No matter what type of business you’re in, you’re likely to have competitors. And in today’s fast-moving world, it’s important to distinguish yourself from the competition in order to get an advantage in the marketplace. One way to get a leg up on the competition is to let your customers know that you actually value and care about them.
Although huge corporations and even small businesses may sometimes find it difficult to present a caring face to customers, there are ways to show them that their patronage matters. After all, if you treat a customer right, you’re likely to have a lifelong customer.
1. Realize the Customer’s Always Right (Even When They’re Not)
If your business is like most, you’ve had the occasional customer who’s not thrilled with your product or services. Even though you may feel the customer is in the wrong about an issue, it’s important to let them know you understand their frustration and will do your best to resolve whatever problem they have.
Keep in mind that customers have friends and family, and they’re sure to pass along any negative experience they have with regard to your business. In fact, they’re more likely to share a negative experience with a business than a positive one.
2. Friendliness Counts in Business
Remember that customers aren’t just walking dollar signs. They’re people with emotions and feelings just like you. Some are in a great mood and others have just had a fight with their significant other. Regardless of the customer’s attitude, your contact with customers should be positive and uplifting.
After the customer concludes business with you, they should leave your establishment feeling as if they matter to you. Once a good rapport is established with customers they can do business with you feeling their money is well spent. And customers are likely to share their experience with others when they receive outstanding customer service.
3. Everyone Loves a Gift
Whether it’s Christmas, a birthday, or some other special occasion, everyone loves getting gifts. And your customers are no different. Keep in mind that gifts to customers don’t have to be anything extravagant, just something that shows them that they’re important to you.
Types of gifts you might consider are:
- Gift cards
- Items for personal use
It’s been shown that there’s actual psychology to gift-giving. As it turns out, giving gifts benefits the giver just as much as the recipient.
4. Request Feedback from Customers
Every business has an idea of how they’re doing, but without asking customers and receiving feedback they really don’t know. Receiving feedback from customers allows businesses to see where they’ve been successful and where they need to make improvements. It also shows customers that the business cares enough to get their opinions.
Customer feedback can be obtained in a number of ways:
- Providing customers with an email address is a quick and efficient way to receive feedback
- Businesses may also want to provide a phone line specifically for complaints
- Feedback may also be obtained through questionnaires and surveys
5. Provide a Quality Product
It may seem obvious, but perhaps the best way for a business to show customers they care is through providing a quality product or service. This shows customers that you take pride in your work and value their hard-earned money. In this fast-food, get-it-now age, quality is something that is sometimes overlooked by businesses. But I guarantee you customers take note of it.
Bad quality in a product or service can be a business killer. And it’s something that customers will be sure to let their friends and family know about.
Seeing the Big Picture
It’s sometimes difficult to stand out in the marketplace with competition coming from around the globe. But letting customers know that their patronage is appreciated will go a long way in giving your business an advantage over the competition. Remember, it’s not only about what you do for your customers, it’s also about how you make them feel.