Customers are a lot savvier than they used to be. With tools like the internet and social media at their disposal, they can do a great deal of preliminary research before embarking upon the purchasing journey. They also have considerably more expectations regarding product quality, distribution, customer service, and related touchpoints.
So, in theory, today’s customers may be harder to please than ever before.
But, in 2021 as in years past, businesses always have the potential to surprise and delight customers in unexpected ways. With the understanding that there may be no more important factor in the area of long-term customer satisfaction, here are five ways to delight customers in the new year:
1. Reach out on a regular basis.
Why wait for customers to contact you when they’re disgruntled about something? Instead, as the new year gets underway, think about “choosing a handful of customers each day and email personal, one-to-one emails to let them know you’re thinking of them and their employees,” notes the marketing agency Weidert. Your message can be brief, as long as you “show through your wording and subject line that it’s not just another automated form letter.”
2. Be proactive in offering guidance and assistance.
While the customer may always be right, it’s also true that many customers don’t understand what they truly need (and how they can benefit) from your offerings. With a deep grasp of your customers wants and needs, you can anticipate their forthcoming buying concerns, and take steps to proactively meet those needs.
“Some of the greatest products out there people didn’t know they wanted until they arrived,” notes Inc., “and now they can’t live without them.” In 2021, this could include a product or service from your business.
3. Pay attention to the little things.
Big customer-centric gestures are always a good idea, but you’ll surprise and delight customers a lot more by paying attention to the “small stuff.” According to Entrepreneur, this can encompass everything from “sending your client an article you think they’ll enjoy, shouting out their successes or public thank-yous on social media, adding a personal note to invoices, and sending small thoughtful gifts just because.”
4. Improve listening skills within your organization.
With each purchase they make, customers reveal a lot about themselves and their buying preferences. What’s more, they are quite comfortable expressing their satisfaction (or lack thereof) with your business, be it in an email to your office or a heated discussion on social media. The challenge for businesses is to enhance their capacity to understand and respond to customer feedback. (You can start by integrating a “Give us your feedback” link on your website and in your email signature.)
By listening closely, you can be more proactive in your communications and alert loyal customers about new features or benefits that specifically address their needs.
5. Make 2021 the “Year of Content.”
You and your team are the indisputable experts in your field. Why not surprise and delight your target audience by sharing industry-focused content that genuinely speaks to their concerns and challenges?
As we have noted before, establishing yourself as an expert “helps bring in more traffic as consumers … continue to revisit your content and examine new content.” In other words, when “people believe that you know what you are doing, they will be more likely to think your products/services are worth their time, and so they take the next conversion step.”
Don’t be shy about sharing the knowledge you have. Just be sure to avoid thin, fluffy blog posts or articles that fall short of the in-depth, comprehensive guides customers really want and need.
In all likelihood, 2021 will bring more unexpected challenges (and, hopefully, some business triumphs). Your business will be in better shape if it remains committed not just to meeting customer needs, but by regularly exceeding expectations and instilling long-term trust.
Learn more by registering for our free TAB Boss Webinar, “Generate Leads and Build Your Reputation through Content Marketing.”