Every business in the world owes its customers respect. Making your customers feel valued should be high in your priorities. After all, if your customers don’t feel wanted or respected, they won’t come back.
Valued customers are your bread and butter. They are the individuals – yes, treat them as such – that will talk about your brand to their friends, family and co-workers. Treat them well and they’ll help your business thrive. Treat them badly and well… you don’t want to know what will happen.
Companies that put customer experience first have 60% higher profits than businesses that don’t. And a great number of those profits are coming from repeat customers. If you aren’t already, you need to start thinking about what you can do to keep those customers happy. Like, now.
Treat customers like individuals
Going out of your way to know your customers is half the battle. If you run a face-to-face business, take the time to learn their name and ask about their day. Customers are more than likely open to sharing some tidbits about their life. Be thoughtful and remember those tidbits – because if you recall them the next time a customer visits your business, they will be touched that you remembered who they are.
If you run an online business, you can still act like each customer is an individual. In social media posts, use their name and use chatty language if appropriate – make it a conversation between you. Send out personalised emails with their name included. If it isn’t an automated email, remember to say ‘Hope you’re well!’ Little gestures go a long way.
Reward your customers with a freebie
The best customer experiences in my life have come from the unexpected. For instance, I was recently abroad and the pub I went to one evening gave me the first drink on the house. I was immediately taken back by the generosity, stayed the evening and then went back the next night. Not because I was expecting the same treatment I got the night before, but because I was humbled by the staff’s kindness.
Once in a while it’s okay to give something away for free. It could be a product, a service or just some information. The point is you’re doing something that compels the customer to come back – and they will also tell their friends about what you did. Again, you’ll make your customers feel valued by your actions. That selflessness could award you a few more customers in the future.
Listen to your customers
Respect is about showing that you actually care. On the rare occasion I’ve experienced poor service from a company, I’ve got in touch with them to make a complaint. It’s not something I like to do but it happens. And too often have I felt that the companies had little interest in my concerns. For me, that’s a total no-no. It means they have sullied my feelings about their brand forever.
You have a job to listen to your customers. Not just when they complain but also when they make recommendations. Listen to their feedback and their thoughts. And if you say you’re going to take it on board, do so. Customers are wise to when businesses are just saying things for the sake of it. Make your customers feel valued by showing it.