Remember to say “I love you” before it’s too late

I Love You, Customer ServiceA client told me a story last week that prompted me to write this article. She said that she had felt neglected by a supplier for quite some time and as a result of that and other factors had moved the majority of her business somewhere else.  The net result was that she had moved most of her 40k purchases elsewhere leaving only 3k worth of purchases with the original supplier. From that point onwards the original supplier (Who we shall refer to as Supplier A) decided to seriously ramp up their relationship marketing and customer services. The difference to before and after the transfer of purchases was so dramatic that my client pointed it out to Supplier A saying “when I spent 40k with you I never heard from you and now that I am only spending 3k you are giving me amazing service”. Supplier A gave some lame explanation along the lines of not knowing that she was unhappy in the first place.

A Simple Message

When telling your customers that you love them, the key is to say it before it is too late. So my message today is pretty simple and that is to:

Remember to show you care for your customers on an ongoing basis

Spread the Love All Year Long

Make sure your customers know that they are important to you on a continuous basis. By continuous I don’t mean every day (That would be obsessive).  I mean communicate with them throughout the year so that there is the feeling of constant love and commitment to truly helping them and satisfying their needs.

That’s right; spread the love all year round, not just at key times such as Christmas or end-of-financial-year sales

Too Late She Cried

Way too many businesses neglect their customers until they sense something is wrong.  Quite often when something is raised as an issue the point of no return has been passed. Even if you do invest a high level of resources into winning back your customer the relationship is quite often not as strong as it was in the beginning.

Delight your Customers

Last week I wrote an article encouraging you to strive towards ‘Delighting’ your customers at all times. Consistently delighting your customers is not easy and takes thought, effort and commitment. However, if you are consistently striving to delight your customers then there is a good chance that you are also communicating to them that they are important to you and that you care.

So striving to consistently ‘Delight’ your customers is an excellent start

Start Spreading the Love Today

So what can you do to start spreading the love immediately?  Well everyone’s business and their customers are different. For some businesses and their customers you could just telephone them and say:

I just called to say I love you

(Possibly for the Greeting Card Industry and Marriage Councillors not so much for Divorce Lawyers) For the rest of us I suggest you review your marketing strategy (in particular the Customer Profiles you have created) and consider the following suggestions to kick-start bringing the love back to some of your customer relationships:

  • Do what you say you are going to do i.e. Keep the promises that you make
  • A telephone call out of the blue to ask them how they are going and how business is for them
  • Some sort of value-add activity in the form of a regular flow of important and useful information (e.g. via a user-friendly blog or newsletter)
  • Organise a quick catch up meeting, perhaps over drinks, coffee or lunch
  • Organise a more significant ‘re-group’ type of meeting where you invest your time in working with your customers to better understand their business and how you can help them reduce costs of improve profits
  • View minor complaints or queries as opportunities to delight your customers and turn them into life-long supporters
  • Help your customers when you can even if it is not part of an immediate sale
  • Smile and interact with your customers in a way that lets them know that it is an absolute pleasure to be of service to them

I am sure there are plenty of other ways that you can start sharing the love with your customers today.

Go forth and share the love!

[Photo by Jeff Kubina via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons]