Posts tagged Customer service

The Secret to Attracting New Customers

Small businesses need to cultivate a strong customer base: one that includes returning and new business. Luckily enough, there’s a seven-step process that makes the task of attracting new customers seem more manageable:

1. Identify your ideal client. It’s easier to look for customers if you know the type of consumers you seek. Without a composite of your ideal customer, you probably wouldn’t know where to start looking.

2. Discover where your customer lives. Determine where your ideal customer is most likely to be found and then create messaging that targets them there.

3. Know your business inside and out. The people who would be interested in your offerings can see how knowledgeable you are and will seek your assistance.

Read on to learn more about how to find your ideal customers.

Olive Garden Takes Customer Loyalty Programs to the Next Level

Buffets and all-you-can-eat specials have been a promotional standby for restaurants since time immemorial. But Italian food restaurant chain Olive Garden managed to bring a new spin to the business strategy:

Olive Garden introduced a new Never Ending Pasta Pass that, for $100 a pop, allows customers to eat all of the pasta, salad, bread and soft drinks that they can for the next seven weeks. … the chain will sell 1,000 of these passes on its web site. The special promotion is tied to Olive Garden’s annual “Never Ending Pasta Bowl” promo, which lets folks eat all the pasta they want in one sitting for $9.99 and runs from September 22 to November 9.

Read on to learn what this means for customer loyalty programs and small businesses.

How to Avoid Negative Yelp Reviews

There are so many avenues for customers to post praise and complaints about your business. Though the first reaction to a negative review may be to go on the defensive, it’s important for the health of your business to make amends as quickly as possible to salvage that relationship, and foster good word of mouth. “Good companies try and make it right,” writes Gentlemint founder and OPEN Forum contributor Glen Stansberry. “Great companies go above and beyond to ensure satisfaction—a gift card for future purchases, a free meal, whatever it takes.

Read on for four more ways you can protect yourself from a public review site fiasco.

8 Common Customer Service Complaints You Can Actually Fix

Building a company culture that prides itself on offering great customer service does more than keep your business from being the butt of a viral joke… it improves your bottom line. When customers complain, it’s a good opportunity to improve your business procedures. For example, if a customer says, ”No one ever calls me back”:

Determine which ways customers reach out to your company, and monitor each of these channels with enough staff to respond in an appropriate amount of time. Email should be responded to within 12 hours, while tweets need to be answered in 15 minutes.

Read on for seven more customer service complaints you can solve quickly.

Being a great storyteller has never been more important for businesses than it is now, in the age of social media and viral stories. Customers who connect to your brand on an emotional level through the stories you tell end up being your most powerful brand ambassadors:

Chris Hurn left his son’s favorite stuffed animal, “Joshie,” at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Amelia Island, Florida, on a family vacation. When he got home, his son was devastated. Hurn told him that Joshie had decided to stay a few extra days at the hotel on vacation. The hotel staff sent Joshie back to his son. In the box, Joshie came with pictures of him by the pool, having a massage and taking a drive on the beach. Hurn was so impressed that he made a video about it that got 30,000 views. 

Read more about the power of storytelling on OPEN Forum.

Being a great storyteller has never been more important for businesses than it is now, in the age of social media and viral stories. Customers who connect to your brand on an emotional level through the stories you tell end up being your most powerful brand ambassadors:

Chris Hurn left his son’s favorite stuffed animal, “Joshie,” at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Amelia Island, Florida, on a family vacation. When he got home, his son was devastated. Hurn told him that Joshie had decided to stay a few extra days at the hotel on vacation. The hotel staff sent Joshie back to his son. In the box, Joshie came with pictures of him by the pool, having a massage and taking a drive on the beach. Hurn was so impressed that he made a video about it that got 30,000 views. 

Read more about the power of storytelling on OPEN Forum.

Business owners are always looking for ways to attract and retain new and existing customers. OPEN Forum contributor Christopher Litster says you have to go beyond your typical loyalty program punch cards:

… Create a memorable experience. For example, one restaurant presented an offer in a sealed envelope at the end of the meal. Only when the customers returned were they able to open the envelope. Inside it was a special offer, which ranged from a glass of wine to a free dessert to a free meal.

Read more tips on engaging customers on OPEN Forum.
Flickr User: Swaminathan

Business owners are always looking for ways to attract and retain new and existing customers. OPEN Forum contributor Christopher Litster says you have to go beyond your typical loyalty program punch cards:

… Create a memorable experience. For example, one restaurant presented an offer in a sealed envelope at the end of the meal. Only when the customers returned were they able to open the envelope. Inside it was a special offer, which ranged from a glass of wine to a free dessert to a free meal.

Read more tips on engaging customers on OPEN Forum.

Flickr User: Swaminathan

5 Tips for Keeping Your Customers Happy

  1. Provide exceptional customer service.
  2. Use email marketing.
  3. Introduce a loyalty program.
  4. Create a system for complaints.
  5. Develop an outstanding product or service.

For more customer retention tips, visit OPEN Forum.

What to do when a customer is a bully? Read how Liberty Bottleworks refused to put up with bad behavior, lost the customer, but gained respect … and lots of business.