So what is your preferred method of marketing for your company? Social media? Direct mailing? Exhibitions? Print advertising? There are numerous ways and ideas to market your company. But an independent validation of your business is the strongest form of marketing there is, and it’s free!
Just think about it, how do you decide what company to spend your money with? Let’s take as an example new blinds for your house. You might go online to do some research, you may read a specialist home magazine or you might go into a store to see what’s on offer. You’ve done your research and are weighing up which company to use but you still aren’t quite sure. You then talk about it with one of your friends and they tell you about the amazing service they received and how pleased they are with the product from a particular company. What’s the likelihood of you going with that recommendation? Unless you don’t like your friend, pretty high I guess.
Taking it to the next level, with a product only purchase, I guess most of us have shopped on Amazon. And I would also presume that when making a purchase you look at the reviews first. How many times have you bought a product that has had mainly poor reviews? Very rarely. If ever. And even the few brave soles that do… how many ended up returning said product within a week whilst muttering to themselves something along the lines of next time listening to ‘Sandra M from Cambridge’ about the legitimacy of an £18 Gucci handbag…
Get your customers to be your marketers by making sure they are happy. Just think about the companies that you know use referral schemes – Sky and Bulb are just a couple that spring to mind. I myself am a very happy customer of both of these companies and have often recommended them. On the other hand, if I were an unhappy customer, not only would I not recommend them but I would also be informing people why I was unhappy. After all, 48% of customers who had a negative experience told 10 or more others.
So how do you ensure your customers are happy? I could write a whole book on that but in a concise list some of the most common ways are:-
Make it easy for customers to complain? Why would you want to encourage complaints? When you are frustrated with a company and haven’t received the level of service you expected you don’t want to be further antagonised by not knowing how or where to complain to. Remember, things do occasionally go wrong, and the majority of the time that’s OK. It is how your business reacts to things going wrong that will determine your final customer satisfaction rating.
Ongoing surveys are a consistent and reliable way to gain valuable feedback. Looking further into those surveys, how frustrating is it when you receive a text or email asking for feedback and you are asked to just leave a score between 1 and 10? You’ve received poor service and you want to tell them why. A quantitative response just isn’t enough for the company either – they need to know more detail of a low score in order for them to rectify the chances of a bad referral and also to ensure it doesn’t happen again. It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience. It’s so important to be able to resolve that negative experience.
Let’s take a look at happy customers now. A nice example is Richer Sounds who are selling products freely available online. In January 2019 they were voted the top high street shop in the UK for customer satisfaction by Which members. They have fought off strong competition from online, John Lewis and Curry’s. Their customers are happy and their business is going from strength to strength. The founder of Richer Sounds, Julian Richer, is worth £160 million according to the Sunday Times Rich List in 2019. I wonder what percentage of this he puts down to having happy customers?
In summary, making sure your customers are happy should never be underestimated. If they are happy, great! Find out what is making them happy and continue to improve this. And if they are unhappy, resolve the situation as soon as possible and learn from the situation. Your customers are the reason your business continues and happy customers will push your company to thrive and keep reaching new levels. The secret to driving revenue in your business is right in front of you – it’s your customers.
So, if you feel I’ve got this article wrong, please feel free to complain to me at email@example.com and I’ll get back to you within 24hrs (I just need to return a handbag for a friend first).