Your customers interact with your company at all different stages, from when they first land on your website to when they consider your company to when they buy and continue to buy from you. Customers may comment on one of your company’s social media posts or sign up for your newsletter. They may schedule a meeting with a sales rep or start a live chat conversation. Your customers may call with a question or leave a positive (or negative) review online about your company.

With all of these interactions, you have an opportunity to listen to your customers and provide the best possible care. Sophia Bernazzani, who started and managed the HubSpot Service Blog, has created a list of seven tips for making every customer interaction memorable. We share her tips in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

1. Be empathetic and grateful. Always thank your customers. If they have had to wait on a delayed order, thank them for their patience. If they shared their feedback, thank them for their time. And if they are repeat customers, thank them for their loyalty. Show empathy when customers experience frustration or issues. The issue could be losing them time or money, says Bernazzani, so listen with an empathetic ear and apologize for the headache it may have caused.

2. Diligently follow up. When your customers reach out to you for something, don’t leave them hanging. Provide a solution, whether that’s a specific educational resource or a forum for feedback. If you can’t solve the problem immediately, give them a timeframe of when they can expect a resolution. Make it your responsibility to follow up.

3. Communicate clearly. You can significantly improve customer interactions simply by being transparent in your communication. If there’s an issue with an order, for example, explain the situation, apologize and share how you will ensure it won’t happen again. If it could happen again, be clear so your customer can prepare, says Bernazzani.

4. Request feedback—and act on it. You can show that you care about your customers by regularly asking them for feedback. Send them surveys that allow them to share their thoughts. If you worry about overloading your customers with surveys, ask them for their thoughts during one-on-one conversations. This qualitative feedback can help you improve your service, notes Bernazzani, even it’s not official or on the record.

5. Aim to delight. Another way to improve your customer interactions is to surprise them with a gift or discount occasionally. Send them a thank-you note or useful promotional item, recommends Bernazzani. You could also give them a shoutout on social media to help build an emotional connection.

6. Meet customers where they are. If your customers call with a question, return their call. If they email, respond back via email. Strive to make things as easy and painless as possible by responding to them using the same platform they initially used. Bernazzani says this helps you engage with customers faster to get them the answer they need.

7. Be yourself. This means that when your customers reach out to you, talk like a human. Don’t use scripted, formal language. This can ring hollow and insincere, says Bernazzani. You can remain professional without sounding stilted.

Your customers didn’t have to choose your company, but they did. Don’t take this choice lightly. Work to improve every interaction they have with your business. This could mean expressing more gratitude, regularly asking for feedback or surprising them with a promotional gift in the mail. When you aim to improve customers’ experiences, they will begin to love interacting with your company.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Sophia Bernazzani started and managed the HubSpot Service Blog. She previously wrote for the HubSpot Marketing Blog.