Taking Care of #1

By Sabrina Risley

Yes, you are #1 in your “personal” world.  You must take care of yourself before you can effectively take care of anyone else.  But who is #1 in your professional world? Your customer!  Taking care of our customers is crucial if we expect any chance of sustaining a successful business.  You’ve heard it said before… it’s easier to keep a customer than it is to gain a new one.

So what does it look like to take of #1, the customer?  The picture may vary by business, yet in all cases, it doesn’t stop at simply making sure your customer is happy with their purchase. 

Here are 5 things you can do to go beyond to take care of your customers. 

Give them more for their money.  Customers have a bottom line expectation when they make a purchase.  Consider how much you would blow their socks off if you delivered more than what they paid for.  This doesn’t mean giving them free product but rather giving them more value for their money.  I enjoy telling the story of my experience at a gas station not too long ago.  I pulled up to the pump in a snow storm. I swiped my credit card and as I reached for the pump, the gas station attendant rushed to my car to handle the pump before I could dirty my hands.  He told me to get in the warmth of my car.  He proceeded to wash down my windows, replaced the gas pump and asked me if I wanted my receipt.  I received “full service” and the convenience and warmth of sitting in my car.  Now that’s added value.

Take time to get to know them personally.  The default of many is to keep an arm’s length distance from their customers.  The reality however is that our customers want to have a more personal relationship with us.  Don’t shy away from personal conversations but instead, find out what your customer enjoys doing in their personal time.  Send articles and web links they might find interesting based on what you learn about them.  Send them a coupon or gift card to their favorite restaurant or entertainment venue.  When you send a card, choose one that depicts their hobby.  All this shows that you have listened, have taken the time to get to know them and have thought about them as more than just a source of revenue.

Connect them to others.  Has your customer expressed a pain, need or frustration?  Whether it is related to your business relationship or area of expertise doesn’t matter.  Who or what service do you know about that can provide assistance.  For example, your customer is moving residences and has expressed frustration with finding a moving company they can trust.  Do you know someone who just moved or do you know a realtor you can call to get a recommendation on a moving company?  Make a few calls and connect them with someone who can ease their pain.

Deliver on promises and commitments.  When you say you will call, call.  When you give a deadline, meet it.  If you foresee missing a commitment, pick up the phone and give your customer a heads up.  Don’t hide behind email. If you’ve missed a deadline and neglected to inform them in advance, don’t over-explain, get defensive, blame or provide excuses.  The missed deadline will have less of a negative impact and your customer will actually appreciate your honesty and candor in taking the blame if it’s your burden to take.

Let them know how important they are to you.  This can be as simple as making sure your customer knows you value their business, because without them, you wouldn’t be in business. If you haven’t been in touch in a while, reach out to them and express your intention to be in touch more often and to be of better service to them.  Send them a confession letter of sorts.  Then keep in touch by phone, email, letter or card on a regular basis.  This one small action goes a long way.  I like to use Send Out Cards to keep in touch by mail with my customers.

Everyone wants to feel special.  Select one of the previous points and incorporate it into your business process so that it becomes a second-nature activity.  In doing so, you will set yourself apart by taking better care of #1, your customer.

(c) 2010 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

~~~~~~~~

Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking and referral group organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range, as well as referral groups that attract professionals who network to give rather than get.  You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business.  To learn more about Behind The Moon, please visit http://www.BehindTheMoonInc.com

%d bloggers like this: