It’s one thing to provide great customer service, but it’s another thing all together with to keep those same customers coming back over and over again. These “lifetime” customers are vital to the success of your business, and so it should be your focus in every communication to help develop a loyal following of customers. Additionally, lifetime customers are wonderful for creating referrals and new leads; another factor that can affect the growth of your business or company.
Therefore, to be successful, your focus should be on communicating well and building your lifetime customers up over time. Here are three steps for creating lifetime customers through thoughtful communication strategies.
- Be gracious to customers. No matter how you interact with customers on a daily basis, how warm and welcoming you are can leave a lasting impression on others. Take the time to treat others with the respect they deserve, even the annoying customers who demand a lot of your time. Use plenty of smiles and eye contact whenever possible, and above all else acknowledge your customers as soon as possible. When people are treated with this gracious manner, they have a tendency to develop rapport with you and like you to help them with all their needs building customer loyalty along the way.
- Learn to listen closer. Sure, you already know that being an effective presenter and speaker is an important part of being a customer service pro, but so is active listening. Learn to listen “between the lines” to become better at identifying your customer’s needs and wishes. Oftentimes, we forget to do that and instead try to fill up periods of silence with fancy talk. Use reflective listening skills to get to the root of every customer conversation that can reveal things to work on in a long term customer relationship.
- Go above and beyond. Your customers come to you for a variety of reasons, but mostly because they have a problem and they need YOU to fix it. When dealing with customers, take the time to not only provide solutions for the immediate issue, but go a step further and exceed their expectations of you. Throw some relevant ideas out there and let the customer guide you as to what seems positive and promising. Then take it to the next level and offer something much better. Your customers will think you are a miracle worker!
As you put the above steps to work, try to put yourself into your customer’s shoes. The Golden Rule applies to many different types of relationships, including your daily interactions with customers. Think about what would make you come back to do repeat business with you, and this gives you a place to start. For more tips and training on thoughtful communication, be sure to visit Dale Carnegie today.