It’s one thing to make the sale…it’s an entirely different strategy when you’ve taken the time to truly make a customer happy about their purchase. Nowadays, buying products can happen in a matter of just a few clicks and seconds – but that doesn’t mean you can cut corners in helping out customers. It’s easy for a potential buyer to change their mind and go to another company, so you have to be on top of your game. Regardless of how often customers stare at computer screens rather than making eye contact with a actual salesperson, it’s still a critical part of your job to make sure customer satisfaction occurs.

Even though technology has altered the way people make purchases and expedites the process completely, you can take the classic concepts of selling and built upon them. For starters, when a customer contacts you with a question, do you answer whenever you “get around to it” the following week? Of course not! You take proper measures to reply in a timely fashion. With how quickly people hop online and offline, especially with phones right at their fingertips, you can’t wait – because THEY, too, won’t wait around for a response. Even if you’re unsure of an answer or solution right away, it’s important to let them know you’re working on it. A fast reply keeps prospective buyers more interested than if you just leave them waiting and wondering. They’ll move on before you can even think twice about it, so interact with them as soon as you can.

Once you’ve locked down the sale, the process doesn’t end there. Stay in touch with the customer, and ask how he/she likes a recent purchase. Ultimately, you want positive feedback to be near the 100% mark, but that’s a steep goal. If they’re totally satisfied, you then have a good opportunity to ask for a testimonial or positive rating on the appropriate platforms. Maybe they’re not happy – and that’s alright. Here’s your chance to see what went wrong and what can be done to improve their experience next time. Have you ever made an online purchase (and maybe didn’t see that there was a “no returns” policy), received your product, and ended up being unsatisfied? Then you contacted customer service only to get zero responses. You got stuck with the item, and you’re NEVER going to order from them again. Don’t be like that company that ignored you; view a negative situation as your shot to use the Golden Rule.

It’s also crucial to get to know your clients. Yes, you may already have a positive relationship with them, but there’s always the possibility of learning more. This falls into the research side of your job. What are your customers’ needs? What are they trying to accomplish? Is there a better way for you to help them in the future?

You can then build off of this research by directly asking your customers questions about what they’re searching for and how they’re going to use specific purchases. This may lead to you having a better suggestion for them, and in turn, they can see that you’re trustworthy and sincerely wanting what’s best for them.

Some people like good old reward points and incentives to keep shopping. Make sure your customers are aware of any deals and rewards programs your company might have available, and this will help with customer retention. (You like free t-shirts and store discounts, so why wouldn’t your clients?)

 You want to be quick, helpful, intuitive, and honest. There’s a lot of competition out there, so stick to the basic, core elements and construct a strong plan to go above today’s expectations. You can’t make everyone happy, but following these principles will guide you in the right direction.