This week on Inc.com, Vanessa Nornberg, owner of Metal Mafia, a successful specialty retailer, points out some easy ways to create a bond between businesses and their customers.
One crucial part of this equation is simple attentiveness. She rightly points out that customers have a lot of choices on where to spend their money; so why would they spend it with a company that doesn’t even notice them? By making your customer service focused on attentiveness, understanding, and honesty you send the signal that you recognize and value that your customers are real people with needs. By demonstrating that their needs are important to you as a business, you are able to not only ensure the business of existing customers, but use that feedback to create a better experience for new ones.
Nornberg also stresses the importance of doing right by your customers. Everyone will make mistakes, but if you handle it appropriately, your customers will appreciate you for it. When you discover a mistake, or have a mistake pointed it to you, be honest with yourself as a company and be honest with your customer. And most importantly, fix it for them. Nornberg points out that “it is not a courtesy to fix a problem”. It is something that you are responsible for.
The take-away from Nornberg’s advice is the same as what many other successful business owners have to say. And that is simply to respect your customers, and they will in return, respect your business. Keeping that attitude in mind while putting together your customer service protocols will be an invaluable service for both your business and your customers, as you build a reliable, loyal customer base in your growing business.