5 Ways to Court the Customer as Your Valentine

Long before the cupids, hearts, and flowers associated today with Valentine’s Day, love has been the center of the annual event dating back to 496 AD. But, how can businesses show customers love in today’s economy?

Renowned customer service expert and author Chip Bell says that one byproduct of innovative customer service is not just keeping a customer but changing their feelings about the organization from pleased to thrilled. Bell shares a five simple ways for today’s business to make this possible through small notions and turn passively retained customers to active advocates.

All You Need is Love: With boldness and a forgiving attitude, reach out to angry customers and let them know you appreciate them. Learn from upset customers. Even if they have parted ways from you, thank them for their time with you. Bell says that some customers will be skeptical and distrustful but not to let it deter you from spreading affection.

A Generous Heart: One powerful route to the heart of a customer is a generous attitude. This doesn’t require the company to break the bank but requires actions centered-around the right attitude that not only leaves a customer happy but surprised.

Authentic Caring: Customers value wholesome relationships–encounters with all the con, ploy and gaminess completely stripped out. The late psychologist Carl Rogers claimed unconditional positive regard was the core substance of all healthy relationships. It means caring with an agenda serving without an ulterior motive.

Include Everyone: Don’t spend all of your attention on your newest or best customers. Give them all a chance to become your valentine. Giving a valentine or valentine-like expression to customers who are not advocates just might turn them into one. It might change their relationship from consumers to clients or from transaction acquaintances to partnership alliances.

Indirect Gifts: Valentine’s Day is not just about giving your customers a reminder of your ardor; it might also be a chance to provide indirect attention on something or someone emotionally important to her or him. Bell suggests not waiting for customers to wear an Ask Me About My Granddaughter button, rather find ways to learn the target of their affinity and add it to your list as well.

Bell says that most customer relationships don’t end in conflict; instead they vanilla to death. Noting that neglect is more dangerous than strife, the expert says that indifference is more costly than error. To encourage his followers and readers on ways to court customers better, Chip Bell will be sharing daily tips on his blog at www.chipbell.com/blog/ the week of Valentine’s Day (Feb. 10-14, 2014) and invites you to join in the conversation.

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Chip Bell
Chip Bell is a service consultant, sought-after keynote speaker, and the author such bestselling and award-winning books as €œWired and Dangerous€œ(co-authored with John Patterson), €œTake Their Breath Away€ (also with John Patterson), €œManagers as Mentors€ (with Marshall Goldsmith) and €œManaging Knock Your Socks Off Service€ (with Ron Zemke). His newest book is €œThe 9½ Principles of Innovative Service.€ He can be reached at www.chipbell.com.