7 Steps to Avoid Divorce … From Your Customer
When you are dating someone, it takes effort, doesn’t it? When you first meet, you are on your best behavior, dressing your best, demonstrating great manners, doing all the right things. You fall in love, plan the wedding, and then get married. One day you wake up and realize the courtship is over! Now you walk around the house in your old sweatpants, you never cook anymore, you never open the car door, and before you know it, one or both of you have gained 20 pounds! What happened to the person you fell in love with and married?
There’s no longer a need to impress your spouse. They’re yours. Or are they? Everyone knows that the divorce rate in this country is over 50%. When these couples got married, they were all starry-eyed thinking that they would love each other forever. Do you think they went into the marriage thinking if it didn’t work out, they could leave at any time?
What happened? We loved our spouses, more than we ever thought we could love another person. Maybe they let themselves go. Maybe we let ourselves go. Maybe we took them for granted, assuming they would always be there and love us no matter what. We felt safe and secure. They were “ours.” Then one day – poof – they were gone. They decided we weren’t doing it for them anymore. Perhaps they found a younger, slimmer model. Maybe we saw it coming, maybe we didn’t. Was there something we could have done to make the marriage work?
Keeping a marriage together is a lot like retaining a customer.
When you’re single, you tell everyone you know that you’re looking for your soul mate. When you start your own business, you tell everyone you know that you’re looking for customers.
When you’re single, you post a personal ad on one of the dating sites advertising “you.” When you start your own business, you pay for advertising to let the world know about your products and services.
So if dating is like attracting and impressing customers, and divorce is like losing customers, follow these tips to stay out of “customer divorce court!” Because in this court, there is no splitting of assets or visitation rights. When it’s over, it’s over, and you’ve got no customer, which is the very reason why you went into business in the first place.
Avoid divorce from your customer by following these seven tips:
- Aim to impress. Whether it’s order number one, or order number 91, make sure the product or service you provide is top quality. Don’t skimp.
- Never take them for granted. Customers are free to buy from another, and believe me, there are plenty of businesses that offer the same products and services that you do. And they’re just waiting to move in on your customer. Let you customers know how much you value them. And tell them often!
- Treat them right. Make them feel special, valued, important. Every single day. Go above and beyond what they expect from you. Giving them what they expect is satisfying your customer. You want to do more than satisfy them, you want to WOW them.
- Listen to them. Oftentimes, we think we know what they’re going to say, so we listen with only one ear, assuming we know what’s coming out of their mouth next. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Do twice as much listening as you do talking, and your customers will tell you everything you want to know about them, and then some!
- If you make a mistake, own it. Acknowledge it, admit it, and then make it right. You’ll gain more credibility with your customer, and they’ll probably appreciate you for doing it.
- Ask them how you’re doing. Feedback is the breakfast of champions. Ask your customers how you’re doing, and what you can do to improve. And then do it! When you give your customers what they want, instead of what you want to give them, they will love you for it.
- Show interest in them, both professionally and personally. Celebrate their successes with them, and show empathy for their problems. Be their biggest cheerleader, and they will be yours in return.
By following the tips above, you can ensure that the honeymoon with your customer lasts forever. “Customer divorce court” is not a place you want to wind up. You’ll be alone, and separated from the very thing that you wanted when you went into business. It doesn’t have to be that way. You have the power to stop that from happening. Now go show your customers some love!