Customers do business with people they like. Establishing a good relationship with your customers is one of the keys to engaging customers and developing a reputation for providing great service.
Good relationships come from many types of actions and a little engagement is what separates good service from great service. Here are a few ideas to help engage, build rapport and loyalty with your customers.
Here are 7 keys to Engaging Customers, see if any of these will work for you?
- Make them feel welcome
A lot of times a lasting impression can be made can by making the customer feel welcome. In making customers feel welcome, use your body language. As soon as a customer is within 10 feet of you, flash a smile. When they get closer, greet them warmly. The number one signal that makes someone feel welcome is a smile–a real one, not a staged smile.
Also remember to make eye contact! Making contact is a signal that I acknowledge you, I am listening to you, I notice you, or you are important to me. Take a few seconds to look your customers in the eyes and make them feel that you are glad to see them.
- Make them Feel Important
Have you ever been made to feel unimportant as a customer—that an employee did not value your business? A person behind the counter may asks you, “How may I help you?” in a tone of voice that is really saying “Hurry up!” or “You are an unwelcome interruption.” Or maybe they avoid eye contact and acknowledging you all together? Customers what to feel they matter, you care and they are important.
- Make the effort to remember them
Many times we have regular customers that stop in day after day. Make the effort to remember them by their face and name.
It’s said that sweetest sound in any language is the sound of your own name. Customers like the attention that comes when you remember their name.
I am a very loyal customer of the local convince store around the corner because the person who waits on me most of the time knows my name! I am impressed that out of his hundreds of customers she has taken the time to remember me and my name.
Remember personal facts about your customers and refer to them as you see them.
Pay attention to the customers preferences and habits – What are their regular preferences – do they always buy a small coffee and m&m’s, jokingly make reference to this when you see them. Customers like the personal attention that comes when you remember them.
For example, remembering they were going on vacation the last time you talked to them and asking about that as you are helping them will go a long way toward developing a strong relationship with your customers and making them feel you are important to them. Maybe you notice the customer wears a certain Mickey Mouse neck tie every Friday, point it out, ask about it – It will make the customers day!
- Be a Problem solver.
Always try to solve the customer’s problems on the first try. Don’t pass it off or sidestep their request, if you can answer their question, get them what they want, or a part of what they want. When you can solve the customer’s problem without any further hassle on their part, they will more likely do business with you again. In this day and age angry customers will quickly take their business elsewhere and talk about your mishap on the Internet.
- Make them feel Informed.
Tell them your specials! Let customers know what this month’s deals are. Maybe you have special of the day. Complimentary items. Let them know, this is a great time to up-sell!
- Be responsive.
Delivering what your customers want in the shortest time possible makes a lasting impression on a customer. So being responsive to customers can go along way in building a loyal customer. We all get busy, we have customers waiting at the counter, or get held up tending to other matters, even in these instances acknowledge the customer. Tell them you’ll be right with them, and then thank them for waiting.
- Make “Nice” a priority.
Being nice can build rapport with your customers. Say things like, “I’ll be happy to help you.” “Glad you stopped in!” “Good to see you.” Customers remember how you make them feel.
It doesn’t take any more time to be nice rather than nasty. Avoid thinking: “Oh, that customer is in a hurry.” Or “They look like they are in a bad mood” these people are your customer too! Treat every customer equally! Even if the customer doesn’t return the gesture we have influenced the integration and engaged with them in a favorable manner.
Customer engagement is about the simple things and sometimes simple things are overlooked. How would you rate yourself? What else can you do to cement lasting relationships with your customers?
I share valuable Customer Service tips and insights for frontline managers and employees on how to deliver customer service to keep your customer coming back. The name of the game is customer loyalty and it’s not just about satisfaction. It’s about a willingness to be a repeat buyer, willingness to recommend you to others, and resistance to switching to a competitor. Fortunately I learned this lesson through my 15-year corporate career. Poor service is an all-too-frequent experience for us all. I provide a framework for implementing ongoing processes that can build customer loyalty.