We are all looking for a way to get the edge on our business competitors, but sometimes all that is needed is a couple of little tweaks within the business, which can make the largest difference and give us the boost that we desire so much.
There are generally a few little factors that can be brought into action which will help swell any business reputation, and most start with the same one area, customer experience. However, other areas to look at are considered below.
Having a good customer relationship is vital to any business as it is they who pay the wages at the end of the month, let’s face it, no customers – no money – no money – no wages.
So how do we keep our customers happy and entice previous customers to keep coming back to buy again and again?
Well, one of the best ways is to let your customers know that you are with them right from the start of their buying journey.
You can do this in a variety of ways, from checking that your website is up to scratch and that it is user-friendly. Offer plenty of ways in which your customers can contact your business, and don’t just offer an email address.
Some people still like to speak to a human when ordering or asking questions. Make sure that this is an option for them to do so. You can also make it easy for customers to text or talk directly to members of your staff by using chat software.
It is important that customers feel connected and valued. There seem to be so many businesses out there who seem to have forgotten this.
While everybody is happy with live chat and sees it as a step forward, the same does not always apply to talking to a machine. Some people find nothing more infuriating than having a machine that does not understand your accent.
If you feel that it is not a financially viable option for your business to have its own front office staff, companies offer a professional answering service. So that even if it is just taking a message, your customer will feel valued due to being able to speak to another human being.
Another way to help your customers feel valued is to have your own Customer Relationship Management software. This will help you keep track of your customers.
It can be very beneficial when looking into your marketing strategies. It keeps a record of all your customers and their buying habits, so it can flag those who may be interested in certain products or services you are offering. It will also be able to tell you if you have already offered that product or service before, which will save the embarrassment of sending out repeated mailings or emails.
This software will also be a great aid when it comes to sales aftercare, which is very important indeed. The number of companies who take the money and then disappear is amazing. Nothing more makes a customer feel valued than having the odd email or phone call to check that they are happy with their purchase if there is anything else that could be done for them.
Ways to improve production
Improving your production rates is another way in which you can stand head and shoulders above your competitors. This can be done by closely looking at your scheduling and planning. You can improve your delivery times and cut down on your downtimes just by doing a few simple tricks.
By installing Gantt charts or a similar type of software, you can keep a very close eye on all the projects within your business. These charts work just as well in an office environment as they do in a factory one and can easily be used in any other type of business.
You will have to make sure that everyone involved has access to the software, whether via computer, laptop, tablet, or cell phone, to get the best benefit from it.
With these charts, you can program in all the different procedure stages of any project and segment them out so that you can see at a glance whereabouts on its journey your project is. By giving all staff access to it, they will be able to move the project on to the next operation on-screen when they have finished. They will also be able to flag if there are any problems that will need addressing before it carries on with its journey.
This will make scheduling a dream as you will be able to see at a glance if that particular project will hit its deadline or if you will need to throw more man-hours at it to get it completed on time.
Another way to stand out in the crowd is by investing in your employees and keeping them happy, motivated, and within your business.
Having fully trained staff is a big thing in a customer’s mind. To know that they are dealing with professionals and even specialists in their field makes all others fade into the background. This works for your members of staff too.
It will help them become more confident within themselves, improve performance, cut down on the number of mistakes made through lack of knowledge, and provide plenty of motivation to stay within a business that takes pride in them and what they can do.
Having incentives to aid learning within and without the company, time can also be beneficial. Just offering certificates for training passed, whether they are industry recognized or just in-house ones, can make a world of difference to an employee and their value within a business.
If you let it be known that all your staff are trained and qualified to the highest standards, you will gain customer confidence, and you may even be able to boost your profit margin as customers will pay more for items produced or services given by a specialist team.