Love the customers who love you backWritten by Tom Richard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes the last thing you want is to get stuck behind a big, slow-moving truck on a country road. Yet one morning, as we were driving our children to school, this is exactly what happened to my wife and me. At first a little annoyed, we eventually relaxed and accepted that our morning commute would take longer than usual.
Then, suddenly, the truck stopped in the road and flashed its hazards. Before either of us could ask what was going on, we saw the stopped school bus on the other side of the road. While it may have been policy for the truck to stop and apply its hazards for children boarding the school bus, it seemed pretty rare.
These days, most stories regarding trucks on the road are far from positive, so my wife and I were surprised to see a truck driver so cautious for the safety of school children. Noticing the “How is my driving?” sticker on the rear of the truck, my wife grabbed her cell phone. She was so moved by the positive action of the truck driver that she felt she had to say something.
The customer service representative listened as my wife explained how overcome she was by the responsible truck driver. She requested that her appreciation be forwarded to the driver, and the representative assured her it would.
But before hanging up, my wife had to ask, “Do you receive many positive phone calls like this?” The woman replied, “While we do receive glowing reports of our drivers on occasion, unfortunately, most of the calls we receive are for negative reasons.”
The sad truth is that this is the norm in almost any business, and, most likely, even yours. Just think of the time you spend in one work week responding to negative calls. How many of your calls are for trying to make a sale, completing an order, or responding to a complaint?
Compared to these types of phone calls, how much time do you spend communicating with satisfied customers – the ones who love and support your business? These customers certainly deserve more time than you currently give them.
Giving your immediate full attention to a customer with a problem comes naturally. While these types of calls certainly require your time, don’t let yourself be consumed by them.
Instead of spending all your time putting out fires, dedicate a fraction of your week to make a phone call, a visit or a lunch appointment with one of your satisfied customers. Thank them for their continued support and use the opportunity to ask them if there is anything you can do to better serve them.
By showing your genuine appreciation, you are building on the good relationship you have with your customers and strengthening their loyalty to your business. Doing this will also give yourself the added bonus of hearing positive affirmations and positive suggestions from encouraging customers.
Knowing you are doing a good job satisfying customers will lift your spirits and recharge you for even the toughest of work weeks. You will walk into your next sales call with more self-confidence than you could ever muster on your own.
Not only will it make you feel better, it will also help you develop into a stronger businessperson. Being open with your customers will allow you to see how you can serve them better, giving you the chance to strengthen your weaknesses. It will also help you discover your strengths as you hear exactly what has made your customers happy with your service.
You can’t walk around with a sticker on your backside that reads, “How is my service?” So make the effort to call current customers and find out. Spending just a portion of your time with happy customers will build on the good relationships you have already made and help you build more like them.
Tom Richard is a Toledo-based sales trainer, gives seminars, runs sales meetings and provides coaching for salespeople. For more information, visit www.TomRichard.com, call (419) 441-1005 or e-mail email@example.com.