Building strong customer relationships is essential for success in business. While it makes good business sense to avoid the words “No, I’m afraid we cannot…” it is even more critical to avoid promising too much and then being unable to deliver, which has proven to be infinitely more damaging to the credibility of companies and leads to disappointing customers. Here is how you can make sure you’re not following the detrimental practice of over-promising and disappointing your customers:
Understand Customer Expectations
Prior to purchase, you must first learn about your customers and understand them down to the last detail, the most important question being “What do they want?” With a lack of understanding of your customers’ expectations, you will always find yourself in a tricky situation where you may be forced to either say “no” or over-promise, both being a potential source of disappointment to customers. In order to avoid either of these, you must be able to understand what exactly it is that your customers want and expect from your business and incorporate those needs and expectations within your business plan and deliver accordignly.
Learn to politely say “No” to Customers
Even though managing the needs and understanding your customers’ expectations is a criterion for running a successful online business, there can be some unrealistic expectations of customers that you will not be able to fulfill. In spite of making sure you are doing whatever is within your power to accomplish their needs, you might not be able to always satisfy them. This is why it is essential to teach your staff to politely say “no” sometimes. It is, however, essential to learn ways of saying no, taking exceptional care of the type of words, body language and tone of voice to avoid causing any displeasure to customers. Make use of the words such as pardon, sorry, apologies, etc.
Stay Connected to Avoid Miscommunication
When you make it a point to stay in close contact with your customers via email, phone calls, direct messages or live chat, you will be able to eliminate the chances of any sort of communication lag that may otherwise present itself. For example, if a customer orders a product from your website and is told vaguely of the delivery services and upon arrival of the product is forced to pay fixed delivery charges, this will agitate your customer, especially if it wasn’t clearly stated before. Make sure whichever medium of communication you use for customer support, it is an efficient, time-saving and seamless channel of interaction which minimizes the chances of any confusion.
Train Your Staff to be Transparent with your Customers
Always make sure your employees understand the importance of not making unrealistic promises that you later cannot fulfill. It will be even more damaging for your business if one customer service representative is promising free service trial for three months and the other one is apologizing for it and stating that they have no such policy. In order to not only avoid over-promising but also prevent causing an impression of an unorganized business environment, make sure your staff of trained to be on the same page while serving customers. All your employees must understand how to manage the expectations of customers realistically.