Have we often heard phrases like ‘The Customer is King’ and ‘The Customer is Always Right? These phrases have undoubtedly been around for a while but are they still pertinent in this dynamic sales and marketing environment?
When you refer to your customers as kings, you inherently place them on a pedestal, a place of high regard. And more often than not, this can cause issues.
As yourself, would you be able to relate to a king or a friend? Who would you better understand and be able to offer value and help?
Have you ever had a customer drag you on for months without payment, and there was NOTHING you could do about it? This is something most business owners are familiar with.
Have you ever wondered why this happens? You keep your part of the contract and deliver on schedule, but the customer takes their own sweet time.
Is it because we treat our customers like kings, agreeing with everything they say? We comply with their request. We go out of our way to impress them! Yet we forget about ourselves in the bargain. You wouldn’t do this with a friend, would you?
While customer satisfaction is vital, and your services and products need to offer value, you need to have an equitable relationship with your customers. You need to put yourself in their shoes and show them the necessary solutions while maintaining your respect, and you can better achieve this if you’re their friend rather than view them as kings.
Customers that don’t receive value often leave. And there’s a cornucopia of businesses available to them, so it isn’t their loss.
Here are 5 tips you can incorporate to treat your customers as friends
1. Treat them as equals
The first thing to remember is that your customer is not a king! He is only a professional friend. After all, casual has replaced formal!
The more you exalt them, the more there will be a disparity! Find a perfect balance where you respect and help them while they don’t look down on you. The critical point is that you are both equals!
2. Take immediate action
Offer quick responses and solutions rather than blame. Sometimes things go wrong, but apologies are meaningless unless followed by action. ‘Actions speak louder than words, so ensure that your actions follow through when it comes to your customers.
3. Be authentic
Another thing you can do to improve the situation is to be authentic! When you’re faking anything, others can tell, and no one loves a phoney!
Be genuine, authentic, and concerned about your customer, and then watch how they treat you.
4. Be empathetic
After identifying your customers, start putting yourself in their shoes and ensuring that anything you’re doing is “customer oriented.” Customer segmentation is an excellent place to start. Understand the various customers you work with and adjust your approach to them. You can indeed ‘WOW’ your customers after you understand them.
So, if you or any of your team members ever think or say, “That’s not how we do it,” you’re possibly not putting the customer first.
5. Hold on to customers
You’ve heard of this one. So much money is spent (or should I say squandered) on attracting new customers to a business when all that was required was to keep the present (or now former) customers satisfied. This works effectively in two ways. First, keeping your original customers stops churn and reduces the need to acquire new ones. The second way it works is that by providing them with an excellent customer experience, they will promote you positively through word of mouth and recommendations.