It can be hard to please other people. Be they dear friends, close family members or strangers you bump into while out and about, to truly make someone happy almost seems like it involves stepping inside the confines of their minds to see what’s going on. If this kind of feeling has frustrated you before, you’re not alone—I’ve been there, too.
Fortunately, more often than not, the consequences of being unable to get on someone’s good side aren’t all that severe. You might purchase the wrong Christmas gift, pop in the wrong CD on a lengthy road trip or say something that irritates a nearby neighbor, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that big of a deal. Irritation will subside, and all will be well, again.
Where things do become increasingly more important, however, is when business is involved. Yes, there’s bound to be some internal discord, but the kind of bother I’m talking about is between your business and the one group of people who determine your success—customers.
Treat them well, and they’ll keep you in business for years to come. Make a habit of placing them on the proverbial backburner, and you’ll soon find yourself in search of another job. It goes without saying that each industry brings with it a different type of customer. That said, regardless of specialization, there are four things guaranteed to make your customers happy:
1) Be Alert, Attentive and Easy to Reach
Thanks to the advent of the Internet, much like roadside billboards and The Yellow Pages, call centers are now a thing of the past. Today, not only do customers know what they want, they also know how they want it—as soon as possible. Whether it be through social media, email or a traditional phone call, to put a smile on your client’s face, be available. And once a connection has been made, engage them—listen to them, and work to create a solution that truly matters.
2) Honesty + Transparency = Success
Hard to believe isn’t it? How could any failure on your part possibly make a client happy? After all, isn’t it your job to make their life as easy as possible? Of course it is, but no matter how hard you try, mistakes are going to be made. When they do, be completely honest and transparent about what’s transpired. Then, work tirelessly to make things right. When all is said and done, you’ll be viewed in a more positive light because of it. Mistakes are opportunities to improve.
3) Provide Unexpected Perks
I call this one “The Costco Principle.” Seriously, have you ever met someone who doesn’t absolutely love Costco? That’s what I thought—whether it’s Costco or Sam’s Club, people go to buy food in bulk, but hang around for a good while to sample it. It’s an unexpected perk, and it gets them excited about shopping at Costco. There’s a reason Forbes recently listed Costco as one of the best places to work in 2015—the company knows what it’s doing.
4) Under-promise and Over-deliver
You knew we had to end up here, didn’t you? Well, there’s a reason for that—this is the oldest trick in the book, because it works. Though I might not be an expert in your business’ specific industry, I’m confident in that if you fail to deliver on a customer promise the first time around, you won’t make the same mistake again—simply put, your customer will head elsewhere.
Regardless of a person’s occupation, culture, religious beliefs or political affiliations, the desired outcome is still the same—happiness. No, I’m not trying to make this more philosophical than it needs to be, but the short of what I’m getting at is that your customers are earnestly engaged in the pursuit of happiness—as a business, are you helping or hurting their cause?
It’s a question that calls for a bit of introspection, but rest assured, it will be time well spent. I’ve said my piece, and would now love to hear from you—in addition to what I’ve mentioned, do you have any other foolproof ideas for making customers happy? If so, hop down to the comments section below to share your insights. As always, thanks for reading!
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