Customers are your business's lifeblood. Without them, you don't have a business at all. But woo them carefully with devotion, and your business sales can skyrocket. Who doesn't love being romanced?
Want to know how to create those warm, fuzzy feelings? Use these five easy tips and make your customers love you so they keep coming back for more.
Tell the World They're Special
What do you do when you love someone? You want to tell the world how special that person is to you.
So tell the world about your customers and how special they are to you by giving them some spotlight attention. Display glowing testimonials proudly on your website. Write a blog post and mention kind words a client told you. Write a case study or success story. Talk about how much your customer's life has changed since discovering your business.
By putting your customers in the spotlight and telling the world about them, you create a win-win. You help their business get some free exposure to new clients, and you show your prospective customers that your business creates positive results.
Take this tip one step further: Write a blog post about a recent project or sale. Talk about how much you enjoyed getting to know your customer and mention what you liked — friendly attitude, pleasant manners, or even a great smile. This definitely creates warm fuzzies for anyone!
Thank Them, and Mean It
Here's an easy way to bring a smile to anyone's face: Thank them for being customers in a way that shows you really appreciate having them.
It takes mere seconds to send a customer a personal thank-you note for having trusted your business to provide them with what they want. Send a quick e-mail a week or two after the purchase, or even better, mail them an old-fashioned handwritten note. People love getting these — really.
Double-whammy your thank you note by giving a little gift. Tuck a coupon into the envelope or offer your customers a five-percent discount on their next purchase.
Remember Them So They Remember You
Out of sight, out of mind, as the saying goes — which means that dropping contact with your customers can result in them forgetting your business exists. Or worse, showing that you don't care.
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That's why staying in touch with customers over the months or even years can help retain their patronage for a long time to come. They never forget you — and they might even think fondly of you.
Don't just stay in touch; get personal about it. Take note of details that your customers share with you either while making a purchase or in conversation. Note their birth dates. Mark down the name of their pets. Jot down that your client had a big golf tournament coming up.
Then use that information to show you were paying attention to your customers. Mention Rover in an e-mail. Mail a birthday card. Ask how the tournament turned out on your next call. Your clients will love you for it.
Treat Them with Responsive Respect
There's nothing worse than being put on hold and hearing a tinny recording say, "Your call is important to us." (It's even worse if you have to wait 20 minutes for a live person to actually back that up.)
So when customers get in touch with you — no matter who they are, no matter why they're contacting you — respect them, and respond to them.
This is so easy to do, and responding to people in a personal way is actually so rare in the world of business that it pleasantly surprises people when it happens. Doing so can build huge loyalty and fond thoughts in the minds of your customers so they remember you for a long, long time.
So ditch the canned responses. Answer people who get in touch via social media platforms. Reply to e-mails, and do so personally if you can. The phone rings? Pick it up — don't let the call fall into some robotic system. It may take extra time from your day, but it's worth every minute.
Also, be personable when you talk with customers and prospects. Show them you're a genuinely great individual who is interested in them by being approachable, friendly, and pleasant. Your customers will get the chance to know you, like you, and appreciate you and your business even more for who you are.
Check in on Them, Just Because
"Hey Heather, I was thinking about you today and just wanted to drop you a note to say hi — no particular reason. Hope things are well!"
There you go, how easy was that? Sending your customers an out-of-the-blue e-mail like that can be a great way to show them you value them as people, that you care about them, and that you like them for who they are.
Business-wise, an unexpected "How are you?" e-mail opens up the lines of communication. You might find your customer replying, "I've been meaning to get in touch — glad you wrote!" and secure a new sale. You might just end up having a great conversation (which gives you extra notes about your client you can jot down and use in future communications).
Customers will enjoy the no-obligation, no-pitch contact, too. A "just saying hi" makes everyone feel better. That'll make it a lot easier for customers to remember you when it's time for the next purchase.
It all comes down to a very simple sentiment: People like to buy from people, not from faceless businesses that don't care. So show that you do, and woo your customers carefully for a devoted relationship they'll adore.
Heather Allard is a mother of three kids, Hope, Grace & Brendan — and one big dog, The Dude. She’s also the founder of TheMogulMom.com, a website for moms who run a business, raise a family, and rock both. You can find her on Twitter at @heathALL.