How do you feel when someone genuinely appreciates you for your input/effort? It feels nice and warm, doesn’t it?
That’s the kind of feeling you want customers and clients to associate with you. As a solopreneur, chances are you will perform a lot of the business’s tasks yourself, so you’ll probably relate with a lot more people than if you had a team working for you.
As a business owner, you don’t need to be reminded on the importance of keeping customers happy. However, in the midst of all the tasks and appointments you have to keep, you might forget to do the little things like genuinely saying “thank you” that make a whole world of difference in other people’s lives.
Appreciation is important
According to data obtained from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) office on client retention surveys, 68% of clients leave because they perceive the business does not care for them. Compare that to 14% because of product dissatisfaction. At the very least, you can rebound from having a bad product, but where the client feels you do not value them, they will leave, and it will be much harder for you to bring them back.
How people feel about you and their desire to transact with your business are closely related, if not directly proportional. And it’s true in reverse scenarios, too. With the exception of a business offering low prices, you will buy from someone who treats you kindly, smiles, and lets you know how valuable you are to them. So why not do the same for your clients?
Put yourself in their shoes
To understand properly the effort you need to put into your appreciation efforts, you have to think like your customer/client. Remember, in their eyes, it is all about them. Thus, you need to put other’s needs before your own if you are to succeed at conveying genuine appreciation.
Genuine appreciation is heartfelt and sincere. Fake appreciation is easy to spot, and cultivates a level of distrust in the recipient that is hard to shed. Appreciation in business requires constant opportunities for them to sample your character and competence to develop know, like and trust.
Appreciation has to focus on aspects other than those that benefit you. [tweet this]
You have to identify the personality traits that make working with a particular client pleasurable to you and praise that. It’s more like giving compliments, and you also don’t expect anything in return.
More than just appreciation
Even as you go about being appreciative to the people you interact with that make your business grow, you have to think continually of ways to make the customer experience better and easier. Make it easier for customers to transact with you through a number of ways, like having an easy-to-remember phone number, fast responses to email and social media queries, and easy to fill online forms.
Encourage customers to give feedback on what they liked and didn’t like about doing business with you. Customers have with them a wealth of knowledge that is useful in your efforts to improve your services and overall attitude.
Lastly, never forget to say “thank you.” Don’t just say it when customers purchase from you. Make appreciation a consistent theme in your work and life, and clients will take notice and want to associate with you. Happy customers will likely come back, and they’ll share their positive experiences with others, thus expanding your potential reach.
That’s something to be thankful for, isn’t it?
About the Author:
Maria Elena Duron is a Marketing Coach and Strategist with Know, Like, + Ignite and @mariaduron on Twitter. Would you like practical tips to create and curate content and experiences worthy of being passed person-to-person? –Get exclusive access.