Updated: Jul 17, 2018
Deciding to start a business that lasts is a commitment to making customers happy. The more customers you can make happy, the better it is for your business. But as it turns out, making customers happy on a consistent basis is hard work, and it doesn’t just happen by chance.
When the customer is satisfied and everyone is happy, the job is not finished. Give them a reason to come back. ~ Shep Hyken
So just how do we ensure that we’re in the business of making people happy?
• It requires research - about the customer, their lifestyle and where our business aligns with it. • It requires preparation - having the resources, infrastructure and team in place to make it happen. • It requires execution - consistently doing the work that makes it happen day in and day out.
But what is the work that we must do?
1. Start with a killer mission statement that puts your business’ objectives in focus and helps consumers want to choose you. e.g Starbucks Mission Statement: To inspire and nurture the human spirit - one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.
2. Make a good ongoing impression. Did you know that 89% of consumers have switched brands once or twice in the last year? (Source: NewVoice) While good first impressions are great, good ongoing impressions are even greater. It’s not enough to focus all of our energy and resources into impressing first time customers while neglecting to continue to impress repeat customers. It costs 6 to 7 times more to gain a new customer than it does to keep an existing one.
One of the best ways to create a good ongoing impression is to use data and technology to provide customers with personalized experiences. This in no way means that you must replace your human staff with robots! It means wherever possible, that makes sense for your business, enhance the experience that customers have whenever they come into contact with your business online, offline, in person or over the phone. Create an experience that says “we see you and we’re thrilled you’re here!”
3. Celebrate your customers and create a sense of belonging. There are so many ways that we can celebrate our customers. Creating a sense of belonging, however requires us to know and care about the things that matter to them. This is not a short-term strategy, it’s a long-term strategy that must be built into the culture of our business. It’s a strategy that pays off too - highly engaged customers buy 90% more often and spend 60% more money per transaction. (Source: Rosetta Consulting). It’s no longer enough to be top of mind, we’ve also got to work on being “close to heart”. (Bernadette Jiwa)
No business could survive without loyal, happy customers. It’s not easy to foster meaningful relationships and make customers happy, but it’s the work that we must do to have our businesses thrive now and into the future. Don’t let your business be the one that your customers switch from this year... let it be the one that they fall in love with and keep coming back to!