Are Your Customers Thankful for You?
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we are reminded to contemplate on and be thankful for what we have, not just in terms of the physical assets, but also regarding relationships and circumstances for which we can be grateful. This is a very good exercise to do; however, it’s also important to look at that question from the opposite perspective — are you making your customer’s thankful for you? Looking at this, you should ask yourself: Is your business offering the best possible service to the correct market and thus creating raving fans? If not, it may be time to look at ways that you can make your customers truly thankful for you, and so saying: “We are so lucky to be your customer!”
1. Give more than is promised. Many businesses are giving either exactly what they promise and no more — or even less than what they promise, and this just leaves the customer less than happy with the exchange. If you want to make a customer thankful for you then you should be delivering not only more and better than you promise, but also as fast as possible. When a customer feels they can rely on you in a pinch you’ll find new customers easily finding you from the latter’s recommendation. Always think of value to the customer first, and always go that “extra mile” to deliver a bit more than was expected, and you will create a wealth of grateful customers who are willing to refer you.
2. Be a true professional. This should go with out saying, but for some businesses it just doesn’t jump first to mind. In the days of the online business it has become very fashionable to sell a service then TRY figure out how to do it. That’s dangerous and the customer is the one to really lose out. A true professional knows his craft (product or service) inside out, and with this knowledge and experience he is able to see things before they happen, not only anticipating customers’ needs and the needs of the market, but preventing issues that might arise. Also, as the expert, be sure of the advice you are offering your client, and up front with them if things move into a realm you are not so familiar with. There is nothing wrong with partnering with another expert in a related field in order to service a client, but make sure you are honest with your customer if this is the case, and make the experience seemless. Clients can recognize the certainty and smoothness of service that comes from a true professional, especially when as a pro you are on top of their needs — this makes you very valuable to them.
3. Take Full Responsibility. Don’t make the mistake of assigning blame for problems or delays in a project or service either to “forces out of your control” or, worse, to the customer. This simply makes you look out of control of a situation that the customer is relying on you (and paying you) to control. If you happen to mess up, or if something cannot be done in the time or manner that you had first believed, be OK with telling the customer about it — they will appreciate your honesty. However, have this conversation prepared with a solution for the problem, or with how you will make it up to the customer in such a way that the hiccup will seem like no issue. Done with real finesse, some bumps in the road can be turned into an actual advantage to the customer.
There is one way that you can know for sure if you are doing a great job at making your customers truly thankful for you — an endless stream of leads. Thankful customers are your best “sales people,” and will refer in volume, as your most vocal advocates. Here’s another key point too: if you think that your customer will never be thankful for you, then it may be time to reconsider what your customer looks like. You could be choosing the wrong customers — people who will never be thankful no matter what you do! You should be able to please a perfect customer easily if you apply the above policies without fail. Always be thinking of making your customer thankful for you and your business will grow as a result. Then, you’ll be thankful for your customers in return.
Can you think of more of these which didn’t make our cut?
Post a comment and let us know!