Customers can be demanding, but keeping them happy is crucial to your business.
It’s not always possible to provide them with everything that they want, but needs should be filled and wants also, wherever possible.
Customer satisfaction should be a key priority as it helps you retain the customers you already have, and keeps new ones coming in the door.
Here are our 5 top ways to manage your customers’ needs and wants
1. Set Realistic Expectations
It’s tempting in business to promise the earth to get a customer’s business.
Customers’ needs and wants may vary, but the likelihood is that the services you offer are limited by time, finances and resources.
Start off with honesty and you can’t go wrong. Right from your first meeting, manage their expectations by setting out what you can do, and what you may be able to do.
By all means, say you’ll try! But make it clear in person and in written communication what you can guarantee and what you can’t.
2. Make a Plan and Stick to It
To meet customers’ needs and wants you need to make it clear to them exactly what the difference is between those two things.
Part of managing expectations is making a plan with the customer, showing exactly how their needs will be fulfilled. You can then discuss the wants, and see how these can be planned for as well.
By doing this, the customer has a clear understanding of where the project is headed, who is doing what when and the expected timescales for completion.
It will be a bonus if along the way, maybe through careful budget management or completing tasks ahead of schedule, you deliver some of their wants as well.
3. Underpromise then Overdeliver
Your first goal–meet your customers’ needs, on time, and in full.
Your next goal is to fulfill their list of wants as well. As you go through these, you may feel fairly confident in your ability to deliver them too. However, don’t commit to these at the outset.
Build customer confidence by getting the job done–then go above and beyond and really wow them by overdelivering–giving them what they want as well.
4. Never Wait to be Asked
Customers rightly find it unprofessional and frustrating when they constantly have to chase businesses to find out about progress.
Always check in with your clients, even if progress is not as fast as you want it to be. By being transparent, you’ll earn their respect and trust.
They’ll know you’re in control. Let them know exactly what you’ve done and what stage you’re at.
5. Keep the Lines of Communication Open
As well as receiving regular updates from you, customers need to know you’re there for them.
Make yourself available (within reason) as much as possible to the customers. They should know how to reach you, and you should have access to the information they need wherever you are–eminently doable in the modern age.
Being available is a big deal for customers –make sure you’re not missing this easy win.
The Takeaway of Managing Customers’ Wants and Needs
The old mantra ‘the customer is king‘ is just as true today as in the past.
The customer needs to feel that they are your priority. When expectations are managed, you ensure you always deliver what they need. They’ll appreciate you that much more when you deliver what they want as well.
See how our great services can help you take your customer service to the next level today.