Maintaining a solid customer base is essential for business success. It is cheaper to retain existing customers than to recruit new ones. In addition, one dissatisfied customer typically complains to approximately twenty acquaintances or family members, which spreads a negative impression of a business.
To build good relationships with your customers, consider the following suggestions.
Send birthday postcards
Customer service is a dying art, and many people love the personal touch of receiving individual messages from the professionals they do business with. If your office files contain the birth month and date of your customers, set up a tickler system for your file to remind clerical staff to send out birthday postcards. For about a dollar, you can generate customers’ good will and keep them coming back. Further, a visual postcard is a marketing tool for others who see it.
Initiate a few marketing techniques
Visit www.dentalmarketing.net for ideas and assistance in finding affordable and innovative ways to earn your customers’ gratitude and appreciation. Occasional free gifts, discounted rates, or an annual holiday gift (like a car wash coupon) can make customers feel good about doing business with your company.
Use positive communication techniques
Be a good listener when a customer has a concern or complaint. Encourage staff to smile and compliment customers in sincere ways; everyone feels better as a result. If a mistake occurs, be ready to apologize and make things right. In lawsuits involving businesses, many plaintiffs claim they only want an apology from the company, and a correction of the problem, if possible. Don’t let the office phone keep callers on hold for more than 30 seconds at a time. Return messages promptly, and consider using email, Website feedback, and social networking to promote more timely and effective communication between customers and staff.
Be friendly and supportive
Get to know each customer by name. Treat every person respectfully, and keep in mind any family information they share so you can follow up at the next visit. Consider supporting community sports where customers’ kids are involved.
Giving each customer individual attention is a great way to make them feel special and valued. In return, they are likely to continue doing business with you, and will probably refer friends and relatives, as well. Common courtesy is free, and yet it can generate a sizable return on investment when we take a few minutes to treat others kindly.