As a business, you’re often faced with a dilemma of how to treat your customers. Do you apologize and assume guilt even when you’re not at fault? How long do you tolerate a bad customer? How do you deal with friendly fraud?

No, the customer is not always right, and to ensure the survival of your enterprise, you need to abandon this outdated concept.

This doesn’t mean being combative, confrontational, and argumentative. You still need to placate your customers. So, how do you achieve all of that? Here are a few tips to help you out. 

  1. Know your product or service

If you don’t know the characteristics of your product or service, you’re missing out on many potential sales and embarrassing yourself in customer support situations. 

Imagine finding yourself in a situation where a potential customer asks you a very basic question that you can’t answer. They can come to one of the two conclusions:

  • You’re not very good at your job
  • You have no idea what you’re selling them

There’s even a third option where they suspect you know but don’t want to tell them. Either way, they have a good reason not to engage with you further. By learning more about your product/services, you’ll have an easier time leaving a good impression.

  1. Get a CRM

You must know who you’re talking to in order to interact well with your customers. The quickest way to get there is to find a good CRM (customer relationship management) tool. There are plenty of amazing options for desktops, but there are also a lot of amazing CRM to use on mobile.

A CRM tool centralizes all the customer data, analyzes their behavior, and gives you unique insights into their preferences. Simply put, your customers leave small hints on how they want to be treated through each interaction. CRM helps you pick up on those hints, analyze them to turn them into actionable information, and make them available on demand. As its name suggests, it’s the ultimate tool to help improve your customer relationships.

    2. Train your team

In many companies, customer service representatives are the only ones who get customer sensitivity training. This can potentially backfire, and it’s an eventuality that you want to try and prevent.

Still, you also need to be there for your team post-training. They need to know they can trust you. They need to know that you have their back. 

No, the customer is not always right, and you can’t afford always to take their side against your team. This would increase your talent abandonment rate and quickly run your entire enterprise into the ground. Remember that some customers are not worth keeping, especially when your team is the collateral you must pay for.

    3. Understand friendly fraud

Not every customer is to be trusted. Some are out there to trick you. They will order a product, use it for a while, and then falsely claim it’s faulty or broken upon arrival. If you have a particularly bad return policy and aren’t clear that they must return the product, they might keep it and just say it was non-functional, requesting a chargeback. This is incredibly expensive for your business.

The reason why this is called friendly fraud is because there’s no account takeover involved. This means that you’ll never know for sure if it’s an honest mistake or a bad intent on the side of your customers. Still, you must do something since consistently losing money and products is never worth it.

    4. Work on returning customers

Return customers make up most of your profit and will likely become brand ambassadors. While some people return of their own accord, you might also want to work actively on getting them to come back.

Post-sale follow-up is one of the ways you get there. When they finish their purchase, hit them up. Tell them you’re grateful for their purchase and appreciate them as a client. While post-sale follow-up usually contains a follow-up offer (upselling or cross-selling), this doesn’t have to happen immediately. It’s more effective if it doesn’t. 

    5. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to maximize the value of the offer

Just because you’re hoping to make more money from the customer in the future, this doesn’t mean that you don’t care about making money right away. Why not try cross-selling and upselling? 

It needs to make sense for this to work and not seem forced (hard sell). What you’re aiming at is something closely related to the product they’ve just bought or a product they looked at before they made a purchase. This is where all the data you’ve collected comes in handy. 

     6. Start a customer loyalty program

You can also try to give your customers an incentive to come back. A points system is one of the ways to do so. For instance, for every purchase they make, they earn several points (proportionate to the value of the purchase).

This is a strong psychological trick because your customers will feel uneasy about letting these points go to waste. They might buy from you to redeem these points for a discount even if, from a purely financial standpoint, it would make more sense to buy someplace else. A points system gamifies the customer experience, making it more immersive and rewarding. 

    7. Use positive language

Use positive language when interacting, making social media posts, or creating content. While fear can be quite powerful, it’s not a very good motivator or an emotion you want your brand to be associated with. 

Sure, FOMO is powerful, but it can’t work indefinitely. You’re aiming for longevity, so adjust your strategy to this.

This is especially important when making a CTA (call to action). CTAs are affected by everything from the shape and size of the button to the word you use on it. Study this a bit before using it in practice, and don’t be afraid to run A/B tests to find the most effective version.

    8. Reach out in every way possible

According to the rule of seven, you must interact with your customers at least seven times before they contact you. Now, if they see the same ad seven times, this is one thing, but what happens if they see a banner, a billboard, or an online ad and hear a radio commercial? Whenever you hear something from multiple sources, it automatically sounds far more legitimate.

So, getting a vinyl banner is a good idea, even in a digital age. The same goes for slapping your corporate logo on a company vehicle that will travel all over the city and spread your brand recognition.

Remember that even old-school marketing methods, like TV commercials, newspaper ads, etc., are not completely outdated. 

    9. Show appreciation

You would be surprised at how much of a difference a small gesture from a brand makes. Sure, customers know you’re doing this for your gain, but even so, it evokes a positive emotion that they’ll associate with your brand. 

Even a thank-you note or email can make a difference. A hand-written note is even more effective, although it’s less convenient and takes more time. Most importantly, you show appreciation to your customers by responding as soon as they reach out. 

While each customer is an individual, customer relationships require a consistent strategy

You must treat all your customers the same, at least at first. You must be cordial, open, and helpful, but avoid being threaded. Not all customers are worth keeping; sometimes, bending over backward is not worth it. Assuming that all your customers are honest or act in good faith is naive and has caused a few enterprises to shut down indefinitely. Leverage data and adjust your approach to each user. 

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