The Best Way to Earn Loyal Customers

July 8, 2014
Earn loyal customers by being human

Loyal customers are hard to come by and harder to keep. Dropping a disliked product or service for a better one is easier than ever, and the onus is on companies to make their customers’ experiences as consistently positive as possible. What’s the best way to do this? The answer may be simpler than you think.

Make people feel good

I saw a great example of this recently when I read about NY restaurant Eleven Madison’s unique customer service.

It all feels a little over the top (even for New York), but I love that the staff’s main goal is making guests feel welcome and comfortable.

The entire article is interesting, but my favorite quote happens right at the end:

“The answer is obvious: [make] customers feel good. Really good. So good that they [want] to experience the exact same kind of care again and again.”

Lessons for businesses

Whether you own a restaurant, retail store, or do business solely from your laptop, the best way to keep customers happy is to give them a great customer experience.

You don’t have to say yes to everything or kowtow to everyone’s demands — it’s really just about being human in every interaction, big or small.

  • Remember the niceties in email communication
  • Send a handwritten note every now and then
  • Have bottled water and coffee available for visitors
  • Go the extra mile to solve a customer service challenge
  • Treat customers to occasional free products or services

It might sound a little unnecessary, but over time these positive micro-interactions become a part of your customers’ overall impression of your business.

Be worthy of your customers’ loyalty by building relationships. Make people feel good, even when you have to tell them no. Make them loyal by being loyal to them.

Start small — a handwritten note today, taking a bit more time with email communication tomorrow — and see what happens. I bet you’ll be surprised.

Customer interaction matters. Make every one count.

[Image: Daniel Zedda, cropped/resized]