08 Aug 2019
Sara Davies MBE, founder at Crafter’s Companion, explains why the customer always comes first.
‘The customer is always right’ – it’s the age-old saying and for your business to be successful it should be your mantra. Customers have the power to drive or grow a business and ultimately, good customer feedback and positive experiences are what will make your company stand out from the crowd. Today, there are so many different opportunities in which to connect with customers so, in theory, it should be easier than ever. Having said that, there are so many different platforms that it can be overwhelming but keeping a few key things in mind should help.
Know your customers
First of all, everything that the company does should be executed with the customer in mind. Good businesses know their customers inside out and this should be clear in everything from the products that the company sells, whether they are manufactured in-house or bought in, to the experience that they have of buying them, in addition to aftercare or refunds, should they need them.
Responding to concerns and complaints can be tricky but if done in a timely manner with a personal touch, you will find that customers will be reasonable in return. While it’s important to prepare for every scenario, you shouldn’t fall into the habit of treating every case the same.
Customer feedback is invaluable so try to turn any complaint or negative feedback into something you can learn from. It can highlight genuine areas of concern and help to improve products. It can also provide you with a useful insight into future ranges and products that customers would like to see.
Any business with an appetite to grow has a business plan to support your company’s future development. As part of that growth, you might want to target different markets and attract new customers. Having ambition and drive is key but it’s paramount that you achieve these goals with your core customers in mind. If you lose sight of loyal followers and it has an impact on the quality of products or services that you offer, it can prove to be really damaging to your credibility.
It’s also important to show customers that they are valued. It can be really simple to show loyal followers of your brand a bit of appreciation but the benefits of doing so will be overwhelming. Showing support can be as easy as liking a customer’s comment, status or photo that you have been tagged in on social media.
You could go one step further and give your customers a ‘VIP’ experience by setting up some sort of loyalty scheme where they can access discounts, giving them exclusive access to new launches or making them feel involved by keeping them updated with company news.
To connect with your customer in the most effective way, enhancing the customer experience overall should be your number one priority. Make sure the buying experience is easy as possible. If someone wants to purchase your products, they shouldn’t be deterred because of a bad customer experience at a shopping till or a complicated checkout process online.
Craft businesses especially have the most opportunity to use content to bolster a customer’s experience of your products, whether that’s exciting them with new stock or inspiring them with ideas of what to do with their products after they’ve bought them. Creating project ideas, videos, step-by-step tutorials and demonstrations don’t require days of your time or cost the earth but the response that you will get from customers will be worth every penny.