Maya Angelou once said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” It is possible to give a customer quick service, be responsive, be helpful, and even smile, but if you don’t create an emotional connection, you won’t build strong loyalty. Customers want to feel like you care as much as they do about their situation before they align their loyalty to you. Here are three simple ways to help do that:
1. Take time to actively listen to what the customer is saying. Through actively listening, you are visibly showing that you are giving your whole focus and attention to the customer. By rephrasing what you hear the customer say, you are showing that you understand the true intent of their message. Too many times we assume or we know what the customer needs, but by not giving them the time to express it in their own way and interrupting or cutting them off in their explanation, it takes away their opportunity to vent. Sometimes that is what they need the most, is to vent and have someone listen.
2. Pay attention to the details and be observant. If you see a customer looking lost or needing help finding something, don’t wait for them to ask you for help, approach them. If you see a customer looking frustrated, acknowledge their emotion and then see what you can do to help. “I can see you are frustrated, let me see what I can do to help you.” By letting customers know you can see or hear how they are feeling, it creates a connection that goes beyond just customer service, to “caring customer service.”
3. Work together with your co-workers to enhance the customer experience. Customers want to see employees helping each other, communicating with each other, and appearing as if they like each other. This ultimately spills out to them as they can get the help they need quicker vs. being passed around from one department to another like a football. When employees work together, they learn what other departments do and who does what. This makes it easier to know who will be able to best help the customer and streamlines the whole customer experience.
When an organization shows this same care to their employees, there is a ripple effect out to the customer. Employee loyalty = Customer loyalty. These three steps apply just as easily to the relationships between employees and their managers as they do between employees and customers. And yes, Maya Angelou’s quote also applies.