05 NOVEMBER 2016
5 ways to earn your customers’ love, no matter what you sell
by Steve Yastrow: Author, speaker, consultant and founder of Yastrow & Company, a Chicago-based consulting firm.
I love mornings. When the day is fresh, the clearest thoughts are not yet obscured by the day’s distractions.
Today was no exception. I’ve always been fascinated by the connection between customers’ beliefs and a company’s results. I was pondering this connection this morning, and thinking about companies whose customers believe in them the most.
Here’s what I thought as the morning light poured in through my windows: These companies have customers who love them.
Do your customers love your company?
Consider what happens if your customers love your company:
- They will focus on price less and value more.
- They will credit your company with making them better off.
- They will rave about you to friends and colleagues.
- They won’t think about your competitors as much as they think about you.
- They will consider themselves in a strong relationship with you.
- …You will make more money and be more successful.
Earning your customers’ love is possible. I have witnessed customers loving companies. I have seen those companies benefit. (Rancho La Puerta is one great example.)
You may think this is not possible for your company, because your products and services aren’t interesting enough to warrant love. Don’t be so skeptical! Think of customer love as an aspirational ideal, and the closer you get to that ideal, the better off you’ll be. Aim higher!
How do you measure if your customers love your company?
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The ancestor of every action is a thought.” Watch your customers’ actions. Are they acting as if they love your company?
- Do they ignore the competition in favour of you?
- Do they listen when you talk?
- Do they pay a premium to do business with you?
- Do they go out of their way to tell people how wonderful you are?
- Do their actions indicate intense loyalty?
- And, what do they say when you hear them speak? Do they speak as if they love you?
Most companies who measure customer love in these ways will be disappointed, finding out that their customers don’t love them all that much. So let these initial measurements serve as a benchmark, and measure progress as you work to get your customers to love you.
How do you get your customers to love your company?
You can’t convince your customers to love your company.
You can only interact with them in ways that inspire a feeling of love.
What do these love-inducing interactions look like? If your customers sense, in every interaction with your company:
- That you are conducting the interaction in a way that is best for each customer…
- That you understand what they care about, and craft your customer experience to honor and recognise those things…
- That your sales process is focused on learning about and fulfilling the customer’s needs and cares…
- That you do a lot more listening than talking…
- And if your customers believe, deeply, that they are better off because they do business with you…
They will be more likely to love your company.
Can you create this customer love?
Of course you can!
If your customers don’t love you now, it’s not because they can’t. It’s because you haven’t yet earned that love.
Make it happen! It feels good to be loved.