During every customer interaction, whether it be 3 minutes or an hour, you leave something behind…a person who is either better or worse off than before their contact with you. To build customer loyalty we need to leave each person better. How?
- Ask them questions.
- Wait for the answers – some people need 20-30 seconds to formulate their response!
- Listen to the answers – really listen.
- Summarize what you hear -without judgment or adding your “story”.
- Help them in some way. Can you solve a problem for them? Introduce them to something that they did not know existed? Answer a question?
- Close the discussion with a recap of actions or commitments that happen next.
This is the part where most authors say “treat your customers how you’d like to be treated”. I disagree! We need to treat each customer how THEY would like to be treated. We need to focus on WIIFT (What’s in it for Them?). That is what makes the seemingly simple actions listed above so tough.
How do we treat them the way they would like to be treated? Pay attention to the pace in which they speak, the words they use (are they thinking or feeling words?) and what is important to them. Adjust your language, pace and focus to them.
Use a simple scorecard for yourself at the end of each customer interaction, “Is this person better or worse than before?” A yes/no will allow you to adjust for your next contact.
What actions do you take to ensure each interaction with you leaves them better?