By Dana Morgan-Barnes
How kindness creates return customers and fosters new business through referrals.
By Dana Morgan-Barnes
Why is being kind so good for business? It’s a known fact that we like doing business with people we know, like and trust.
Whether you are the CEO or the business owner, your example will lead your employees in the right direction. Kindness does not mean being best friends with each and every employee. It means a “hello”, a smile and if you can, remembering their name. Ensure employees know how to be kind to your clients. Often, being kind is perceived as wasting time.
Many years ago Penny worked in the Accounts Receivable department of a small manufacturing company. They had plenty of receivables but very little information on the companies. Name, address and phone number and sometimes the name of their accounts payable. As Penny contacted each company, she wrote notes. Basic information at first: who was she speaking to, were they stressed or pleasant. As time passed, Penny knew their spouses and children’s names, vacation spots, health and celebrations.
How you would feel if you received a call from “collections” and you hear: how’s your son’s baseball season going? Getting to know your clients builds trust.
Being able to build rapport and be sincerely interested in clients brought countless referrals and opened doors. What would happen to your sells if you just asked a few more questions about the person before offering your service? Be friendly: Being friendly builds rapport
You build rapport when you develop mutual trust, friendship and affinity with someone. This is beneficial to your business when it’s done with sincerity. Good interpersonal relationships and this opens many doors. Being friendly goes beyond the obligatory smile and “how are you?” This takes time, but pays off with loyal customers. Be friendly to your employees. Ask them questions, remember their names. It’s been said that an appreciated person will do more than expected. As a business owner, lead by example.
Be honest: You want to be the person your clients know they can trust.
People would rather hear “I don’t know, let me find out for you”, than something made up. Offer what you can deliver, when you can deliver it. Never paint a rosy picture just to get business. Charge a fair price: A client will find out soon enough if you over charged them. Advise your employees of sales, so they can pass the information along to the customers. Suggest the customer wait until the sale to buy and they will spread the word about your good customer service.
Be reliable: You can become your client’s best vendor just by following through.. Always return emails and voice mails. Communication should be your priority. When a promised delivery date can’t be fulfilled, reach out to the client to update them. Your proactivity can turn around a disappointed client. Give your client ample notice of office closures for holidays. Once a client knows they can count on you, they will return. Under promise and over deliver. An honest answer, even if it sends your customer elsewhere, can save a business relationship. Give your customers options; often they think they know what they want, but are unaware of what’s available. When a client appears with an ide,a show them how your company goes the extra mile to help.
Be of service: Service shows you care
Go a step beyond what your client is expecting. Providing service is about the customer, it is not about you. When a customer has an issue and needs you to find a solution, do not let them down. Do your best to find a workable solution for them. This may mean bringing someone else from your company to help out. Majority of clients will tell others about receiving great customer service. Make sure they are talking about you! A loyal customer feels valued. Service equals value.
Dana Morgan-Barnes is a speaker, trainer, author, and coach. Her new book is called, You Have the Power of Kindness. For more information, please visit: coachdanainspires.com.