Businesses have a lot of goals. Poll a dozen business owners on their biggest focal point and you’ll get a different answer from each one. But if you were to really drill down and poll them on some of the things that they believe are most critical to their long-term success, you’d find that customer satisfaction ranks near the top every single time.
The problem with customer satisfaction is that it’s elusive. Very few businesses are able to consistently make customers feel special and cared for. If you can do this, you’re light-years ahead of the competition.
5 Ways to Make Customers Feel Special
Not sure where to start? Here are some practical suggestions that will allow you to start prioritizing customer satisfaction above all else.
1. Make it Easy on Them
“Zappos sets the gold standard for online customer care,” marketer Eric Siu believes. “They not only provide a 365-day money back guarantee, but free shipping both ways as well, should consumers decide to return or exchange products purchased on the site.”
Zappos doesn’t offer these generous policies just for the sake of being nice. They’re doing so because they know that customers crave easy and effortless shopping experiences. Both the money back guarantee and free shipping make it easy for customers to shop with Zappos. The result is higher satisfaction and repeat business.
2. Show Personal Attention
Customers want to know they’re special, not just another dollar sign. The quickest way to satisfy a customer is by showing them personalized attention. This could be as simple as calling someone by their name when they walk in the door, or as complex as building a platform that recognizes shopper preferences and provides tailored search results based on past behavior.
3. Give Thanks
The fact that a customer chooses to do business with you over the competition is a privilege – not a right. Customers intrinsically know this and like when you acknowledge such.
While you can always give a direct “thanks,” the best expression of gratitude doesn’t need any words. “Often the best way to tell customers you’re thankful for their business is to do a good job,” First Bank explains. “Treat their business with respect. This might mean taking extra care with the cake you’re baking, or taking a few extra minutes to make sure their car is spotless. Do the kind of work you’d want someone to do for you, and you’ll show them how much you value their business.”
4. Accept (And Act Upon) Feedback
Think about how special it makes you feel when you tell your spouse how much you like a certain dish and they cook it for you that very night. You gave feedback and they listened. Well, this concept holds true in the business world. By asking customers for feedback and acting on their suggestions and requests, you can make them feel special.
5. Smile Often
A smile goes a long way towards making people feel special, so flash those pearly whites early and often when engaging customers. Run an online business where you don’t directly interact with customers face-to-face? You should still smile. Research shows that people can perceive a smile in a voice, even when talking on the phone.
Make Customers Fall in Love
What do you do when you’re falling in love with someone? You want to make them happy, right? The goal is to make them feel special and cared for – like they’re the only one in the room.
When it comes to customers, you should treat every one of them like you’re falling in love. Make them feel special at every touch point along their journey. If you can do that, you’ll have no trouble building a successful brand.