This week my husband and I have been celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary.
So I’ve been reflecting on the lessons we can learn from a successful marriage that can be applied equally to a successful customer relationship, ultimately leading to customer loyalty and retention.
5 themes immediately came to mind.
1. Show you care
Taking time to listen (and showing you’re listening) not only demonstrates your interest, but also helps identify what’s important and to clarify expectations.
Recognise others might have different priorities, interests and needs and understanding what these are makes it a lot easier to achieve a win-win.
This might involve problem-solving and frequently requires a degree of flexibility. We all know digging in our heels or sulking gets us nowhere!
2. Keep things fresh
Add an element of surprise, spontaneity and the unexpected. Providing of course it’s a pleasant surprise! I often talk about adding GLUE – giving little unexpected extras. These work equally well at home as they do in business.
3. Don’t take them for granted
Remember to show your appreciation for even the smallest gesture and say thank you. Keep your promises even if it means doing something that seems insignificant to you. If problems arise nip them in the bud so they don’t fester.
And own up to mistakes and admit when you’re in the wrong. Yes, I know this can be tough, but it certainly earns you brownie points when you do.
4. Let them know you’re thinking of them
When you’re not together stay in touch, and stay on their radar. Whether it’s a letter, birthday card, email, or simply a text, it lets your loved one (or customer) know they’re still important to you. Or maybe you spot something that is perfect for them and give it to them saying “I saw this and thought of you”.
Join in when they want to celebrate, even if you’re not quite in the mood! There’s no better way to dampen someone’s enthusiasm (and potentially sour a relationship) than failing to share in their moment. Find a reason to ask them to share your celebrations too. And simply have some fun together.