Did the title of this blog grab your attention? The purpose was not to offend you, but rather to have you look introspectively.
In the business world, we generally try to avoid the touchy feely emotions of life. Emotions, however, play an important part of everyday business. Think for a moment about what motivates your decisions. Often with many decisions (especially significant ones), you likely felt excitement, anticipation, and probably a little hesitation. All of these are emotions that either helped propel you forward into the unknown, or kept you from taking an unnecessary risk.
From a customer’s perspective, emotions create loyalty. It is a bond between them and you. The same holds true for our employees, vendors, co-workers, peers, and everyone else with whom we interact. Developing an emotional connection creates a bond between you and your customers.
All around us, we can see businesses that are successful at creating an emotional connection with their customers. Yes, most of us know this as good customer service, but I would like to take it a step further and call it an emotional connection through relationship building. This leads to a good customer experience. A well-built relationship makes us feel…GOOD. An example of this would be a nation-wide steakhouse that creates fun for their customers. They allow you to de-shell peanuts and throw them on the floor (my children love this), they have fresh bread ready for you when you arrive at your table (again…my children love this), the staff dance in the aisle, and when it’s your birthday, you can sit on a wooden horse while being sung to. This is an experience that has an emotional connection to it…FUN!
This brings me back to my original question. Who cares about you? Really think about this. Customers who are cared about will return and businesses who care about customers benefit from loyal customers. I frequently visit the restaurant in my example because I have fun each time I visit. I go to the same place to get my oil changed because they provide me with friendly service. I travel out of my way to go to a dry cleaner because the owner knows me by my first name. With each of these examples, I have an emotional response each time I visit them.
Don’t be afraid to make an emotional connection with your customers. It’s okay to show that you care about them, their business, and their success. The emotional connection you make will not only drive how you do business, it will keep your customers coming back, and it will have a direct impact on your bottom line.
- Answer the question “Who cares about you?”
- Identify ways to create an emotional connection with your customers. (Hint: look for personal ways to connect.)
- Implement changes.
- Regularly seek feedback on how your changes impact your business (self-evaluation, customer/employee feedback.)