There is currently a TV ad for a major telecom company. After the saleswomen describes the benefits of the product to her customer, he responds, “I appreciate that you appreciate me as a customer.” She responds, “Well, we appreciate that you appreciate that we appreciate you.” They continue going back and forth describing how much they appreciate each other. While the commercial is funny, the message is basic. Everyone wants to feel appreciated, including your customers. There are many ways you can prove how you appreciate your customers and make them feel good about your business.
1) Remember Your Customer’s Name: Everyone within your company who regularly interacts with customers must remember their names whether it is in person or over the phone. This small gesture tells your customers you value them.
2) Remember Your Customer’s Preferences: Does Mr. Smith walk into your diner every day at noon to order a turkey club sandwich with no mayo and a cup of decaf? Then when Mr. Smith walks into your diner, put a cup on the counter and start filling it with decaf so he can enjoy it while you prepare his sandwich. Saying “No mayo; just the way you like it” when you put the plate in front of him, lets him know you remember. If your customer has a special way they order or if they consistently order the same items, remember what they like and how they like it.
3) Invite Them to Enjoy Special Customer Events: Show your most valued customers you appreciate their business by inviting them to special events. Perhaps you can give them a special offer on items they regularly purchase or access to an after-hours sale available to a chosen few.
4) Take a Personal Interest: This one doesn’t mean prying into their private life or being nosy. It means showing a genuine interest in what is going on in their lives. Send a card on birthdays. If they mention a major life event such as a child’s graduation or a special anniversary trip, ask them about it next time you speak.
5) Support Their Business: If you have a customer who is also a business owner, refer some customers their way when you can. Chances are they’ll share some leads with you, too.
6) Solve Their Problems: Understand your customer’s needs, and go out of your way to solve them. If there is a problem, don’t ignore it or sweep it under the rug. Respect your customer by acknowledging the problem, apologizing for it, fix it immediately, and take steps to make sure it does not happen again.
7) Keep Your Promises: Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Deliver on the promises you make to your customers.
8) Remember the “Magic Words” Your Mom Taught You: Saying “please” and “thank you” still work. It is a small gesture, but it goes a long way. Bonus Tip: Include your customer’s name when you thank them believe me it will make them smile.
9) Give Back: Does your customer have a favorite charity or cause? Show your support by participating in a fundraiser by hosting the event, donating a door prize or silent auction item, buying a table as a reward for your top employees, or promoting the event to your other customers.
10) Ask For Their Feedback: Your customers are ready to give you their feedback, suggestions, and ideas. All you need to do it ask. For example, are you thinking of adding a new product? Give a sample to your best customers. Ask them to try it out, and give your their feedback. They may just save you from sinking money into inventory that won’t sell.