We hear it all the time treat your business like a baby. And I get it—nurture it, love it, help it grow. But really, for true success, you should treat your customers like babies.
Think of all the lessons we learn from infants, from caring for infants. I’ve laid out just a few to show how you can use these lessons to keep your customers coming back.
True for babies, true for customers:
1. Assume that once you’re out of view, they will forget you. One of the things we learn about child development is that infants think you’re gone forever once you leave the room. Guess what? Once you’re out of view, your customers forget you too.
Your job is to give them a good reason—or reasons—to remember you. Excellent customer service does this. Don’t let your relationship end when they walk out the door. Get their contact information, know how they like to be contacted, and follow up in a meaningful way.
2. Act like you don’t smell the dirty diaper. Sometimes your baby smells bad, and you want to keep them at arm’s length. But you love them and want to comfort them, so you still hold them close. Your customers have flaws too, like every human. It can be tempting to point out those flaws or use them as an excuse to send your customer away. But don’t.
Instead, see problems as opportunities. Talk to your customers. Listen to them. Watch their body language and take in everything you possibly can. Then, you’ll be able to give them solutions to the problems they’ve told you about and ones they may not even know they have.
Sometimes, your angriest customers only need someone to listen to them. You may not be able to do anything. But if you care and listen and do what you can, your customer often leaves feeling good about you again. And that’s what they’ll tell their friends.
3. Make sure the people you hire to help take care of them treat them the way you would. You do your homework, you hire who you think is best. But, a glowing resume doesn’t necessarily translate into golden behavior. As a general rule though, if you treat your employees well and train them well, they will treat your customers well. And that leads to success. Don’t just take my word for it, check out Zappos and Tony Hsieh.
4. If you can’t help them, send them to someone who can. As a parent, you know you can’t always help your kids. Sometimes you have to bring in an expert. The same is true for companies and customers.
I love a company that’s honest enough to admit when your request goes beyond their expertise. I love a company even more when they refer me to someone else who can help me. I will be loyal to that company because they have shown me that they are honest and they put my needs first.
Your customers are your business. Treat your customers with the same love and care you’d give your infants, and you’ll see your customer loyalty thrive.
I could go on and on, but there’s a ton of information out there to help you improve your customer relationships. The key is you have to care.
Check out these blogs. I came across them while writing my post: Instigator Blog, Actus Blog, Zappos CEO & COO blog, and Re: Focus blog (and I swear we wrote about a similar topic this week purely by coincidence).