You need your customers to love you. That’s basically what you need to make sure that your company outperforms the competition. Oh, you may scrape by with being liked; but being loved by the customer takes it to another level. When people love you, they defend you to the death. They rush to buy your newest products or invest in your newest service. They tell everyone and your aunt how wonderful your business is, and that they should try it out.
Ideally, you’d be loved for your products and services alone. Of course, that’s not necessarily how it works out these days. Customers want more than just ideas – they want actual relationships with the brands they’re using. That spells the difference between people liking you and people loving you.
But you already have a relationship with your customers, you say. You have a Facebook account and followers on Twitter, as well as one or two toll free numbers for good measure. Why aren’t they getting into flame wars with the competition’s customers? Why aren’t they setting up blogs to wax poetic about your latest releases?
It’s probably because you haven’t done any of the following:
Really think of your customers as human beings
Look, it’s all well and good that you give your customers the opportunity to connect with you through channels that they find most convenient. It’s great that you give them a means to learn about your new products and services, as well as offer them information that is relevant to both your industry and the interests of your customers. It’s wonderful that you open up ways to effectively help them face some of their challenges through your expertise.
But that’s only the first step. See, you’re doing everything right except for one thing – you’re still treating your customers like customers. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, but it’s really not going to make people fall in love with you. They know that, at the end of the day, you see them as potential dollar signs. However, when you go the extra mile and interact with them in contexts that matter to them as people, you temper their personal caution when it comes to engaging with you. They’ll start to downright LOVE spending on you, like you’re a buddy they’re treating to lunch.
Take the time to learn from your customers
You may think you know best for your customers – after all, they’ve already invested in at least one of your products. But that doesn’t actually guarantee you full authority over the challenges you’ve helped them face. You still need to have actual conversations with them to understand what they really want out of the experience. Otherwise, you’ll just come off as a nosy know-it-all who might not be able to assist people in a satisfying manner. There is, after all, a very fine line between projecting authority and arrogance.
Here’s something to think about – everyone loves being an authority, especially when it comes to themselves and what they care about. If you take the time to ask questions and really listen to the answers people give you, you can actually learn one or two things that will make you at providing customer service. This kind of humility is actually great for business. There’s also the added bonus of your customers taking pride in having contributed to the improvements in your company.
A little extra effort and humility can go a long way in making people love you.