For any business to become a lasting success, it must satisfy customer wants and needs. Every customer comes through your doors for a reason. Understanding what they truly want and then fulfilling those needs creates satisfaction that prompts customers to come back for more and tell others about their experiences.
Companies that choose to make it their business to foster happiness in their customers are the most enlightened and successful of all. They understand successful business operations are, first and foremost, about serving people and, if possible, ensuring their satisfaction.They strive to increase the happiness, pleasure and satisfaction of the patrons who support them with their hard-earned dollars and build a base of loyal and referring customers.
One of the biggest differences between creating raving fans of your customers and not is getting the many little things right on a consistent basis. Think for a moment about your experiences and your favorite businesses — the ones you frequent often and tell others about with great enthusiasm — and how they go the extra mile to provide you with a happy and satisfied feeling.
The greeting your customers receive is vitally important because it creates a lasting first impression each time they engage your business. If the greeting they receive is nonexistent or lackadaisical — lacking in enthusiasm, genuineness, smiles and a caring attitude — your customers will be turned off from the start. Conversely, if they’re acknowledged quickly by a caring, happy, receptive and smiling person, they’ll be open to your business and what it has to offer. The greeting offers 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 served at all — they’re undervalued and neglected and they know it. This feeling will not endear them to your business. When you truly listen to your customers and train your team to do the same, they feel acknowledged, cared for and valued. The result is greater trust, rapport, satisfaction and loyalty.
When you and your team members truly listen to your customers, you’ll more accurately comprehend their wants and needs. Asking key questions will help you fully understand their desires. Paying attention to their answers will position you to offer high-quality solutions. With this type of solid communication in place, your business will meet and even exceed your customers’ wants and needs.
How mistakes are handled constitutes another important demarcation among poor, good and exceptional businesses. Errors made by your business should never become the responsibility of your customer. This is a sure-fire way to damage your reputation and lose business. It’s far wiser to own any missteps made by you or your team and do all you can, within reason, to correct the situation. The impression you leave them with will be a lasting one.
At exceptional companies, owners and team members want their customers to leave feeling not only satisfied, but also better than when they arrived. Ultimately, it’s the feeling you give customers that matters most. When people leave your business feeling better, you’ve added value to their lives. And value — quality experiences, not just good prices — is what they seek.
If all of this seems overwhelming, engaging the assistance of a professional coach or consultant can help identify your weaknesses and turn them into strengths.
All of us have our favorite places to do business. The reasons are obvious. These companies have set themselves apart by going above and beyond in satisfying us. They truly care about their products or services as well as the people who make their success possible.
Make it a priority to satisfy and even exceed your customers’ wants and needs. Commit to consistently delivering on the basics. Do it with integrity, care and gratitude. Without satisfied customers, the success and happiness you desire will prove all the more elusive.