Customer acquisition cost is the most expensive part of doing business. Successful businesses get their customers to return time and time again. They do this by exceeding their expectations. Here are 10 ways to exceed customer expectations.
1. Answer the phone
It may seem obvious but these days a lot of businesses, especially online businesses try to avoid answering the phone. When a real person answers the phone at a business without going through annoying automated menu people are generally pleasantly surprised.
2. Respond to inquiries after hours
A lot of people expect service 24 hours a day 365 days a year. For smaller businesses that's not realistic without outsourcing to a call center. One thing you can do is clearly post your hours and then respond to emails and phone calls after hours. Customers are generally appreciative when they realize you're responding to them on your own time.
3. Have the owner call customers
One thing I've done over the years that exceeds customer expectations is called customers personally. Whether they have a complaint or just need help I pride myself on knowing my business. And nothing helps me keep my finger on the pulse quite like talking to customers directly. It's something all businesses used to do but has become somewhat of a lost art. I'm confident if any business owner or CEO does it, their cusotmers will be happy.
4. Throw in something extra
If you're selling physical products, throw something extra in the box. It doesn't have to be something expensive. It could be a free sample for another product for example. A little extra always goes a long way to exceeding customer expectations.
5. Get it to them faster
We live in a "now" society. People don't like to wait for things. If you're shipping a physical item go to great lengths to get the shipment out on the day the order was placed and consider upgrading their shipping method. You'll find the extra cost is well worth earning a lifetime customer.