As we move forward into 2023, the best move that any business owner can make is to build up customer loyalty. In fact, it's a good idea to make customer service a priority no matter what time of year it is. The question is, where do you begin? Let's take a closer look at how to give customers what they want—and exactly when they want it.
Why It Matters
We're in the information age, meaning your business should have a solid online presence. Technology impacts every aspect of our everyday lives, and the last thing you want is to fall behind the curve.
Consumers tend to favor brands that will recognize and even anticipate their needs. The rise of the internet has altered the landscape—people expect a level of service that wouldn't have been feasible—or even imaginable—a generation ago.
Many successful entrepreneurs became famous after anticipating a need that consumers didn't even realize they had. For example, Henry Ford helped turn the automobile from a luxury item into a household staple. And until Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, no one thought they needed to keep a computer in their back pocket at all times.
What does all this mean for you? In essence, it means that you'll need to make the process as seamless as possible and provide access to products that will be attractive to consumers.
Defining What Customers Want
Although anticipating the consumer's needs is paramount, you can't do it alone. Ask your salespeople if you want to know how to give customers what they want. And the best way to keep track of your customers is with customer relationship management (CRM) software.
The best CRM for salespeople will allow you to interact meaningfully with prospective and current customers. You can use the software to gather detailed information about your customers—what they're looking for, what they've purchased, and even things they've viewed and saved for later. Every detail will tell you more about each individual and help you anticipate their future needs.
Data platforms can also help you make recommendations quickly, making it easier for consumers to find what they're looking for. The earlier research you've done will be invaluable in this regard, as you want to save time recommending a product or service that the customer wouldn't be interested in.
Making it Personal
You might think using data platforms sounds like a highly impersonal strategy. Instead, try viewing it as a means to an end. Your goal is to create relationships with your customers that will last for years—the platform is only a tool to help you along the way.
Here are a few tips for personalizing the recommendation process:
- Boost Credibility: Star ratings offer social proof of the item's desirability through opinions expressed by other shoppers. Meanwhile, badges like "Top Picks" or "Best Sellers" will lend credibility.
- Pay Attention to the Purchase Cycle: When a customer purchases an item, or a product they've bought undergoes a status change, it is time to step in with a new recommendation. Be sure to add validity by explaining why they're receiving this recommendation now.
- Use Bold Subject Lines: Personalizing your subject lines based on the customer's interests will make the exchange less robotic.
The Bottom Line
Before you can learn how to give customers what they want, you must figure out what that is. With the help of social media and CRM software, you can make this a priority.
Remember: consistency is vital. In addition to offering an efficient in-store experience, you'll need to focus on maintaining that rhythm for your online offerings. When the process goes smoothly for the customer, they'll be even more likely to keep coming back for more.
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