Love your business? Love your customers
“Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create raving fans." - Ken Blanchard
During the recent unsettled times where uncertainty, sadness and disappointment ruled, my recent airport pick up trip gave me the opportunity to think.
While I endured the normal wait at arrivals, I watched the steady stream of returning passengers and was transported back to the film Love Actually. The expressions of love and happiness on the arriving passengers faces and those of their awaiting family and friends was a welcome sight, shining through loud and proud.
This got me thinking. The simple gesture of showing people you love and appreciate them is so important in everyday life. A gesture transferable not only to close family and friends but also business, your staff and even your customers.
Not by grabbing them and hugging, recreating the airport scene, but by how you communicate with your customers, from the first point of contact throughout their journey with you.
Why do we need to love our customers?
Showing customers, you love them is thought of as part of your service not sales, however, by showing the customer they are valued and focusing on the customer experience and service you provide creates loyalty and strong supporters for the business that you love. This in turn will result in increased sales.
I will always return to a shop, café or restaurant that makes me feel ‘special’ and treats me like a returning friend and supporter of the indie community. Far more than a retailer who looks upon me as just another transactional shopper.
How can we show we love our customers?
Make it personal - People like to be treated as individuals, Blake Morgan writes in Forbes71% of consumers said they feel frustrated when a shopping experience feels impersonal.
VIP treatment - Giving your customers early or exclusive access to new products or services, or special events or offers, can be a great way to show them you value their customer status.
Token of appreciation - Offer rewards for customer loyalty and referrals by giving customers a frequent buyer's card that rewards them with points when purchases are made or surprise a customer with a gift. The offer of free shipping or simply writing a thank you note can make a customer feel special and your business stand out from the competition.
Keep everyone ‘appy’ – Like, share and retweet positive customer comments and reviews about your business, service, and products, showing the customers you love and appreciate their efforts in sharing your business on social platforms.
Calling all happy customers – By creating a dialogue with your customers show that you care and value their views and opinions and look at them as an extension to your business family. A customer panel is a great way to communicate ideas in a team environment with likeminded people with shared values and goals. People love to talk about their ideas and experiences and see how these can be transferred into reality.
Be interested in them – Talking with your customers and gaining an insight into their world, their likes, their needs and their wants brings the opportunity to match more of your products and services to them (cross sell, up-sell) A customer who you know likes to support the independent community would be keen to know of your additional locally sourced products.. A customer who has a palette for a fine wine would love to know when a new red wine has been added to the wine cellar of a restaurant. Customers love the fact that you take the time to get to know and remember their likes, wants and needs.
Thank you – Two simple words that mean so much yet overlooked. Take every opportunity to say, ‘Thank you’. A little goes a long way
Safe place –A safe business reflects both the love for your business and the love and wellbeing of your customers. Ensuring your shop, café or restaurant is welcoming, clean and safe reflects the care and attention you place on running your business along with ensuring customers are protected by Public Liability cover. Managing any risks to those affected by your business lie with you. Carrying out regular health and safety risk assessments will help you take the reasonable steps required to alleviate potential risks and keep customers safe. We at Expression Insurance can provide the specific level of Public Liability required by your individual business up to £10 million.
In short, showing your customers love, in whatever form, is crucial to a successful independent business on the high street today. Attracting, converting and retaining these extended family members forms part of your daily plan from the first welcoming smile as they cross your threshold to saying ‘thank you’ post purchased or as they leave.
As Hugh Grant says” Love actually is all around”.
If you want to find out more about how Expression supports independent business owners who love their business visit www.expressioninsurance.co.uk