According to Horst Schulze, President of Ritz Carlton, “unless you have 100% customer satisfaction…you must improve.” By that measuring stick, virtually every business in America can stand to improve, especially when it comes to keeping customers happy. Although 100% customer satisfaction is not realistic, aiming for that is imperative. But, how do you keep your customers happy?
Well, we are glad you asked.
Under Promise and Over Deliver:
To best illustrate this point, consider the act of setting deadlines. If you overestimate how long it will take you to complete a project and then get it done earlier, you look like a hero. Conversely, if you over promise and don’t fulfill your lofty goal, you look bad. Thus, it is wise to always overestimate the time it will take you do something. Then, surprise your customers with faster service.
Another way to look at this is to provide an extra service and/or product in addition to whatever the customer has bought. This could include throwing in a coupon for a discount on their next purchase, or could include giving a set of knives to customers who buy a kitchen appliance. The point being, give your customers something extra. Something they didn’t expect (even if it’s small), and you will keep them happy.
Offer Something Different:
Walt Disney was a pioneer and visionary in his day. In fact, it’s hard to image the world today without Disney’s influence. A world without Mickey Mouse, Goofy or Donald Duck would be a sad existence indeed. To say nothing of the beautiful, magical princesses he helped bring to life, and we can’t forget his world renowned amusement parks. In 1955, after years of planning, Walt Disney opened Disneyland Park. Walt Disney World Resort opened its doors in 1971.
The amusement parks of Walt Disney are more than simple amusement parks. They are instead a land of magic and family fun. This was Walt’s vision. He wanted a place that would delight children and adults alike. As a result, he hit on an untapped market. He created something that was unheard of at that point in history. Today, even though there are thousands of amusement parks across America, Disney World and Disneyland still stand above them all. Why? Because, they still something no other amusement parks do, a magical, inclusive, fantasy-like experience.
Walt’s success was a result of his tapping into an unmet need. You can do this too. All you have to do is think outside the box and look for ways to alter your business so you are offering something that no one else is, and you will garner loyal, happy customers.
After you have performed a service or provided a product to someone, follow up. Ask them how they like the product or if their service was satisfactory. This will give you the opportunity to fix any problems that might have occurred. It also shows your customers you care about their satisfaction. They are more than a paycheck. People love feeling valued, especially in today’s society where customer service is rare.
The list of tricks for increasing customer satisfaction is vast. Other ways to keep customers happy include offering new products/services regularly, giving loyal customers rewards for being such, asking customers their opinions and putting their suggestions into practice and making sure to always go the extra mile for your customers. When you perfect all these elements and those listed above, you will be rewarded with happy customers, who will tell their friends and family about your business. Walt Disney summed up the art of customer service best when he said, “Do what you do so well that they (customers) will want to see it (or buy from you) again and bring (tell) their friends.”