Tag Archives: customer loyalty

February 14: Customer “Show Your Love” Day

In our personal relationships, while we love those close to us as much everyday, Valentine’s Day gives us an opportunity to express it in a special way. And if you don’t think that it’s important to proclaim “I love you” to your significant other on Valentine’s Day, just try missing one. It should be no different for your customer relationships. People like to buy from people who want their business. And while you don’t take any customer for granted, Valentine’s Day is a great occasion to express your appreciation to your loyal customers. Make this day “Show Your Love” Day for your customers. What could you do on Valentine’s Day to offer a special “thank you” for their continued patronage and support of your business?

With that in mind, here is my Top Ten list of Valentine’s Day inspired quotes that can serve you well as reminders on how to “show your love” to your customers.

Love is doing what is best for a person regardless of the cost or response. R. Robert Flatt

The first duty of love is to listen.  Paul Tillich

Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, it’s what you are expected to give — which is everything.  Anonymous

Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. Robert Heinlein

Get not your friends by bare compliments, but by giving them sensible tokens of your love. Socrates

We too often love things and use people, when we should be using things and loving people. Anonymous

Anyone can catch your eye, but it takes someone special to catch your heart.  Anonymous

Love is like a tennis match; you’ll never win consistently until you learn to serve well. Dan P. Herod

Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. Mother Teresa

That best little portion of a good man’s life – his little nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love.  William Wordsworth

Whether you are following me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or via this blog, I see you as my customers. So on this day, as sincerely as these written words can express, I really do appreciate your continued support. Thank you very much and Happy “Show Your Love” Day.

Now what can you do today to “show your love” to those who surround you in your business and those loyal customers who made you successful?

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WWWBLL’s wobble but they don’t fall down.

The customer service business is full of acronyms and abbreviations: CSAT, CEM, KPI, NPS.  For those who want to drive their companies to stand above their competition, let me add one more – WWWBLL. “WWWBLL” is pronounced “Weeble” just like the roly-poly toys. The toys’ tagline was “Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down.” WWWBLL stands for “What Would World’s Best Look Like?” And just like Weebles, the World’s Best companies may wobble in this economy but they certainly won’t fall down. So to stand above your competition, define “What would World’s Best look like” for your customer and then work very hard to deliver it.

Customers make a buying decision on three criteria: cost, location and reputation. According to Ken Irons in Market Leader, 70% of a brand’s reputation is based on the customer’s perception of the interaction they have with people. Nowadays it is not only your customers’ personal interactions and subsequent word-of-mouth advertising that will drive your reputation; it is also the viral impact when those interactions are posted on social media sites like TripAdvisor, Twitter, Facebook, or Yelp. Times have certainly changed when all you had to do to build your reputation was to include handpicked testimonials in your sales packets or advertisements. Now customers reading these third-party sites take the reviews as gospel from people they have never and most likely will never meet. Communications expert Michael Angelo Caruso has identified this tendency of web surfers, “If they hear it from us it is advertising. If they hear it from someone else, it’s the truth.”

If you are in their preferred location and if your reputation is WWWBLL, then customers will come back and tell others about you. The only way to drive such rave reviews is by having your customers feel that the experience you offered was so over the top that they want to tell the world. So how do you do that? How do you create a customer experience that answers the question “What Would World’s Best look like? There are Three Principles: Be Your Customer. Create Their Experience. Make a Difference.

 

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Customer Service: Common Sense But Not Common Practice

Earning customer loyalty is ultimately about creating and maintaining relationships. Over 70 years ago Dale Carnegie wrote the very best book on building relationships, “How to Win Friends and Influence Others.” While the stories are too dated to be relevant for most people, the fundamentals defined by Dale Carnegie many years ago are still customer service gold today. Mr. Carnegie defined the six ways to make people like you:

  1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  2. Smile.
  3. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
  6. Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.

Over seventy years ago, Mr. Carnegie recommended making the other person feel important by using that person’s name. Common sense. But is it common practice? You decide. Let’s use your credit card as an example.

Be the Customer. A credit card is only a piece of plastic but it is very personal and valuable to you. Should you ever lose it, you would be panicking about identity theft or credit card fraud. When you make an in-person retail purchase, you hand a credit card with your name printed right on it to the cashier. In handing it back to you, the cashier may simply place it on the counter. To the cashier, it is simply a piece of plastic. To you, it represents money. 

Following Mr. Carnegie’s advice, all a business needs to do to win a customer is to use the customer’s name at every opportunity. Seems common sense, But is it common practice? The last five times you used your credit card, how many times did the cashier use your name in giving it back to you? Rarely, if at all. An opportunity to embrace you, as a customer, is lost.

If I were a retailer, I would make sure that the card swipe would post the customer’s name on the mini screen in front of the cashier. I’d educate every cashier to hand the card, or if the purchase was contactless, then hand the bag with the purchased items to the customer, look to the customer to establish eye contact (trust), and sincerely say with a smile, “Mr. Customer’s Name. Thank you for choosing [Name of Company]. We really appreciate it.” That small wow would make a big difference in winning the customer.

QUI QUESTIONS: What are you doing to make your customer feel important? And what are you doing to make sure it is common practice?

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