Whether we are talking about organizations or businesses, money is a vital factor. Although we speak of the “bottom line” as a euphemism for money, we do what we do for many reasons, but ultimately it comes down to earning a living. Unfortunately, this effort to live can overlook the human side of things. Customers can start being seen as numbers or as factors in the business. This is not only unethical, but also bad for that perceived bottom line. A more balanced bottom line, however, is to view the customer as a person and as the more vital part. Then you will notice doors being opened up to you.
A changing landscape
Constant interaction, accessibility, and customization via new forms of technology have changed the way that people interact with organizations and businesses. Not only can people tweet at, contact, or otherwise interact with your company publicly in an instant, but they also expect you to respond in like manner. You need to offer a genuine, personalized experience in order to retain their loyalty. A company that treats customers as walking wallets will likely see them go elsewhere.
It might seem a bit crazy to think that a large company could ever form personal relationships, but by taking more time to get to know the customer you can not only provide a better service, you will also gain their trust and loyalty. The good news is that you can do a wide range of things to get to know them: track their spending habits, see their information on the web, find out what is going on in their area, etc. The more work you put in, the more you get out.
In theory this all sounds great, but how do you put it into use in the field? That could get to be a little tricky, but there are a few things you could do immediately:
- Treat them as a friend, not a customer – Would you constantly bombard your friends with emails, phone calls or ongoing ads? Chances are you wouldn’t. You don’t want to annoy them. Instead, drop them a line to see how they are doing, ask them for some feedback, or see what they have been up to lately.
- Personalize – With the growing technologies, you can do everything from seeing their latest purchase and asking how it went, to what they used it for, to wishing them a happy birthday, and providing them with coupons or suggestions. Ask them for a review from their latest visit or even give them chances to give feedback during their customer experience. Keep it brief.
There are plenty of ways to tailor an experience to each customer. Without trying to further personalize their experiences, you are not going to get their trust or loyalty. Treating the customer as a person is just one of the many ways that you can do better business. Gaining in-depth knowledge about your customer base is just one of the many advantages that our software brings.