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How to care more about the customer than the sale

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It seems that most of the companies that customers love to do business with have something in common. They focus more on the customer than they do the sale. Sure, they want to make the sale, add more revenue and get higher ratings. What company doesn’t want? But when they focus on the customer’s needs, the rest seems to fall into place.

A great example of this comes from Dawn Mushill, one of our Shepard Letter subscribers. She emailed me a great story worth sharing. The short version is this:

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Dawn ordered a product from a vendor. Since she is working remotely, she gave her home address. The company recognized that it would cost more to ship to a residential address and took the time to call her and explain that changing the address could save her money. Her response was, “Wow! Loyalty for future orders!”

It’s important to note that the amount of money she would save was minimal, but the fact that someone from the company reached out to her to offer even a small saving was an unexpected surprise.

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Here’s another example. I noticed the tire on my car was almost flat. I took the car to the local repair center. They told me how much a new tire would cost, but before I paid for it, they wanted to see why it was going flat. They called me a couple of hours later to tell me my car was ready. When I showed up to get my car, the bill was just $16. I said, “I thought I needed a new tire.” The manager said, “I thought so, too, but we were able to do a simple repair. Hey, if you want to spend a few hundred dollars on a new tire you don’t need, I guess we can sell one to you.” Of course, he was joking. I was appreciative, and that’s why we keep going back.

So, what can we learn from these examples? Here are six ways to show you care more about your customer than the sale:

  1. Help the customer, don’t sell the customer. That makes the future sale much easier and more likely.
  2. When you find ways to save the customer money, even if it’s just a little, it shows you are paying attention to them versus just going through the motions of a transaction.
  3. Saving a customer money builds trust. Any company that is trying to save a customer money – sometimes at their own cost – proves they are focused on their customer.
  4. An extra interaction, especially when it is focused 100% on the benefit of the customer, is worth the effort. In Dawn’s example, it was to save a little money on shipping. It could be anything, even a check-in call to give the customer an update. And do I need to remind you? No selling.
  5. Customers love communication. Keep them updated on the status of an order or problem resolution or any part of the process that takes time. Let them know you still care about them even though you’ve already made the sale.
  6. Finally, and this is a good way to summarize what this is all about, it’s not about the money. It’s about the relationship. Build the relationship and the money follows.

Do you have other ways that you show customers you care about them more than the sale? Let me know if you do!

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Shep Hyken
Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert and the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations.  He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and has been inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in the speaking profession.  Shep works with companies and organizations who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. His articles have been read in hundreds of publications, and he is the author of Moments of Magic®, The Loyal Customer, The Cult of the Customer, The Amazement Revolution, Amaze Every Customer Every Time, and The Convenience Revolution. He is also the creator of The Customer Focus, a customer service training program that helps clients develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset. (Now available as an online/web-based training program!)

In 1983 Shep founded Shepard Presentations and since then has worked with hundreds of clients ranging from Fortune 100 size organizations to companies with less than 50 employees. Some of his clients include American Airlines, AAA, Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, AETNA, Abbott Laboratories, American Express - and that’s just a few of the A’s! Shep Hyken’s most requested programs focus on customer service, customer loyalty, internal service, customer relations and the customer experience. He is known for his high-energy presentations, which combine important information with entertainment (humor and magic) to create exciting programs for his audiences.

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