By Susan Guillory

When you don’t deliver what a customer expects in a timely manner, you risk them being unhappy and even taking their business elsewhere. On the other hand, when you go above and beyond, you enchant your customers and make them happy to continue to support your business. Here’s how you can exceed customer expectations with your business.

Beat Deadlines

I’m a writer, and I’m a fast one. My clients are always pleased at how quickly I can turn around assignments. But I have one secret trick to this: I set a deadline I know I can beat. If I know I can turn the article around in a day, I give a 2-day deadline. That way, I turn in work before they even expect it. For me, this has become what sets me apart from my competitors.

If you’re in retail, you could apply the same concept by offering super-fast shipping at no additional charge.

Deliver More Than Promised

Imagine how excited your customer would be to get a free gift with her order. Not only does it make for happy customers when you give them something extra, but it also introduces them to other products they might not have considered.

If you sell products that you can provide samples of, this is a great strategy to give them just enough to want more.

Provide Value in Your Marketing

Rather than pushing your products in your emails, blog posts, and social media, focus instead on sharing useful and informative content that your audience will appreciate and share. The better you know your customer, the better you can deliver targeted content.

A customer that enjoys what you publish on your blog or share on social media is one that’s more likely to buy from you again.

Talk to Them

How can you know what customers want if you don’t talk to them? Send a survey to understand what they’re looking for in your type of products, what they think of your brand, and how you could better serve them. Then use this information to blow their minds with your stellar customer service.

You can also use Twitter as a sort of survey tool to get the same feedback.

Thank People Who Review Your Company

If you have a listing on Yelp or similar customer review site, make sure to read every review and respond to each one. Send a private note to anyone who raves about your brand, and consider offering them a freebie (free meal, gift with purchase) as a thank you. You can do the same thing with people who tell others about you on social media.

It’s not difficult to get customers to adore you. Unfortunately, the bar is set pretty low by other companies, but that makes it even easier to make customers love you and come back for more!