This is a guest post by Sara Dawkins.
Your customers are your company’s life blood, and the very reason that you are able to continue to do business, especially if you’re a small company. Because of this, it’s important to treat your customers with respect and appreciation – and even like they’re friends rather than just consumers you’re trying to coerce into buying your products or services. One of the downfalls of big business is that customers tend to get lost in the shuffle, which is where small businesses can make up ground with their larger competitors. Here are three important reasons you want to treat your customers more like friends:
It helps create brand loyalty. When your customers feel like friends, they typically feel like they can come to you when they have a problem without any negative repercussions or like they’re an unimportant waste of time. Feeling important and valued helps create brand loyalty with your company, making customers much more likely to be repeat customers versus one-time buyers.
Customers become more likely to positively share your products/services with others. Think about the types of companies you personally want to promote to your friends and family. Usually the reason that you’re open to sharing the company with others is because they’ve done something to make you feel like you matter. Being warm and welcoming to your customers, encouraging feedback, and talking to them as equals helps foster a relationship with your customers, and they’re likely to want to share that positive experience with others. In the same respect, when your customers feel undervalued and underappreciated they’re likely to negatively share their opinion about your company with anyone and everyone they know.
It encourages honest feedback that you can use to grow and improve your business. If your customers feel like their opinions are actually heard when given to you, they’re much more likely to respond to any inquiries you have about how to improve the business and the products or services you’re offering. Getting this honest feedback allows you to move your business in the direction it needs to go to continue to flourish and grow.
Treating your customers like friends is one of the single best ways you can help to grow your business in a way that promotes brand loyalty. The most loyal fans are the ones that feel like their voices are heard when they talk to you, and when people feel valued and important they’re much more likely to do your marketing for you with no incentive other than seeing a company they love grow. Take advantage of this; your customers are the best friends your business has.
Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of http://www.nannypro.com/.
Photo: gfpeck on Flickr