5 Ways You Can Be Certain Your Customers Feel Appreciated

Posted on Sep 27th 2016 under Customer Satisfaction

To help your limo business grow, you should always start with a simple question: "How can I get better?" Customer feedback is incredibly important: It will help you understand and answer that question because of powerful insights your customers have about you and your competitors. Feedback provides a window into the experience you're really delivering and uncovers valuable details about your business from a perspective you may not see — the perspective that is most important. Whether it is a review, online survey, follow up email, phone call or just a simple inquiry "How am I doing," gathering evaluations is a great first step. But it can't stop there. In order to show customers, you truly appreciate them, you must take that feedback seriously, show them you hear them and act on it. Taking the time to prove to your customers that their assessments are taken seriously makes them feel more appreciated, and in turn, more likely to become happy customers and refer your limo business.

So how can you show your customers that you care? Here are three ways to make your customers feel heard.

1. Make it personal

In Setting the Table, restaurateur Danny Meyer, who is known for personally responding to customer feedback in his early days, said, "The customer is not always right. But they must always feel heard." One way to keep customers happy is to respond to their complaints, critiques and praise with personal, unique replies. It's easy to detect a canned response from one that actually addresses the customer's unique situation and concerns, so make sure each response is personalized.

To make a customer feel heard, talk to them the way you would to someone in person, not the way you would in a press release. Address them by name and make sure they know who you are and who they're talking to — nothing is more impersonal than a faceless business. One company that excels at this is American Express, who responds to concerns addressed on Twitter promptly and in a friendly manner, signing the tweet with the name of the employee who is responding. Communicate what you're doing as a company to address their issue and any changes that will take place as a result.

2. Get management involved

Especially if there's a negative review or customer concern, feel free to involve management to show how seriously you take complaints. Findings from a survey published in Hospitality Technology revealed that "almost all respondents (90 percent) say they would likely return to a restaurant where they had a bad experience with food or service if they had the ability to communicate directly with management and felt their concerns were taken seriously and there was an effort to make it better." Showing that those even at the top care about their customer's concerns — enough to roll up their sleeves and get involved in resolving any issues — creates goodwill among your most vocal customers, and can turn them into some of your most ardent fans.

3. Show them you care

Go above and beyond to show your customers that you care and you're sorry for any shortcomings in their experience with your business by providing them with a tangible thank you. For restaurants, giving a free appetizer or extra dessert on the house is a common and effective way to show them you care and want them to have a better experience. Whatever is appropriate and complements the service you offer, a voucher, gift or a coupon can go a long way in showing how much your value your customers and can be a great way to get them back in the door.

While soliciting feedback and reading what customers have to say is a great first step, it's not enough just to stand idly by. Listening to customer feedback and following through will help you create a better customer experience and lifelong customers.

4. Create an early-access program

One way to reward loyal customers is to give them something exclusive. It could be giving them access to a new service/package that hasn't officially launched to anyone else. Or it could be offering them some new service that's not open to the general public yet. Many tech companies, such as Google, offer consumers the opportunity to be part of a beta release of a product. Consider setting up a similar program where loyal customers can sign up to be the first to hear about new products and services. With email marketing software and a team, you can create a separate email list for people who sign up.

5. Provide them the VIP event treatment

Similar to giving customers first access to a new service, inviting customers to a special event can be a great way to spread some positive goodwill and get people talking about your limo business. You could hold a wine and cheese event (it's a thought), a charity event to support the local community, or a celebration event for a holiday. Encourage your customers to bring friends and family too - this could introduce a whole new audience to your business. With an online registration tool, customers can sign up to attend in advance and also provide information about other guests that will be joining them.

The simple act of making customers feel like they are part of something exclusive can be a big help in building trust and loyalty with your audience.

As a business person, you know that your most important asset-by far-is your customers. But how often do you take the time to say thank you and reward them for everything they do for you? Small steps to show customers appreciation and reward loyalty can go a long way in building and sustaining these fruitful relationships.

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