Recently I was talking with a client of mine and she mentioned that one of her customers was complaining about her services. Her customer thought that the level of service she paid for was not what she received, so she wanted a full refund or for my client to perform the services again.
My client is a personal trainer, she really knows her stuff but sometimes she comes across a bit arrogant and cold.
We started talking about this issue and she mentioned that she would rather give her customer her money back instead of offering the services again.
Here’s where my client is missing the entire point, if you want your customer’s money, your customer will ALWAYS be right!
The issue was simple, her customer wanted to be treated right and that her money was worth it. That’s all.
We can read lots of books and articles about customer service strategies and how to build processes that will serve customers more successfully. All of these things are valuable, but if we put all of our focus on processes, systems, strategies and procedures we may lose track of something very important.
Customers are our lifelines and they are people that deserve our best efforts.
We all want to be treated right and feel that we matter, and so do our customers. Have you noticed that sometimes we tend to gravitate to people who treat us well and make us feel great?
So why not treat our customers with this level of attention and care?
Here are 5 simple ways you can make your customer feel important.
1. Your customer is a human, not a transaction.
Your customer is a human being, they deserve to be treated politely and with dignity. When addressing your customers, make an effort to address them by their names, if you’re doing a transaction with them, you have plenty of chances to get their name, so use it!
Your customer wants to feel like they’re a part of the “in” crowd. That’s why they like being invited into Frequent Flyer clubs, frequent buyer clubs or anything that provides them with discounts, special services, education or surprises.
These types of “perks” focus on the human factor rather than the transaction. The great news is that is simpler than that, you don’t need a club for your customers, just need to treat them how you would want to be treated.
2. Ask your customer for their advice.
Why not? Your customers have insights about your products and services that you don’t have, they’re looking at it from the most important point of view, theirs.
If you ask your customers for their feedback the right way, at the right time, they will give it to you. We all love to feel like we’re part of the process, and for your customers, if they’re involved in the process they may also become your biggest promoters.
Give them the chance to tell you what they think, and they’ll reward you with more business. Who knows, you might even get a great idea for a new product or service.
3. Acknowledge your customers, even prospective customers.
Look, we’re all busy, we all have family to attend to, businesses to run, but that doesn’t give us the excuse to ignore our customers and prospective customers.
If you run a brick and mortar business, acknowledge your customers by simply smiling and welcoming them as they arrive in your store. If your customer sends you a support request email, be kind enough to get back to them within a reasonable amount of time.
4. Surprise (delight) your customers.
A little extra something with their order or a hand written note would be nice. A special discount “just because” or a free sample of dessert.
I’m a big fan of BodyBuilding.com, every time I place an order they send me something for free. It could be a free sample, stickers, or a shaker bottle. Regardless of what it is, I’m always grateful and delighted, which reinforces my trust and makes me want to come back for more.
5. Have the humility to apologize when you messed up.
As a business, we have control of the transaction, which means we also have control of how we approach a situation if things go wrong; they they often do.
As a consumer, don’t you hate it when people try to prove they were right, or don’t mention that fact that the order is three days late, or the surcharge can’t be removed, or the item is out of stock.
Here’s the funny thing, when you make a mistake and then apologize (perhaps even including a surprise of some sort), your customer will love you more than ever.
Apologies and good service recoveries are so rare that you can take your customer’s dissatisfaction and turn it into loyalty.
Remember, if you want your customer’s money, make the effort to make them happy, sometimes the simplest things have the greatest impact on every customer engagement.