Companies that make it their business to foster happiness in their customers are the most enlightened and successful of all. These companies understand that successful operations are, first and foremost, about serving people and ensuring their satisfaction. They know that increasing the pleasure, satisfaction and happiness of the patrons who support them with their hard-earned dollars will build a base of loyal customers.
The goal for any business that aspires to lasting success should be to satisfy customer wants and needs. Every customer comes through your doors for a reason. Understanding what they truly want and then providing it will lead to ongoing satisfaction. They’ll come back for more and tell others about their experiences doing business with you.
One of the biggest differences between creating raving fans of your customers or not is getting all the little things right on a consistent basis. Recalling your experiences will reveal your favorite businesses — the ones you frequent often and tell others about — are those that consistently go the extra mile to provide you with a happy and satisfied feeling.
The greetings your customers receive is vitally important because it creates a lasting impression each time they engage your business. If the greeting they receive is non-existent or lackadaisical — lacking in enthusiasm, smiles and a caring attitude — your customers will be turned off from the start. Conversely, if they’re acknowledged quickly by a smiling, happy person — one who’s receptive and caring — they’ll be open to your business and what it has to offer. The greeting is an opportunity to set the stage for success every time a customer chooses to do business with you.
I’ve yet to meet a person who didn’t want to be heard. Yet all too often, customers aren’t heard by the businesses serving them. When this occurs, customers aren’t being served at all. They’re undervalued and neglected — and they know it. This feeling won’t endear them to your business. When you truly listen to your customers and train your team to do the same, your customers will feel acknowledged, valued and cared for. The result is greater trust, rapport, satisfaction and loyalty.
When you and your team members truly listen to your customers, you’ll more accurately understand their wants and needs. Asking key questions that help you fully understand their desires and paying attention to their answers will position you to offer high-quality solutions. With this type of solid communication in place, your business is more likely to meet, and even exceed, your customers’ wants and needs.
In exceptional companies, business owners and team members want customers to leave feeling not only satisfied, but also better than when they arrived. Ultimately, it’s the feeling you give your customers that matters most. When people leave your business feeling better, you’ve added value to their lives. Value — receiving a quality experience, not just a good price — is what they seek.
Handling mistakes constitutes another important demarcation among poor, good and exceptional businesses. Errors made by your business should never become the responsibility of your customers. This is a surefire way to damage your reputation and lose business. It’s far wiser to own any missteps made by you or your team, no matter how costly, and do all you can, within reason, to correct the situation with your customers. The impression you’ll leave them with will be a lasting one.
If all of this seems overwhelming, engaging the assistance of a professional coach or consultant offers an effective means to uncovering your weaknesses and turning them into strengths.
All of us have our favorite places to do business, and the reasons are obvious. These companies have set themselves apart by going above and beyond in satisfying us. They care about their products and services as well as the people who make their success possible.
Make it a priority to get the little things right. Commit to running a business that consistently delivers on the basics. Do it with integrity, care and gratitude.
Without satisfied customers, the happiness and success you desire will prove elusive.