication
Building a relationship with your clients shouldn’t happen only at the point of sale. That should represent just one moment in an ongoing conversation. As such, you should take steps to cultivate a long-standing connection with each buyer.
Some people prefer the personal touch that comes with a human voice. For these customers, have call centers in place. This way, you have an option for those looking to make contact by phone.
Meanwhile, not every customer prefers to talk on the phone. For these folks, have online live chat options. It provides a responsive way to communicate with those who want to use messenger products.
Know Where You Stand
You can’t count on your customers to offer feedback. As we noted before, less than 4% of dissatisfied buyers will bother to complain. As a result, you need to be more proactive about getting feedback.
Conduct this process in an organized way. You can do this through NPS tools. These products utilize a Net Promoter Score, a method of evaluating a client’s willingness to recommend your product.
The NPS strategy provides useful data. It goes beyond haphazard customer feedback to provide a quantified result. This makes it easier to gain insights into your customer-relation processes. It will also let you know how to improve them.
Yes, happiness can be hard to judge. However, by leveraging these tools, you can turn tracking this emotional response into something close to a science.
This way, you’ll have the data you need to maximize customer satisfaction. From there, you can better use the other strategies we laid out here. You’ll have the organizational direction you need to expand your brand recognition and build long-term relationships with your existing clients.
Summarizing Customer Happiness Tips
These strategies will set you up for long-range growth. You’ll maximize the revenue possibilities from existing clients. At the same time, you’ll plant the seed for increased market share. With a focus on customer happiness, you’ll create the conditions necessary to take your business to the next level.