By: Entrepreneur
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1. Understand that nobody is perfect.

Despite their efforts, all businesses occasionally make mistakes. So, don’t hide from yours. Instead, embrace and learn from them.We survey customers at the end of projects to gauge satisfaction. We ask them to rate our performance in 11 areas of service, on a scale from zero to 10.

2. Make it easy for consumers to contact you.

Whether or not customers can communicate with a live person can make or break a business. According to PwC’s Global Digital IQ Survey, a large majority (84 percent) of customers get frustrated when contact information proves inaccessible, while 55 percent fall in love with a brand based on how easily support can be accessed.

A solid customer experience starts with open communication, so (if necessary) reorganize your website to encourage people to reach out directly with any questions or concerns. Additionally, respond to any communication, whether it be a call, Facebook message, tweet or customer review.

3. Display a detailed, diverse record of work.

American Express’ Global Customer Service Barometer reported that 59 percent of Americans surveyed said they were willing to try a new company for a better customer experience. As customer experience overtakes price and product as a key brand differentiator, it’s vital to ensure that, no matter where they look, people can see what sets you apart.

It never has been and never will be your customers’ fault if they don’t know enough about you to reach out. It’s your responsibility to make information available in a variety of venues. My company achieves this through online galleries, project highlights, a 16,000-square-foot pool park and more.

4. Encourage advocacy in any form.

Word of mouth is a key customer acquisition avenue. A Nielsen survey found that while 70 percent of consumers surveyed said they trusted online reviews, 92 percent trusted a recommendation from people in their social circles even more.

My company encourages referrals by collecting referrers’ names from new customers so we can reach out and personally thank them. We retweet and share people’s stories and pictures about their purchases, via social media, and happily provide references to prospective customers, too.

5. Overcommunicate.

Often, customers leave negative reviews when they feel ignored. In fact, how customers feel they’re being treated determines whether they’ll buy from a company 70 percent of the time, according to a McKinsey study. People now use public channels as their first form of communication after a poor customer service experience.

6. Never get comfortable.

No matter how many five-star reviews you get, there’s always room for improvement. Years of positive experiences can be undone with one unresolved negative one, and, according to HelpScout, it typically takes 12 positive ones to make up for it.

Continuously strive to be the best by doing everything possible to make customers feel proud to have worked with you

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By: Tim Murfhy


Twitter: @Entrepreneur