Important Customer?

Making Customers Feel Important

by Kevin Eikenberry

Customers are people first. This means that each of your Customers, like everyone else, wants to feel important..

It's a universal truth - we all want that feeling, and will gravitate towards those that make us feel that way.

Here are seven ways that you as an individual, regardless of any corporate policies or systems, can make Customers feel more important, written from the Customerís perspective:

Please use my name. I know I may have a Customer or registration number and that I might need to give that to you.

But I also know that once you put that number in the system, you know my name. Use it. If I hand you my credit card, now you know my name too. Please use it.

I want to be a part of the ďinĒ crowd. Thatís why I like being invited into Frequent Flyer clubs, frequent buyer clubs or anything that provides me with discounts, special services, education or surprises. If you have this kind of club, invite me to join. If you donít have one yet, please think about starting one.

Ask me for my advice. I have an opinion, and if asked in the right way, at the right time, when I know you really care about the answer, Iíll give you that advice. Opinion cards may be OK, but I would love to be asked personally.

Give me the chance to tell you what I think, and Iíll reward you with more of my business. I donít often get asked for my opinion and it feels good. And who knows, you might even get a great idea for a new product or service.

Acknowledge me. I know you are busy sometimes. I can see the line. I even understand that your system might be down, or that you have five people in the phone queue. Iíve been there, I work too. But when I call or come by, acknowledge that I am there and let me know you are glad Iím in the line.

A smile and a hello, or a ďWeíll be with you shortlyĒ will go a long way. Acknowledge me and Iíll understand. Ignore me, and well, how do you feel when youíve been ignored?

Surprise me. A little extra something with my order or a hand written note would be nice. A special discount ďjust becauseĒ or a free sample of dessert. It doesnít have to be a big thing, and it doesnít have to be every time. If you get a good surprise, do you want to share it with others? Me too.

Apologize. I hate it when people try to prove they were right, or donít mention that fact that the order is three days late, or the surcharge canít be removed, or the item is out of stock. But again, I know things do happen.

When things do go wrong though, please give me a simple apology. Hereís the funniest thing. When you make a mistake, and then apologize (perhaps even including a surprise of some sort) Iíll love you more than ever. Apologies and good service recoveries are so rare that you can take my dissatisfaction and turn it into loyalty, if you will do this right.

Listen. Most all of the other things Iíve told you require you to listen. I can tell when you are really listening to me and that makes me feel very good Ė because true listening is rare, sometimes even at home.

Listen to my concerns. Listen to my ideas. Listen to my order, so we donít have any misunderstandings. When you really listen, you canít believe how good that makes me feel.

All of us can do most of these things each day. When we do we will make our work more enjoyable, easier, and quite likely will begin creating legions of loyal Customers immediately. 


About the Author

Kevin Eikenberry is a leadership expert and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a learning consulting company that helps Clients reach their potential through a variety of training, consulting and speaking services. To receive your free special report on Unleashing Your Potential go to www.kevineikenberry.com or call us at (317) 387-1424 or 888.LEARNER.