All the hard work you’ve invested in your business over the years has taken you this far. If you want to continue to go even further, you’ll need to put more work in.
Coming into a new year, the work you do should demonstrate that you recognize that technological advancements and a competitive landscape have increased the expectations your clients have. Take some notes from the past to help bring you into the present.
Research Your Competition
Your strategy should be based around the trajectory of your biggest competitors. Look for press releases or general updates they’ve posted regarding what they have in store. Are you prepared to counter that? Do you have an answer to what they’re doing, or even better, an improvement? You don’t necessarily need to have that answer ready to go at the beginning of the year, but it’s never too soon to start working on it.
Use Your Data to Your Advantage
Things often begin one way and end another. You might have had a clear portrait of the demographic or area you were attempting to reach, but the universe had other plans. A thorough review of your business data can show you where you currently stand. It’s important to know how far you’ve shifted from where you were when you started. Use your findings to help create a tailored strategy to promote future success.
Give Instant Service
Customers and clients are a lot less patient than they used to be. Before technology became a vital part of our everyday lives, people were used to waiting days or even weeks for a support or service response. Everything is digital and fast paced now. People want answers to their questions and help with their problems immediately.
Amp up the capabilities of your social media team. Have more people available to respond to comments and questions, even if they’re only redirecting people to the proper channel for specific comments and questions. If it’s feasible to do so, consider offering live chat support to your clients who have questions about products or services you offer or have provided for them.
Rise to Your Commitments
One of the worst things a client can experience is feeling as though they waited a long time for something that doesn’t seem as great as it was made out to be. The best way to prevent clients from having that negative experience is to give them more than what they asked for sooner than they were expecting to receive it. Give yourself some wiggle room with timelines and deadlines. If you run behind, you still won’t be late. If you have extra time, you can devote it to exceeding client expectations.
Demonstrate Your Growth
Keep innovating. The products and services you provided last year are likely going to be very similar to (if not the same as) the ones you’ll be providing next year. Similar is the keyword, because you don’t want them to be exactly the same. If advancements in your industry have made innovation possible, embrace innovation. If one small change can put you closer to the cutting edge, making that change is an excellent decision.
Apply Feedback From Last Year
Optimistic clients might give second, third, or even fourth chances when things don’t go exactly the way they’d envisioned. They shouldn’t have to come back hoping that issues they’ve encountered will finally be fixed. Great businesses collect feedback and use it to shape their futures. Look for common threads within your feedback. Make the good things even better, and make the bad things go away. It shows that you’re listening and that you care.
Businesses that are loyal to their clients often find clients who are loyal to them. Listening to their wants and preemptively understanding their needs will keep them coming back for more than just 2019 – they may continue to come back forever.