It’s October, and that means that it’s the season of scary things like trick-or-treaters, costumes, and maybe a little bit too much candy – or maybe just the right amount, depending on who you are.
Halloween is great, but October can also be a good time to refocus on some small business basics and make sure that your business is more of a treat than a trick for your customers. Here are three areas it’s important to excel in so that you can make sure you aren’t scaring your customers away.
- Customer service
Bad customer service can be even scarier than the houses that hand out healthy snacks on Halloween. If customers feel slighted, ignored, or even just uncomfortable after an experience with your business, chances are that they won’t be back anytime soon. And don’t settle for average customer service, either. Shoot for creating a great experience for everyone who interacts with you, and you’ll create great customer loyalty as well.
There are a lot of tips out there about how to develop great customer service, and a lot of them are pretty helpful. To get you started, here are a few of the ideas that we’ve found to be the most successful.
- Respond to customer feedback as quickly as possible.
This is one of the most important aspects customers use to evaluate a business’ customer service. Even if you don’t have the answer right away, let them know that you’re working on things. That knowledge will go a long way towards defusing a situation.
- Team up to take down problems.
Make sure that you and your employees aren’t afraid to ask for help from each other to make a customer problem right. Customers really appreciate that sort of teamwork, because it shows that you’re making their concern a priority.
- Embrace criticism.
It’s often tempting to get defensive during difficult customer interactions, but owning up to mistakes or even just being willing to listen can help customers see how much you value the relationship you have with them.
- Appearance and Atmospherics
You don’t want your business to look scary, either. The physical appearance and atmospherics of your business are some of the first things your customers notice. Make sure that your business feels welcoming to customers, not frightening. Here are a few simple things that are important to get right.
- Neat signage
There are far too many businesses that don’t invest in adequate signage. Don’t let your business be the one that has three letters burned out on the big neon sign out front, or has used the same flimsy-looking banner outside for the past five years. Prospective customers will take notice. These days, it’s easy to find resources online that provide high-quality signage at reasonable prices. Make sure that your business looks as good as it should with clean signage both inside and outside.
- Organization and Cleanliness
This is obvious, but it’s also often neglected. There is nothing more frightening to customers than a messy soda fountain that’s sticky with the residue from spilled soft drinks, or a clothing boutique floor that is tracked with dust and dirt. And try to keep your space organized, too. Cleaning isn’t always fun, but a dirty store is downright scary.
Music can play a big role in creating the right atmosphere for your business. Studies have even shown that it can influence buying behavior and create a more comfortable social environment for your customers. Get the atmospherics perfect in your business by choosing the right tunes.
- Loyalty program
Finally, don’t scare your customers off by failing to offer a loyalty program. A study by KiteWheel found that 25% of customers were frustrated when businesses failed to recognize them as a repeat customer. A loyalty program can be one of the driving factors to keep your customers coming back, and it’s the perfect way to offer them treats when they stop by. Not only that, but a study by Bond found that 70% of customers would change where they purchase in order to maximize the benefits they get. Make sure that you’re incentivizing your customers to come back with a loyalty program that works for your business, and not scaring them away instead.
So, there you go: three areas to focus on this October so that you can bring customers back instead of scaring them away. Want to excel in customer loyalty? Consider trying a community loyalty app program like LoyalTap. Find out how to get started creating loyal customers and get in touch with us today. It might just be the treat your customers are looking for.