The Worst Thing That Happens Is Your Customers Love You

Shep Hyken
Contributing Writer
Shepard Presentation

What if the worst thing a customer ever said about you was, “I love you!”? Even on a bad day, you’re still so good that they love you! Are you that good? Do customers love you even when there’s a problem or complaint? Here are six ways to make customers love you no matter what!

1. Become customer-focused. This means that in addition to creating an amazing customer experience, every decision keeps the customer in mind. It doesn’t mean every decision will make the customer happy, but the customer is always kept in mind when any type of change is made, from price to changes in features to new and even discontinued products.

2. Be transparent. As you make customer-focused decisions, even ones that might negatively impact the customer, let the customer know ahead of time—and let them know why you’re making the decision. Customers appreciate knowing and understanding when and why something changes.

3. Manage problems and complaints. This is where “the rubber hits the road,” as the old saying goes. You could provide a flawless experience for ten years, which your customer loves you for. But one day there’s a problem. This is judgement day. This is where you earn the right to do business with them for the next ten years.

4. Customers are not always right. This comes from my older material, but it’s worth mentioning again. The customer is NOT always right! But they are always the customer. Whenever they are wrong, let them be wrong with dignity and respect.

5. Avoid transactions. A transaction is a one-time occurrence. An interaction is a relationship that is ongoing. Customers love to feel like they’re part of something. The way to make that happen is to think of them not as a customer, but as a partner. This is a powerful B2B strategy, but it works with something as simple as buying shoes. The salesperson doesn’t sell a shoe. Instead, they sell comfort, style and emotion. They understand what the customer wants, not just what they say they need. It’s more than a sale. It’s part of something that is bigger and ongoing.

6. Aim for always and forever. Let’s close these customer love tips with one final thought. I’ve written about this extensively, but this is where you want to be. You want your customers to describe you using the word always before something positive. For example, “They always respond quickly,” or, “They are always so helpful.” Reflecting back on number three (managing complaints), they could say, “Even when there is a problem, I can always count on them.” The word always is… always and forever!

There you have it—six ways to make your customers love you.

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