Did you know that your customers lie to you constantly? It's not to hurt your feelings, but usually to protect your feelings and avoid confrontation. When you ask how things are, they say, “Good! Good!” Then one day, totally out of the blue, they fire you.
The customer didn’t tell you in so many words there was a problem, but if you had paid attention, you would have seen the warning signs. Here are the 7 things customers want you to do, but will never, ever tell you about.
1. You (and your team’s) looks matter. I know, looks shouldn't matter, but they do. When a client interacts with you, they want clean, well put together people who are pleasant, positive and professional. If your office doesn't have a dress code, perhaps it's time to lay down a few ground rules, but be sure to keep it in line with your company's culture.
2. Prove to me you want our business. When you go to pitch that big prospect, are your first words to them, “Tell me about your business?” If so, you just offended them because you didn’t make the effort to learn about them. They won’t tell you that. They simply won’t hire you. Go in with all the research under your belt before you start talking. Then tell them what you know about them, and ask them to correct you where you may be wrong (which you won’t be, because you did the research).
3. You’re making things too complex. As you explain what you do (or are doing, or are going to do) for a client, keep it simple and stick to the basics. Remember, they hired you to take on a project or take care of a problem; and many don't want to know the itty-bitty details. Keep it simple. Don't confuse your client.
4. I want you there 24/7. Clients and customers like the idea that you're there for them whenever they need it, in an emergency, even if it's because of their lack of planning.
5. I want to only deal with you. Clients know that presidents and CEOs have the firepower to get stuff done, and they want to deal only with you. Try to be consistent with your interaction with your clients across the board: They definitely don't want to feel like you're passing them off to an underling in favor of a more important client.
6. A token of appreciation would be nice. Thank you gifts can go along way to showing a client you care about them, and that you appreciate their business. It doesn't have to be over-the-top expensive; a thoughtful gift goes a long way.
7. Impress me! Who hasn’t heard “we don’t have a budget”? The truth is, they do have the money—they just prefer allocating it to something else. Give them a reason to spend their money on you.
Read more articles on customer service.