Treating Your Customers as Guests

The complaint from so many consumers these days is that they are feeling like nothing more than a number.  Consumers want to feel that they are valued and appreciated.

There are a few and extremely easy ways to go about showing consumers that you value them and their business.

Greet them as you would a visitor into your home.   When you prepare for friends to come to your home, you go through a set pattern.  You make sure that your home is straightened up and looks inviting.  You have prepared certain foods and drinks for your friends to enjoy.  You have made sure that everything necessary for the enjoyment is available.  If it is a dinner gathering, you have set the table, prepared the food, have beverages ready, etc.  For game night, you have the game selection handy, tables set up for people to play, paper and pencils ready for scoring, etc.    When your friends come to the door, you certainly wouldn’t say “Let me know if you need anything.”  Your greeting would be more along the lines of “Hi Susan!  I’m so glad that you are here.  We’ve been looking forward to having you over.”

When you have customers come into your place of business, the same steps should be followed.  Make sure that all areas that your customers see are straightened up and cleaned.  This may involve constant attention throughout the day, but it will make an  impact.  Make sure that you and your employees are dressed professionally and in accordance to your business and job functions.  It takes less than one second for someone to make a first impression and it is often based on visual cues.  Your credibility is often influenced by your appearance.  Greeting your customers should be genuine.  They need to know that you appreciate your business.  Tailor your greetings to your business.  A few examples are “Welcome to (XYZ Restuarant).  We are so glad to have you here.  How many of you will be joining us tonight?”  “Welcome to (XYZ Store).  My name is ____________ and I’d like to help you out in any way that I can.  Is there something specific that you are looking for or would you like to look around for a bit?”

The point is to be WELCOMING to your customers.  Your attitude will speak volumes.  Customers pick up on sincerity right away and they will know when someone genuinely wants to help them or not. 

When the customer is leaving your place of business, thank them for coming in.  A GENUINE statement of “I’m glad we were able to help you today.  We look forward to seeing you again soon.” speaks volumes of the dedication you have to making your consumer feel valued.

The term “Customer Service” is rapidly being replaced by the term “Guest Relations” today in the hospitality industry.  They recognized that customers want to be more than a number and to feel like they belong.  If you value your customers and show them this, they will return to you and refer you to their friends and associates.

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