It’s so simple but such great advice. If you want your customers to love you, you need to love them first.
“The reason we love our parents is because they loved us first. Every single company should take this advice.” – GARY VAYNERCHUK
Think about the companies you love. You love them not only because they offer you a great product but because they value you as a customer and you know it. They treat you right. They go to great lengths to keep you happy. And they never forget to tell you how thankful they are for your business. I bet you’re thinking about a few of your favorites right now. How do they make you feel loved, wanted and happy to return to them again and again? How can you give that same feeling and experience to your customers?
Let’s go back to the parent analogy again… but let’s take it one step further. It’s not just that your parents love you, it’s that you KNOW they love you. They show you how much they love you. They make you feel special. They tell you how thankful they are for you.
What about your customers? I pretty certain you love them but the question is… do THEY know you love them?
What can YOU do to make your customers feel this way? It’s pretty basic stuff:
- First and foremost, provide your customers with what want. How do you know what they want? Ask. A few ways to do this: ask for ideas at point of sale on your Facebook page, start a discussion on Twitter, solicit their feedback with surveys, create a focus group.
- Listen to your customers. When you get their feedback, take it seriously. They know firsthand what your customers want and need. They are a valuable asset. Treat them that way. Show them that you’re listening by honoring reasonable requests, implementing great ideas, rewarding them and thanking them for their feedback.
- Train your staff to care about your customers as much as you do. Instill a culture of exceptional service. You need to engage your frontline staff, the people customers see and speak with every day. It is so important to deliver exceptional service at every interaction. This may just mean creating a few simple guidelines for employees to follow when dealing with customers.
- Treat your customer right. Be genuine when you interact with them. Talk to them as you would in person. Ask their name. Tell them your name. Being genuine is being likeable. And always be respectful. That means being patient when they have an issue.
- Build trust with your customers every chance you get. That means follow through, follow through, follow through. Honor what you say. It also means open communication. Always communicate the good and bad with your customers. Fix problems in a timely manner when they arise. Apologize if that’s what you need to do.
- Stay in touch with you customers. This means maintaining an active social media presence, writing to your customers, making it easy for them to reach you, meeting them in person. Be creative. Above all, be authentic and connect on a personal level.
- Value your current customers. Remember that song from your childhood: Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold. Pay attention to your loyal customers. Offer them incentives for their loyalty. Personalize your loyalty programs. Don’t neglect them in your efforts to attract new customers.
- Always thank your customers. Make it a policy that everyone says “thank you” to customers.
Remember that all business is personal. Treat your customers the way you want to be treated. Love them first and they will love you back. The key to good customer service is creating personal relationships, building trust and love.