by Barry Silverstein
"Loving your customers" is a concept that at first glance may seem a bit over the top, but customer service pundits agree that showing customers some love is a legitimate way to engender customer loyalty as well as set a company apart from its competitors. What it really means, of course, is offering customers a level of service that goes above and beyond the ordinary. It's treating customers the way you would like to be treated. It isn't just satisfying customers, it's delighting them.
One of the simplest ways to show the love is to treat a customer like an important friend. In a retail environment, that may mean using the customer's name and personally advising the customer on merchandise. Online, it could mean making the order process easy, providing customized suggestions, and offering customer-only benefits or preferred pricing.
In their book Wired and Dangerous: How Your Customers Have Changed and What to Do About It, Chip Bell and John Patterson offer real insight into why it's important to make customers feel special. They list twenty specific things contemporary customers want, including:
- "Make me smarter"
- "Help me do it myself"
- "Make the response fast"
- "Help me customize the experience"
- "Entertain me"
- "Respect my time"
- "Never take me for granted"
Notice that all of these things are in the voice of the customer. It's a voice you should listen to -- because without showing your customers some love, you have no business.
Barry Silverstein is a brand marketing expert. He has written numerous 123 eGuides on branding, product launches, and sales leads, available here. He also teaches an on-demand online course, Big Brand Strategies for Small Brands. Regularly $39, you can take the course is available until February 28 at the special price of just $19. Simply visit www.bigbrandstrategiesforsmallbrands.com and use the code newyear13 to take advantage of this offer.