My go-to grocery store isn’t the biggest or the cheapest, but they make me feel like a friend. My car insurance likely isn’t the best rate out there, but my agent makes me feel like family. The dealership we just purchased two vehicles from doesn’t have the best selection, but the people were invested in our experience.
There’s something about spending my money at a place that makes me feel like a priority. When I walk into a place and they know me by name or at very least seem happy to see me, it encourages me to come back. I trust them to provide me the same level of service they would to their mother. I would rather spend an extra few bucks or travel a few more miles, to give my business to a company whose employees make me feel that they have my best interest in mind and truly care. Whether it be the warm welcome, giving me the sale price even if I forgot my coupon or asking about the family, my loyalty to that business has been won and I will scream from the hills to let everyone know how great they are. And most importantly, I will keep coming back.
I know this sounds simple, be friendly, greet guests with a smile, put out feel-good vibes when addressing a customer. It’s customer service 101. But it’s not always there. Our employees get busy, they get overwhelmed, they may not be invested in your business or your customers. The inability or lack of desire to make “friends” with our customers has the potential to negatively impact your customer base. Customers who don’t feel connected, don’t carry loyalty to your business or your brand. They will shop wherever it is the cheapest or most convenient. If you want to make your customer value you, then you must make them feel valued in return. Repeat customers that let the world know how great you are are a company’s greatest advertisement. And it’s free!
Here’s a few tips to make your customer your friend:
I have no delusion that some customers won’t engage with your mission to befriend them. Some simply want to get in and get out. They want the cheapest and the most convenient. Those customers are fine not being your friend. You likely don’t have their loyalty, you are just another notch on their shopping belt. And that’s ok too. I challenge you to break down their walls, find a common ground and make a friend. If you fail, that’s ok. But, if you win, your business wins time and time again.