“We love feeling special. We hate feeling like a number”
Chris Brogan touched upon this issue in his brilliant Likeminds speech in February. Chris is correct. I don’t know a single person who enjoys feeling like a number. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t like being made to feel special, even if they won’t admit to it!
For businesses then, if you want a long lasting relationship with a customer and you want them to be a true advocate for you in the future, there needs to be some thought and effort into what you can do to make them feel special.
Here are some ideas. Some are blindingly obvious, some you may not have thought of, some you may not agree with. Still, here they are:
• Reward your customers. What for? For being customers. It doesn’t even have to be part of a reward scheme – why not just randomly surprise them?
• Listen to every little detail they say. When you next speak on the phone, ask how their holiday went, ask if you thought their sports team were unlucky at the weekend, ask if they have anything planned for the weekend. Show an interest.
• Cater to their every need. If you know they will require something different to what you can normally provide, make an effort for them. Show that you care.
• Give them some publicity. If they are a great customer and there is an opportunity to shout about your relationship, then why not tell the world?
• Let them shape your business. Rather than just leaving some feedback forms and hoping they get filled in, speak to your customers and ask them how their experience could be improved. Dig deep and ask for their advice. Let them know that your business is designed for them.
• Make their experience enjoyable. Ok, even if your product is pretty boring and even if it can be matched in every department by a competitor, build something into the experience you offer which will cause an emotional reaction.
• Engage when you are not trying to sell. Even when you know it is unlikely they will need your service or product again anytime soon, get in touch just to retain your relationship.
• Call them by their name. I know this sounds blatantly obvious but every time you are in contact, whether in be face-to-face, phone or online, start off the conversation by recognising who they are.
• Refer them onto whoever can help them. If you can’t solve their problem, pass them onto someone who can. Make solving their problem the number one aim.
These are a few of things I think should be considered if you want to make your customers feel special.
What do you think? Is there anything else that you do within your business to make your customers feel special?
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