Providing a good customer experience is imperative for any company, as it encourages repeat business, establishes you as an authority and leads to positive recommendations.

They say that customers tell between one and four people when they have had a good experience, but will tell as many as elevenĀ if they’ve not received satisfactory service. Although providing a good experience costs time and money, it really does pay to get things right every time.

Here are six ways to make the best impression and ensure your customers go away feeling valued.

1. Establish Wants and Needs

Your business will struggle to get off the ground if you have no knowledge of what your prospective customers want and expect. While there is no set blueprint for achieving this, one of the best things you can do is put yourself in the customer’s shoes and ask yourself how would you want to be treated?

It’s always good to ask anyone who comes to your premises open questions in order to gather useful feedback. This will help you to better establish their goals and desires; just be careful not to appear pushy.

2. Build a Rapport

If a customer likes you and feels you have something in common, then they’ll come back time and again.

Nobody likes a customer service robot, they like people who take an interest in them, and in some cases a bond can be made over something that at first appears irrelevant to the products and services your company provides.

3. Be Receptive (even when dealing with awkward enquiries)

While the old adage that ‘the customer is always right’ is far from true, you should take all expressions of dissatisfaction seriously and go the extra mile to reach a resolution. That’s not to say you should roll over and give in when a complaint is unfounded; just try to deal with it in the most personable way possible.

4. Engage with Customers Online

Social media is important for almost all businesses now, with many people choosing to check out a firm’s profile before making a decision to work with them or purchase a product.

Sites such as Facebook and Twitter give you the opportunity to not only engage directly with those already drawn to your page, but to also find new audiences by providing engaging, informative and interactive content that will be shared and retweeted.

5. Read Reviews and Respond

Reading reviews is a great way to understand what customers think of your business and where it can improve.

Where people have been harsh, reach out to them and ask what you can do to make their experience better next time. Where you have received a glowing review, send them a thank-you and even a reward.

6. Standardise Your Processes

If things are too complex, people will look elsewhere. A good customer experience is one that is simple and speedy, and if your systems are sluggish or overladen with lengthy forms, then you’re probably losing business to slicker rivals.

Everything from the wording of your literature to your website’s layout should be as simple as possible, without missing any important features.

Follow our top tips to ensure the experience you provide to your customers is as pleasant as possible. If you have other customer service tips you’d like to share, please send them to [email protected] and we’ll include them in future guides.