My local Woolies store is suddenly caring about me in a big way!
They’re sending me love letters, showering me with love every time I enter the store, and showing their appreciation like never before. Because guess what?
A shiny new Aldi store has just opened up across the road.
We see companies doing this time and time again. They don’t appreciate their customers until the competition comes along, sweeps up their unappreciated customers and starts looking after them better. Only then does the original company start showing that they care. You may have experienced this with your bank, insurance company, or phone provider.
This bold display of customer love is admirable, some may say. Sadly though, too many companies wait until the competition starts lurking to do something about it. It’s like the guy who doesn’t appreciate his wife until another guy starts to show interest in her. By that stage it’s too late. He’s had more than enough chances. She’s already lost faith in him and feels flattered by the new guy’s attention.
Don’t wait until your competitor starts flirting with your customers to show them you care. Your relationship with your customers is like any other relationship. It takes lots of nurturing and TLC to build trust and loyalty, but the trust can be eroded very quickly.
Loyal customers are your best form of marketing; they reward you with repeat business and they tell their friends and family all about their great experiences.
The Customer is King and competition is rife! Business success depends heavily on the customer experience and if your customer is not having a good experience they’ll leave you for another. There are plenty of fish in the ocean.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Customers don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. All the stuff you know that can help your customers means little to them if they believe you don’t care about them. And believing that you don’t care is one of the major reasons that customers move on.
So how do you show your customers that you really care?
- Listen to them
I had tried to offer my local Woolies store feedback in the past, when I felt they could have done better. No one really listened. Listen to your customer’s feedback, good and bad. The fact that they are telling you, rather than the millions of people online, is a gift. It means that they care enough to want to continue doing business with you. Always have your door open for them.
- Appreciate them
Thank your customers as often as you can. Make it your policy to say thank you at the end of every phone call, and in every email. Find something to thank them for – their business, their phone call, their email, their visit, their feedback. Send them a thank you card with a handwritten note especially from you. Do something extra and surprising that they didn’t expect. Customers love feeling appreciated.
- Make sure they’re happy
Check in with your customers to make sure they are happy. Believe it or not, a sizeable proportion of customers don’t complain as such. If they’re unhappy they’ll probably just leave you, and if they don’t leave they just get grumpier, more difficult and less cooperative. You may see less of them and they may be spreading negative word of mouth about your business. Don’t wait till it’s too late, make sure they are happy with every contact.
Showing your customers that you care is not rocket science. It’s just treating them like you would a valuable relationship in your life…like a good friend. Being respectful, helpful, friendly, honest, and going out of your way sometimes to do something extra for them, without being asked.
What’s one thing you could do today for a customer to show you care?