Why to treat your customers as if they were your children

  • September 9, 2019

Professor Robert Peterson, of the University of Texas, discovered that 85% of customers who show their “satisfaction” would change us for one of our competitors.  However, when customers speak of us with affection or emotion, their buying habits are very different from those who are only satisfied with us.   

The vast majority of times that we, as children, speak of our parents, we do so with affection, gratitude, emotion, tenderness.  Without even thinking about the possibility of wanting to change them for others.  The love, the excellent care that we have received from them, is irreplaceable.

On this basis, I believe that the method to treat our customers with the excellent care they deserve, in order to gain their loyalty and thus increase sales, is summarised in four points to promote in our value proposition.  

1. Keep them in mind,  
2. Be with them,  
3. Give them what they need, and
4. Always listen to them

If you have the great fortune to be a mother or father, it will be easy for you to understand this methodology; if not, also, because you will recognise some of what you have received from your parents in it.

1. Keep them in mind

We have many work and personal commitments which mean we are not with our children as much time as we would like, but in every moment, in every situation, we are thinking about them.  They are constantly on our mind and ideas constantly come to us that we think they will like or be useful to them somehow.

Now think about this: What about my customers? Do I only think about them when they come into my work or do I keep them in mind daily?  If you systematise their possible needs and dedicate some time thinking about them, those details that enable you to increase your value proposition for your customers will come to you.  

2. Be with them

We try to be with our children, have fun with them, fill their hearts with good memories because we want them to be happy.  We greet each other with a kiss, a hug, a smile, etc.  They are displays of affection that express our happiness at the meeting.  We enjoy their company and, with polite and appropriate naturalness, we teach them how little or how much we know.

Do you express your happiness when you meet a customer?  Do you enjoy “shared activities” or are you only with them when you are trying to sell them something? Does your customer feel appreciated? Valued? When you make a mistake – which we all do – , are you honest and know how to make the first move and apologise?

3. Give them what they need

The parent-child relationship is based on giving; we are always giving something to our children: time, information, education, habits, knowledge, health, food, joy, sadness…As St Augustine said, “Whoever has charity in his heart, always finds something to give”.  

Have you asked yourself what you can give to your customers, apart from what you are already selling to them? What do you have of value to them that you are willing to give them? What added value differentiates you from your competitors?

4. Always listen to them 

Communication is always difficult; unfortunately, it is one of the most deep-rooted problems in almost any society.   With your children, you are lucky in that you can listen to them at almost any time.  There are two actors and it only depends on us whether the necessary and enriching dialogue flows.

In a company, there are multiple actors:  owners, managers, front-line personnel, suppliers… And customers.  As in any other relationship, a joint effort is also necessary to achieve dialogue.  This, in the business world, means that all the actors in the company must align to listen to the customer.  Don’t forget that this customer has the competition just a click away and the power of Internet to feel listened to

Systematise the means of communication so that you can always listen to the customer before, during and after the purchase and guarantee that the customer feels listened to, but not uncomfortable or watched.

We all move and compete in a global market.  We have to differentiate ourselves and we can do that by offering our customers an excellent relationship.  Customer Care Excellence (“La Excelencia en el Trato” – LET in its Spanish initials) is one of the differentiating tools that will enable us to survive in the mid and long term.

If you do not have customers to care for, you can change the term and read partner, child, friend…For you, too, these four points – keep them in mind, be with them, give them what they need and always listen to them – will help you boost their happiness and as a result, your own.

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