Sunday, June 26, 2016

Focusing on Making Your Clients Happy is the Key to Success

Created by Kimberly Kline

Does Your Company Focus on 
Customer Service?

While on a recent vacation (which I must say I thoroughly enjoyed), I found myself noticing a lot about the local businesses.  

I observed things like how they treated their customers, the way they tried to stand out from the crowd, and even the importance, or lack, that they placed on being up front and truthful with their customers

And what I saw definitely got me thinking...  
how I could I take what I learned and put it to work in my own small business!

This particular vacation took me to Florida. The majority of people in Florida, like in many other “destination” states, make their living working in the service industry. Businesses like hotels, theme parks, and restaurants are abundant.

Tourism is ultimately the backbone of this type of economy. It is what employs the bulk of their citizens and raises most of the money needed to run their state.

And I found the majority of Florida businesses I came in contact with to be very good at what they do!

That got me wondering what it takes to really succeed in this very fickle kind of business?

And I noticed one common denominator among those businesses that did it right ~ their driving focus was on making their customers happy.

For businesses in these “destination” states, focusing on what will make your customers happy is often the biggest key to success. 
These businesses must cater to their customers if they hope to stand out from the crowd. This way of thinking also helps Small Businesses!

As a small business owner, it is essential that we know and understand our client’s wants and needs.  

This includes being dedicated to Customer Service, finding the niche that will best serve our clients, and being completely upfront and honest in our dealings.

I found clear examples of all three of these during my trip, and I think what I learned will work for you too!

Created by Kimberly Kline

3 Top Small Business Tips to Find Success

Be Focused on Customer Service
At this, Disney Rules! When you visit Walt Disney World, you find yourself completely immersed in a “world of Disney”. All their employees are held to a high standard ~ from the people cleaning the parks, to transpiration drivers (monorail, buses), and on to everyone working in food service and at the park attractions.

I marveled at the absolute cleanliness of everything operated by Disney. Even the monorail was impeccably clean, in stark contrast to the metro systems I have used in DC and in Chicago.

Disney invests themselves in fully selling the Disney experience. They dedicate themselves to making sure their customers have an enjoyable experience.

This is a great lesson for you in your small business.  You must do what is necessary to get your clients on board and in sync with you and your story.

Be Better, Be Different
Finding a way to do something differently, or in a unique way, will definitely help your Small Business stand out.

I saw concrete examples of this while using Uber to get around during our Florida stay. Whether it was from our hotel to the parks, or even back to the airport, Uber was our transportation choice.

Setting out, I was a complete Uber novice. But when confronted with the high prices of using traditional transportation, my daughter suggested we try Uber. And I was completely amazed and so happy she did!

Uber was so easy to use.

All it took was a simple request through their app, and our ride was on its way.  I don’t think we ever waited longer than 10 minutes, and I found the cars to be clean and the drivers friendly.

And boy, did we save money!   

In Orlando, and many cities throughout the U.S., Uber has found a niche. They are co-existing with the taxis and car companies (although there are cities where Uber faces challenges). Through hard work, they have built a solid enough reputation that Disney now allows them to drop off and pick up at the parks, hotels, and ticket and transportation center.

Uber has found a way to offer something different and, in may ways, better than their competitors.  And their client base has responded.  They have found their niche.

This is also important to a Small Business.  Doing something to distinguish yourself from your competition is key.  And many times you can find how to accomplish this by researching what other companies are doing and by really listening to your clients. 

Find out more in “How to Find Your Small Business Niche”!

Be Honest and Upfront 
Establishing an honest and straight forward relationship with your customers is crucial to success.  I found an example of this first hand in the hotel we stayed in during our trip.

I will start by saying that, for the most part, we loved our hotel. There was definitely a lot to rave about; the concierge lounge was stocked and the attendants were helpful, the hotel staff was friendly, and the quality of the restaurants was good.

But there was one thing that marred my perception ~ the “hidden” unlisted charges.

And if there is any area where all businesses should be completely up front, it is when it comes to money!

This is what happened….. 
When we got to our hotel, we checked in and went to the pool bar to enjoy lunch.  While looking over the menu, we saw that an 18% gratuity would be added to all bills.  This practice was not new to us, as many other resort hotels have this same policy.

What we were not aware of was the additional “hidden” charge that would also be on our bill. We only discovered this the hard way, after our bill came. It was then that we discovered a “Food Service” tax listed ~ and this came to an extra $11.00 being added to the bill!

No where was this extra “Food Service” charge mentioned. 

The result?  We started off with a poor impression of this hotel. And despite all the positive things we later found during our stay, this first impression stayed with us.

This is an important lesson for You and Your Small Business ~ be upfront and honest with your clients from the beginning.  

Do what you say you are going to do and be clear as to what you will be charging your clients. When it comes to money, there should be no mystery.  Everything should be completely transparent.

I have found this especially true when working with small businesses.  Most operate with limited budgets, especially when they are starting off. When you are clear and honest, your customers will thank you. It will also help you develop their trust and loyalty.

The bottom line ~ Honesty in business should be one of your most important goals!  Discover more in “Honesty in Business ~ Is it Possible?”.

These 3 tips will help you place your focus squarely where it needs to be ~ 
on making Your Clients Happy!  
With that as your ultimate goal, 
you can’t go wrong!

How do you make your customers happy?  Share your best ideas here!

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