Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

Make it Easy for Customers to Do Business With You!

By Carolyn West-Price Touhey on Mar 21 2011 • Filed under Customer Service Secrets

Smart entrepreneurs helpscustomers find them by being accessible.

We’ve all heard the saying, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Compound that with the fact that we are all on information-overload and moving at a hectic pace, with overwhelming demands on our time and attention. If we're busy, imagine how busy our potential customers are! If we want to gain and keep loyal customers, we must put ourselves in our customers’ (or prospects’) shoes and make it easy for them to do business with us. To that end, here are three very common problems and suggested remedies for you to consider:

  • Problem #1:

A person you already know wants to call you to give you business or a referral, but can’t easily find your business card and can't search in the phone book for you because they don't remember your business name.

Suggestion: Put your phone number and address in your signature block on all of your emails. If you followed-up when the person first met you, you put them in your database and sent them at least one email already. If you have a proactive email  marketing program in place, which you should, you may have sent even more. The person who wants to call you may remember this and look you up in their emails, and if you have a proper signature block, they can find you! If your signature block does not have contact information, however, it’s they'll have to send you an email and wait for your reply, which may be enough to deter them from taking action.

  • Problem #2:

You have an automated voice attendant greet callers after hours, requiring that the caller put in the person’s last name and not even giving an option to leave a message for the individual in the general mailbox. Looks like a lost opportunity if the caller doesn’t know the person’s last name or how to spell it. Better yet are the systems that won’t tell you how to reach a real body, so you try to out-smart it and hit “0” only to be told that you have punched an invalid extension.

Suggestion: Consider the alternative – a live answering service – weighing the cost of the service with the 'opportunity cost' of losing the business from callers who can’t leave messages due to your system or their perception that reaching you for service will be equally cumbersome. And, if your target markets include seniors, avoid the press this, press that entirely.

  • Problem #3:

A customer is less than happy with a purchase and inquires about making a return only to have a less-than-pleasant employee of yours tell the person, “No.”

Suggestion: Be sure you have a “happy customer” policy and philosophy so all staff members know to do almost anything to please the customer. Think Nordstrom or L.L.Bean, and empower your staff to be accommodating, not policy-bound. What you earn in customer loyalty and good word-of-mouth marketing will exceed what you give back in refunds.


Journal Assignment: 30 minutes

Take five minutes to brainstorm all the obstacles that could be standing between your customers and you. This could include things that slow down or prevent potential customers from finding and contacting you. and it could include things that frustrate your existing customers. What would create a bad customer experience? Don't worry if it's logical. Write down even the ridiculous, if it comes to mind, so you can keep the creative momentum going.

Once you've done that, spend 25 minutes figuring out which items on your list are things you can work on to help create a better customer experience, and help facilitate your company being more accessible and attentive to your client base. If you have a lot of ideas, pick out the top five that you feel are most important, and concentrate on those. Have fun!


3 Comments

  1. So being an entrepreneur myself, I actually read the article with interest! Informative indeed. The “Signature Block” in the e-mail idea has done wonders for my business…. I’d saying Adding a Logo + Website adds 100% more value to it.

    Also, thanks for crediting my picture 🙂

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