Delighted and loyal customers – we all want them. But first, there are a few things that your customers want you to know. Once you understand these points, they’ll be more likely to spend their money with you.
Customers have a Choice, not an obligation, to do business with you. Make them happy they chose you to spend their money with. Be nice. Say “Please and Thank You.” Engage with them. Treat them like people, not a pain in the neck (even if they might be sometimes). They are paying your salary, your mortgage, your son’s baseball team fees, your daughter’s dance lessons, etc. Need I go on?
Make things easy to understand. When you use industry jargon and acronyms, they get confused. Odds are, they are just as intelligent as you are, just speaking a different language. Map things out step by step in clear concise language and they’ll love you simply because they know how to work in your world.
Be inviting! First impressions count. Greet them like they are your most important customer. They know they likely aren’t your most important customer, but they’d love to feel as if they are. If you ignore them and pretend like they don’t exist, the revenue you hoped to gain from them won’t exist either.
They hate being misled. They love honesty. Be sure that all of your marketing and sales pitches are honest, upfront, transparent and easy to understand. Don’t hide behind the small print. Once customers feel you are hiding behind legalese or too many industry terms or small print, they’ll lose trust and confidence in you and find a competitor of yours that makes them feel safe and secure.
They don’t know how to tell you what they need you to know sometimes. Listen to them. They know what they are trying to convey, just maybe not in the terms that are second nature to you. Actively listen to them. Ask probing questions without being distracted by your phone or anything else. Give them your undivided attention. By truly listening to them, you’ll be able to help them much more than anyone else and you’ll be seen as a trusted resource.
They love getting an unexpected surprise. Giving a little more unexpectedly delights customers. Including an extra piece or complementary product, upgrade shipping (Zappos does this often), or give a helpful tip or suggestion on how to get the most out of your product or service.
They are more than happy to give you suggestions on how to improve. Ask your customers how to improve or innovate your products or company. It shows them that you value them enough to find out how to earn their continued business. After all, who better to ask for suggestions than the folks already working with your company and familiar with how you work?
Don’t make them do your job. They have crazy busy lives and the last thing they want to do is something they feel you could help them with. Do absolutely everything you possibly can to make it easier for your customer. Get everything ready, get all materials and supplies they’ll need gathered for them, have all paperwork ready to be signed and specific places and areas easily identifiable (think Post It flags) where the customer should sign. Give them a list of absolutely necessary information you’ll need from them in a clear and simple format with at least a week’s timeframe for them to gather it.
They feel like a fish out of water. Often, your customers feel out of their comfort zone, embarrassed by their lack of knowledge about your product or industry, but won’t admit it. They just want someone to look out for them and guide them along with a genuine warm spirit.
They really do think it’s all about them. And, actually, they are right. Everything in your business should be all about the customer. They want you to cater to them, to help them, to make them feel special, to feel valued for spending their money with you. So give them want they want. Make it all about them. Do that and they’ll never dream of leaving you. They’ll be loyal to you as long as you earn it.
Keep these things in mind and you’ll be well on your way to developing profitable relationships with both your prospects and current customers!
About the Author
Kristina Evey is improving the way companies connect with their customers and increase their profits, she is an accomplished speaker and trainer on Customer Satisfaction and Retention.