Our customers and clients are our bread and butter. They aren’t just a resource financially but they are the reason we do what we do. They become a part of who we are and their “whys” become our “whys.”
But do they know that? Do they know how much you care? Do they know how much you love them and appreciate their loyalty?
Loving our clients and customers isn’t a one-time thing; it’s an ongoing mutual relationship that needs to be nurtured. Here are seven ways to share the love with your customers and receive their love in return.
#1 - Recognize Your Customers
Everyone likes a little recognition once in a while. And as a customer and client to others, being praised and showered with gratitude is always welcome in my book. Find both tangible and heartfelt ways to say thank you to those who you serve. Give your loyal customers freebies or thoughtful gifts, if you can. Send handwritten notes. Or just shout out the reasons you love serving them on social media. The bottom line is this: tell them you love them with your words and with your time.
#2 - Break The Rules
We need to operate with boundaries. Sometimes we have to say “no, I don’t do that.” We have to protect ourselves, our time, and our sanity by focusing on getting the job done. But sometimes, just sometimes, we need to break the rules – our rules. We need to know when to throw the “I’m sorry, I can’t” out the window and say, “yes I can.” Sometimes we need to make our customer’s sanity a priority over our own.
#3 – Make Time for Face Time
Customers and clients like to see our faces. Believe it or not, they don’t just buy into a product or a service, they buy into us! Now this doesn’t mean that you need to actually FaceTime all your customers one-on- one. Depending on what your big business dream is, that may or may not be possible. However, a quick Facebook Live or Instagram Story may just do the trick. I love to purchase from small businesses run by women like me. And when I get to see their face and hear their voice as if they are talking to me, I feel even more connected and I want to associate with them even more. Show your customers and clients the same consideration and show them your face!
#4 – Share Your Story
Don’t know what to say to your customers once you have face-to- face time? Just tell them about you. Tell them what got you started. Where the dream began. What your goals are. What you want to do for them. Just like they like to see your face, your customers and clients like to hear who you are. So tell them. Share your story and let them get connected to your dream. Connecting to your dream incentivizes them to connect themselves with you.
#5 – Listen To Their Story
Naturally telling your story isn’t where the storytelling ends. We are after a conversation not a one-way discourse. Listen to your clients. Listen to their stories and let their stories motivate you to do more, to be better, to serve better, and to connect in mutual admiration. Their stories reveal their needs. When you know their needs, you can better serve them. They feel loved.
#6 – Be Transparent
Transparency is about knowing when to say “I screwed up” or “I need help.” Telling your clients you made a mistake, owning it, and offering immediate and long-term solutions is never a bad idea. Hiding mistakes, brushing them under the rug, shifting blame, and winging the solution is always a bad idea.
Also, telling them you need help can only, well, help. Sure, there may be the customers or clients who think you should already know it all. However, the majority will love your eagerness to learn more and your ability to ask the right questions at the right time. If you want to know how to better serve your clients and customers, ask them. And then act. The bottom line is integrity wins every time.
#7 – Continue to Serve
Once you’ve got their business and reached wide your arms in communication and connection, keep serving them. KEEP SERVING THEM! All the knowledge and connection in the world means nothing unless you put it to work. To be loved is to be known. To love is to serve and be served. Continue to serve with all the new knowledge and connection you have gained.