We all like to feel special. There’s no denying that. And that’s exactly why it’s so important to show your customers that you care.
Theres no denying that we all hope that our customers know we care about them. But more often than not, in reality it becomes all too easy to focus first and foremost on the more transactional aspects of our relationship with them. As small business owners, we know that we need to concentrate on keeping the money coming in, especially at the moment, if our enterprises are to survive and grow.
But putting the financial aspects aside, why is it so important to show your customers that you care? And what can you do to make them feel valued when they engage with you and your business?
1. We all like to feel that someone is interested in us
This is just human nature I think. If someone asks how we are, or how they can help us, it makes us feel like we matter. It makes us feel like we’re valued. We feel like our presence in their lives, even if just for a minute or to, makes a difference to them.
Delivery of this first point really doesn’t need to be complicated – it really is the little things that matter. Start as simply as it gets, and ask how your customer is when they arrive. Wish them a good day when they leave. Ask them questions. Find out their story, and their reason for engaging with you. Start to build a relationship – one that’s bigger than simply the purchase that they want to make. But when you do so, mean it. Authenticity is key, as authenticity builds trust.
You can then build on this relationship over time. For example, a therapist who takes the time to remember what their clients told them at the previous appointment and follows up, makes a far better impression than one who asks everyone the same questions at every visit!
2. It’s all in the experience
Building on this a little more – whenever a customer, or potential customer, engages with you, it’s so much more than a transactional arrangement. The sale/purchase arrangement is just the tip of the iceberg. Instead, we need to focus on the feeling your customers get when they interact with you. It’s the whole encounter, from the first ‘hello’ to the final goodbye. In a nutshell – if you want to show your customers that you care, you need to create an amazing, end to end, experience to go along with the actual purchase. It’s about finding the magic formula – the magic experience – that makes them want to return. Again. And again. And again.
And a great experiece leads to customers that want to stay around! Did you know, for example, a totally satisfied customer brings 14 times more revenue to a business than a somewhat dissatisfied one?
3. Your best advocates
And customers that stick around can become by far the strongest advocates for your business! We can all talk about how brilliant we are. How special our product or service is. Why people should engage with our businesses. We do it every day through client pitches, through our websites and through our social media. But there’s nothing more valuable to your business than when a customer does that for you. Every business needs customers who can sing your praises to other potential customers. As business owners, we need to build relationships with customers who will, in turn, tell others how great we are, without you even having to ask them.
And when you show your customers that you care, you’re creating trust and loyalty. And by extension, you’re creating a (hopefully huge!) team of people who can sing your praises from the rooftops!
4. Let your passion shine through
The things you are passionate about are not random. They are your calling.Fabienne Fredrickson
I mention above that authenticity is crucial when you’re building strong relationships with your customers. And when you love what you do, your passion shines through. And with passion comes true authenticity, and an experience that your customers will love.
To put this into context – in our business, we try to embody all of this in how we work with our members and clients. We make it our mission to get to know our members and their businesses so that we can support them in whatever way they need. They know that they can contact us whenever they need us. It doesn’t matter whether they have something to celebrate or something to cry over – we’ll be right there with them.
Here’s what one of our members said about her experience with us:
They are caring, honest and so supportive, and between them, a formidable force in the realms of entrepreneurship. I have met so many like-minded women through their meetups and it really feels like we’ve got each others’ backs. Being a sole business owner can get a bit lonely at times but it feels like I can ask for help at any time… I’d just like to say to anyone that is thinking about joining a collaborative, supportive group of like-minded business people – ‘Just do it!’. You won’t ever regret it!Lara Evans, Transformed Treasures
We might even have sent our members a little treat recently, to remind them of how much we care and to say that we can’t wait until our community can get together in person again (see picture!).
But what about you? What are your tips for showing your customers you care? Share them with us in the comments!