Retail Observer

October 2020

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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RETAILOBSERVER.COM OCTOBER 2020 42 W hy wouldn't you love your customers? – They're keeping you in business! It's up to you to set the stage for powerful long-term successful relationships by simply…showing some love. As in any relationship, conversation, frequent contact and the personal touch are the number-one needs to form successful, long- term relationships. Love is visible. It's what happens when you genuinely care – and show it with every customer. Create the love. In order to gain and keep customers, you've got to do more than introduce them to your brand, business or product. You've got to make them fall in love with it. Creating love in your customers will help you spread positive word-of-mouth about your business. Make it personal. Start by addressing customers by their names, and focus on delivering a personalized service. Customers especially want you to feel their pain and acknowledge their feelings. People are remarkably forgiving, if you simply acknowledge how they feel and give them credibility. Don't just talk to your disgruntled customers, talk to the happier ones as they share their experiences, too – it's a crucial part of the relationship. And building the relationship is a big part of creating the love. Spread the love. The perfect example of stellar customer service and spreading the love is Amazon. Their goal is not simply to make a sale, it's to make every person fall in love with them, and they are completely and hopelessly devoted to making sure it happens with every interaction with every customer – every single trans- action, period! Their financials continue to show that providing that level of commitment to their customers has energized their customers to make them the number-one company in the world. They love their customers and the feeling is mutual. Here are three ways highly successful companies achieve love relationships with their customers. They are successful because it's how they are trained, it's how they work, it's how they talk, it's how they treat each other, and most important it's how they treat the customers every single day. 1. Extraordinary service. Part of building lasting customer relation- ships is offering top-notch service in every scenario – from the purchase experience, to customer support, easy return policies, and expert advice. The best companies to do business with make the experience memorable and pleasant for their customers. They are accessible. When a customer is upset or they have a problem, they want to be heard. And by that, I mean they want to be heard by a human being. Make sure your customers can reach you and your staff when they need to share their likes, dislikes, wants, needs, etc. 2. Believe in the product or service. The best companies stand behind their products and services because they believe in them, and they support their customers because they truly want to help them. When businesses are interested in helping their customers and not just taking their money, the results are more profitable in the long run. 3. Listen to the customer. Part of providing awesome service and creating the love is listening to feedback from your customer and actually responding to it. They want to share their experiences not only with family and friends but with…you. Therefore, talk to them as often as possible and never waste this opportunity to cultivate the relationship. Be genuine and retain your humanity. That's how you compete. Feel the love: If you make the experience memorable, they will never leave. BE available when they need you, OFFER world-class service, BE consistent in providing quality, SOLVE a common problem, GUARANTEE faster service. The newsletter Quality Assurance Report states that only when a company knows exactly what kind of service its customers expect and delivers on those expectations 100 percent of the time, at a price customers are willing to pay while still getting an acceptable return, can the company claim to excel in customer service. We call it…LOVE. To show the love, we have to strive for the best we can be in every aspect of our lives, including how we feel about ourselves, and how we treat others. John Tschohl Customer Service RO CREATE THE LOVE … TALK TO YOUR CUSTOMERS John Tschohl is a professional speaker, trainer, and consultant. He is the president and founder of Service Quality Institute — the global leader in customer service — with operations in over 40 countries. John speaks more than 50 times each year and is considered one of the foremost authorities on service strategy, success, empowerment and customer service. John's monthly strategic newsletter is available online at no charge. Contact John on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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