Companies regularly advertise in magazines, newspapers, television and on the radio to connect with the public. While advertisements certainly help, word-of-mouth is also a valuable tool. If a customer is satisfied with the company, she is more likely to recommend the company to a friend. But if she is not, she will speak negatively and could potentially hurt your business. The customer may not always be right, but the customer does need to be content.
Distribute surveys either online or in print to customers after the company has finished the task that it was hired for so you can find out what worked and what didn't. Customer feedback can be discussed the next time your company does an evaluation.
Provide a "Contact Us" link or phone number so customers can talk to customer service representatives to get their questions easily answered. Be careful with automated systems. While some people don't mind touch-tone responses, others just want to speak to a real person, so if your company uses automated system, record a spot in the system so customers can speak freely and press pound after the tone.
Monitor how your company is doing with complaints on the Better Business Bureau site. Other customers may check this out to see if there are outstanding complaints and how your company handled them. If there are too many complaints, the customer could be hesitant to work with your company.
Return customers often come back because they enjoyed doing business with you or were satisfied with the service they received the first time. It is rare for a customer to pay for a service when the customer was dissatisfied the first time, unless the location is so small that this company is the only one they can work with. Even then, you want your customers to be satisfied so they won't spread the word to outside locations in case your company adds new branch locations.
Respond to customer complaints and evaluate issues in a timely manner. If the customer feels ignored, this gives him too much time to let his imagination run and assume your company does not care. The company loses business if the customer cancels the service because he doesn't want to wait on the company to respond if the time frame is too long.
Word of Mouth
Encourage customers to tell a friend about the company. Providing take-home paraphernalia like magnets, brochures, e-blasts and pens are ways for the company to remember you. Even if you don't get the business at that moment, the customer using a common product with your company name will keep it on her mind.
Sponsors pay attention to how satisfied your customers are because if they distribute money to a company with a bad reputation, it makes them look bad as well. If the customer is satisfied and the company can provide quotes and other proof from those customers, sponsors may find the company more attractive.