In the crowded corporate and small business sectors, there’s no doubt it can sometimes be hard to stand out from the crowd. Running and growing any successful business takes a lot of hard work, perseverance and above all, business savvy. Good customer relations are just one essential element of any successful enterprise, and a lot of this comes down to how clients and customers perceive your staff. Whether you’re in the corporate sector, retail or hospitality, if you’re looking to see your business grow, here’s some ways to boost your customer relationships – from client follow-through to corporate name badges.
Professionalism and follow-through
Whether you’re selling products or services, customers and clients want to know they are dealing with a professional. There’s nothing more off-putting than trying to do business with someone who is inefficient, erratic and generally ‘off the ball’. If your staff fail to provide the correct information to customers, if they don’t follow through on every aspect of the deal or sale, then they are most certainly going to alienate customers, and potentially stop them from making the purchase and/or coming back a second time.
You know yourself that when you do business, you need to have a degree of trust in the individuals and organisations you are dealing with. The same can obviously be said for those looking to deal with your company. People are likely to run a mile, if they feel those they are dealing with are untrustworthy. No-one wants a reputation for shoddiness.
Both professionalism and trust are closely linked with transparency. In dealing with customers and clients, it’s essential that your staff provide the relevant information at every step of the way. That might mean being clear and upfront about service details, time frame, any relevant issues and certainly fees and charges. Being charged over the expected amount is just one example of bad business practice that is likely to leave customers with a terrible taste in their mouths. Remember too that in the days of social media, any bad review can be spread very quickly. So keeping customers happy is not only smart for repeat business, it’s essential for survival.
So how to ensure your employees have the qualities that will help your business thrive? A lot of this comes down to having the right staff in place, and ensuring they are provided with effective training and the relevant information to do their job. Additionally, small steps such as providing your ‘public-face’ employees with uniforms, or at the least, corporate name badges can help give the impression of professionalism, trust and transparency.
If clients and customers are given a staff name from the first encounter, it can help them feel at ease, and provide a more personal touch that keeps them coming back, and recommending your business to others. Name badges can also ensure more accountability amongst your staff members, and make it easy for customers to give feedback on your customer service – which can be an essential tool for improving your processes.
There’s certainly a lot involved in setting up and running a successful business, so seeking professional help is a good idea for any business manager, regardless if you’re new to the game, or have been running your business for years. Being open to new ideas is one trait of successful business owners and managers.
As an example, the NSW Government’s Trade and Investment Business and Small Business websites provide advice and information for those starting up or already operating a business in NSW. This includes everything from start up to marketing, finance, business strategy and intellectual property.