“People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions, and help them throw rocks at their enemies.” – Blair Warren
What do people really want? They want fans. They want people who understand them, folks who would root for them.
Customers are… people.
How would your business root for them? What about your product or service can make them feel loved, understood, or applauded? How can you show you are on their side?
The answer just might be simpler than we often think or want to believe…
Simply talk to them. And allow them to talk to you.
Be the therapist. Remain on their side even when they are complaining about your product or service. Let them know their complaint is valid, be it actual or merely a matter of their perception.
But let them know the object of complaint is the alien, a passing anomaly, a stranger disallowed from coming in between the both of you. Let your customers know you care for them. That’s the way to connect with your customers.
A mind-shifting perspective
Did you know that stressful events offer the greatest opportunities to establish deep bonds between people?
I made this mind-shifting discovery recently while learning about parenting:
“The #1 thing we can do to build deep bonds with our kids is to help them when they are emotionally upset”.
Affirm their feelings, show you are on their side. You may have some lesson you want to teach or correct about the situation. Delay it. Only do so after the heat of the moment has passed.
Although your customers, our customers, are not our children, I think the principle also applies to our relationship with them. You can use this critical discovery to establish mutual respect and indeed loyalty from your customers.
It might seem illogical but digging around for customer complaints just might be one of the most significant ways to cement their loyalty.
So do not shy away from conflicts or confrontations. In fact, elicit feedback especially when you think it could be negative. It will be a good opportunity to win over a customer’s heart or confirm that you and your business are deserving of the customer’s loyalty. And here I mean much more than the money the customer exchanges for your product or service. What you gain extends to referrals and recommendations, all without explicit prompts or appeals from you.
Okay, so why does this work again?
People want to be heard. They also want to be respected. Listening to them clearly shows you respect them.
💡Question for you: What will you do today or in the next few days to connect with your customers, to get them talking even if you are afraid they might complain: A phone call? An email? A survey or questionnaire? A physical visit to their office or business?
Be brave, choose one option and act on it. You will be glad you did.
In case you were wondering… I got the lesson on parenting from The Happy Child – Parenting App. You can check it out on App Store or Google Play.