by Marcus Straub
Companies that make it their business to foster happiness in their customers are the most enlightened and successful of all. Business operations are, first and foremost, about serving people and ensuring their satisfaction.
These companies know increasing the pleasure, satisfaction, and happiness of the patrons who support them with their hard-earned dollars will build a base of loyal and referring customers.
A wise goal for any business that wishes to be adored by its customers and achieve lasting success is to place a priority on satisfying every customer’s wants and needs. All customers come through your doors for a reason. Understanding what they truly want and then fulfilling it leads to customer satisfaction. In return, they’ll come back for more and tell others about their wonderful experiences.
One of the biggest differences between creating raving fans of your customers or not is getting the multitude of little things right on a consistent basis. Just a moment of reflection on your experiences will reveal your favorite businesses — those you frequent often and tell others about with great enthusiasm — consistently go the extra mile to provide you with a happy and satisfied feeling.
The greeting your customers receive is vitally important because it creates a lasting impression each time they engage your business. If the greeting they receive is non-existent or lackadaisical — lacking in enthusiasm, genuineness, smiles, and caring attitudes — your customers will be turned off from the start. Conversely, if they’re acknowledged quickly by a smiling, happy person who’s receptive and caring, customers will be open to your business and what it has to offer. Greetings offer an opportunity to set the stage for success every time a customer chooses to do business with you.
I’ve yet to meet a person who didn’t want to be heard. Yet all too often, customers aren’t heard by the businesses serving them. When this occurs, they aren’t being served at all. They’re neglected and undervalued. And they know it. This feeling won’t endear them to your business. But when you truly listen to your customers — and train your team to do the same — they feel acknowledged, cared for, and valued. The result is greater trust, rapport, satisfaction, and loyalty.
When you and your team members truly listen to your customers, you’ll more accurately comprehend their wants and needs. Asking key questions will help you fully understand their desires. Paying attention to their answers will position you to offer the appropriate high-quality solutions. With this type of solid communication in place, your business meets and even exceeds your customers’ wants and needs.
The ways in which mistakes are handled constitute another important distinction between poor and exceptional businesses. Mistakes should never become the responsibility of your customers. This is a sure-fire way to damage your reputation and lose business. It’s far wiser and more honorable to own any missteps made by you or your team and do all you can, within reason, to correct the situation. The impression you leave them with will be a lasting one.
In exceptional companies, owners and team members want their customers to leave feeling not only satisfied, but also better than when they arrived. Ultimately, it’s the feelings you give your customers that matter most. When people leave your business feeling better, you’ve added value to their life — and the value of a quality experience, not just a good price, is what they seek.
If all of this seems overwhelming, engaging the assistance of a professional coach or consultant offers a highly effective means to uncovering your weaknesses and turning them into strengths.
Make it a priority to satisfy and even exceed your customers’ wants and needs. Commit to operating a business that consistently delivers on the basics. Do it with care, gratitude, and integrity. Because without satisfied customers, the success and happiness you desire will prove elusive.
All of us have our favorite places to do business, and the reasons are obvious. These companies are the exception to the rule and have set themselves apart by going above and beyond in satisfying us. They truly care about their products, services, and the people who make their success possible. Be a business that truly cares about your customers’ experiences and thrive.