Responding to customers quickly develops confidence and trust right from the beginning. Everyone wants to feel like they are the priority.
USE THE CUSTOMERS NAME
Refer to your customer by name frequently. Using the customers name humanizes the exchange and creates an interaction between two people that just feels good.
Most people love to talk about themselves and their business. Ask questions that will help guide you in meeting their needs. Do they have a deadline? Do they have to work within a contained budget? What are their desired outcomes?
MAKE IT PERSONAL
Find ways to personalize your service. This could be as simple as telling a story that relates yourself to the customer. Throwing in something a little extra can have this affect (extra gift wrap, a piece of candy...).
SOLVE YOUR CUSTOMERS PROBLEM
Find out what your customer needs. Everything after that is about meeting and exceeding those needs. Take the pressure off the customer by solving their issue and they will return every time. Sometimes customers are not quite sure what they need. Your job is to help them realize and meet the need.
The devil is in the details. What is the lead time to meet the customers needs? Is the product in stock? What will freight cost? What are the different options available? Give the customer as much information as possible. They will feel serviced and more than likely find a way to let you help them.
KEEP THE CUSTOMER INFORMED
Without being a pest, keep the customer informed of actions related to your service. Contact them personally when the order is processed. Make contact when the order ships. If there are any questions, do not hesitate to contact the customer. Constant contact will reduce potential issues.
GIVE A FREE SERVICE
When possible throw in free shipping or extra units. If outside work is required offer to cover the expense. If there are ancillary charges, even if minimal, offer to include them in the deal. Even small gestures will get your customer to return.
By now you have a good idea of what the customer expects. Guaranteed, they probably expect more! Make sure you meet and exceed those expectations. You know what you have to do, do it! If you do, they will return.
One of the ways businesses fail is by not following up after the sale. This is an epic mistake. The easiest customer to get is the one you already have. Always follow up with the customer within 14 business days. Something like "I am following up to make sure you are 100% satisfied with our product and our service". goes a long way. If the customer is not 100% satisfied it gives you the opportunity to fix it on the spot and turn an upset customer into a loyal one.