Everyone has had that moment when they fell hard in love with that one person they needed to keep their guard up around. The reason for this twist is mostly hinged on the way this one person makes us feel.
Making your customers fall in love with you is the secret sauce behind most successful businesses; this love keeps them with you for years and drives the loyalty they have for your business.
As a business owner, the question on your mind should be how can you achieve love at first sight with every new customer that walks through your business or gives you a call for the first time.
The answer is simple- show empathy, be human and be professional.
Empathy is generally about having the capacity to imagine the feelings and or state of mind of someone- in this case the customer. It is simply saying to your customer that you are there to listen to what they have to say, to understand their frustrations and needs and that you are not going to judge.
Mostly, the ability to do this depends on the emotional quotient level of the business owner (another subject for another article- watch this space).
A study from Nielsen Analysis showed that 3 out of 4 FMCG product innovations that were developed failed and those that succeeded focused on “walking in the shoes of the customer”. This led to innovating demand driven products. Empathy wins!
The good news is that you are human just like your customers; so showing empathy should come easy. Being warm and fuzzy with your customer at the first meeting is a sure foundation for a healthy relationship.
A higher volume of customers will come back for another round of your warmth, and humanness and this adds up to your recurring revenue. I have witnessed cases where a customer refused to be attended to by employee A, but chose to wait for 23 minutes to get attended to by employee B. Why? The customer felt employee B treated him with humanness rather than another transaction for the day.
Customers recognise a humane relationship when they experience it and this determines the bottom line of your business.
As a business owner, you are responsible for implementing humanness in all aspects of your business, especially the customer-facing platforms. On the digital front, it is necessary to plug into tools that make this approach scalable.
Every greeting message, away message and introduction on the phone can be scripted to promote humanness.
For example, a greeting message such as “Hello, this is Oze Limited. Please state your purpose” may not fare well compared to a “Hello, thank you for reaching out. This is Prince from Oze Limited and I am excited to be on the call with you. How can I help?”
On the face-to-face level, every tone of your voice and every handshake should be laced with warmth and excitement to help the customer. Be enthusiastic!
You can be empathetic with your customers, show humaneness and still remain professional. Stay glued to the topic or conversation with your customers. Do not digress into conversations that are not relevant to the demands of the customer but entertain the customer with your warmth and expertise. This is the sweet spot you should seek to excel at. It is called radical candour.
Your customers are highly likely to come back when you show them empathy, humanness and professionalism. This also means you can get away with upselling them and making more revenue from their life cycle.