I emailed a company at the beginning of September with a question about a product I was interested in purchasing. To this day, I’ve not had a response. Without a reply, I am left with the lasting impression that they simply don’t care about me and my enquiry.
We often experience this ‘I don’t care’ attitude - from a supermarket sales assistant mindlessly flinging our eggs down the conveyor belt, to a manager who is not interested in resolving a complaint brought about by a mistake made by the company. As a customer on the receiving end of this attitude, I feel frustrated, angry, and resentful and eager to take my custom elsewhere.
So how can companies show customers they truly care and why is it so important?
Do you care about your premises?
I regularly walk past an office block in my town and for the past few months I’ve noticed a blind in the window is broken. The impression this gives to the passing traffic is one that the company doesn’t care that a blind is broken or even care about the image it’s portraying to the outside world. How much time and money would it actually take to fix the blind or install a new one? Probably not much in the big scheme of things. Yet it remains broken.
Taking care of your premises is key to creating the impression you are a company that cares. If a company spends time and energy looking after it’s premises, how much more will it spend looking after its staff and customers?
Making sure there are no rubbish or weeds outside the building, ensuring the hedges are regularly cut back, parking bays are clearly marked, company signage is clean and clear, the reception area is clean, warm, and welcoming are all little things that can make a big difference to a potentially new client visiting your premises.
It also shows your employees that you care about them too and are providing them a clean, safe, and enjoyable working environment.
Do you care about your reputation?
A business reputation is a combination of what a business does, how it acts and what others think of it.
Building and maintaining a powerful reputation is important when it comes to gaining and keeping employees and customers. A business reputation can take years to build up but just seconds to destroy if customers and staff are poorly treated.
Strive to develop a reputation for treating staff respectfully, keeping your promises, working in accordance to the company values, being organised and efficient, and being of value.
Do you care about your staff?
How often have you walked past an employee, stopped for a chat, and asked them about their day not just about work? Take time to get to know your team members; what they enjoy doing in their spare time, what are their priorities outside work, if they have a family or pets.Staff who feel valued and appreciated will invariably go above and beyond for both the company and the customer.
Do bear in mind though, not everyone is comfortable talking about their personal lives in the workplace, so show you care by being sensitive and discreet with any information that is given to you.
Do you care about your customers?
Customers will return to a company they like, trust, and feel valued. And the perfect way to make them feel valued is to show them you truly care.
There are many ways you can show the customer you care about them. Respond when they ask for information or leave feedback, take time to listen and understand their wants and needs, make them feel important rather than just another sale, provide the personal touch with a genuine warm and friendly welcome.
So, what do you care about?
Do you care about cost-cutting, the quick sale and profits or do you care about creating a safe, positive work environment with engaged, motivated staff delivering a consistently outstanding experience to your customers?