Why You Must Treat Customers Like Your Friends
Customer loyalty and customer retention are big buzz words. Business leaders are figuring out that it costs far less to increase profits with your existing customers than it costs to market to and attract new customers. It's far less sexy to focus on the people who are already doing business with you, but it works if you do this one thing.
Turn Your Customers Into Your Friends
Think about the relationships you have with your good friends. They are people you enjoy spending time with. You have something in common with them. You share good news and also help each other challenges and struggles. If they need something, you offer to help. You also know that when you treat your friends well, they'll likely treat you well in return. It's a mutually beneficial relationship.
Support, Encouragement, Love
Take these same principles that are the basis of your personal friendships and apply them to your business relationships. Your business relationships should be focused on the basis of support, encouragement, and, yes, love. You should love the fact that these people are pumping money into your business and keeping it sustainable.
But the fact remains that you are supporting your customers. They have a need or challenge that you are going to solve or help them with. They come to you for that help or solution and they are willing to pay for it. Think of how you treat your friends when they come to you with a challenge. You want them to tell you all about the issue so you know how to best help them. You try to help them in any way possible. You go through all of the skills or material things that you posses to help with the situation.
This same strategy needs to be done for your customers. Listen to what they say. Understand what their struggles and challenges are. Now being a business person, you are familiar with the products and services that you offer. Using all of your resources, put together a solution that will solve their problems, or at least make life easier.
Encourage your customers along the way in order to help them get the best out of the resources you are providing. By helping your customers to the best of your abilities, you are encouraging and helping them to be their best. When they are at their best and they know it is because of the help and encouragement you've given them, they will be a loyal customer. They'll rave about you and your business to their associates.
It's a Symbiotic Relationship
The ultimate goal is to form customer relationships based on trust and respect. When you approach your customers with the mindset of turning them into friends, you'll find that you are treating them with respect and kindness. Customers today are more savvy than ever before and know that they have options available to them that did not exist even a short time ago. They know when they are valued and respected. They know when you are genuinely trying to help them with their struggles. Because of this, they will reciprocate and bring their friends and associates to your business based on the service and help you gave them. They will turn into an unpaid marketing team for businesses that will prove to be more profitable than any marketing you may have done in the past.