Welcome to the fourth and final installment on “How To Grow Your Business.” Over the past several Segments, we've looked at:
- Part 1: The Art of Selling Anything To Anybody
- Part 2: Leveraging The Power of Social Media
- Part 3: Making It Easier For Customers To Buy
For today’s post, you might be expecting a detailed discussion on pricing strategies. However, competing on price is one of the worst ways to expand your business over the long term. There will always be another vendor willing to undercut you.
A far better approach is to differentiate your business with top-notch customer service — even if you primarily sell physical goods.
This user-focused strategy explains why brands like Apple can charge a premium for its products, but you don't need to be a big-name retailer to impress your users. Like all the other strategies discussed so far, improving customer service is a scalable and cost-effective tactic that delivers results.
Here are some of the most important strategies in this arena:
1. Make Customer Service Readily Available
This seems like a no-brainer, and yet, many businesses erect unnecessary barriers between end users and support staff. They view customer service as an expense and try to hide contact information whenever possible.
However, this strategy simply frustrates your users. A better approach is to make it as easy as possible for customers to get in touch.
Email is the simplest and most cost-effective solution. You should do everything in your power to answer all queries within one business day.
Phone support is an even better option (at least for customers). If you don't have the bandwidth to field inquiries, invest in a call center, instead. Adding interactive voice response (IVR) to the mix can help keep costs relatively low.
2. Remove Payment Barriers
Another good idea is to make it as easy as possible for customers to shop — a theme already touched on in Part 3 of this series. Yet what does easy shopping mean, exactly?
There are several different approaches you could take:
- NFC solutions like Apple Pay remove the need for users to swipe and sign traditional plastic.
- EMV payment solutions Provide an extra layer of security for chip card holders.
- Mobile payment solutions allow you to accept payments from anywhere on any device with WIFI or Internet connection.
3. Resolve Disputes Quickly
Even the most successful companies have to deal with dissatisfied customers. It's inevitable. Regardless, how you deal with complaints can make or break your business:
- Low-growth businesses often fight for every penny, making it as difficult as possible for customers to receive refunds.
- High-growth companies cut their losses and concentrate on improving their delivery.
Will some people take advantage of your honesty? Absolutely. Though you will also develop a reputation for integrity, which is far more valuable in the long run. That is how Domino's insane 30-minute guarantee catapulted the company to pizza delivery dominance.
Customer Service Involves More Than Just Customer Service
Your customer support team is on the front lines, fielding the majority of phone calls and emails. Nevertheless, truly effective customer service should involve everyone in the business — even those who work behind the scenes.
During all staff meetings, employees should ask how each decision ultimately benefits the user. Extra time and training may be required, but this exercise is an investment that quickly pays for itself. One needs look no further than Apple — a company that consistently ranks among the most admired names in business because of its laser focus on users’ needs.
For information on integrating payments into your organization contact a member of BluePay's exceptional support team today for a free consultation.