How Customers Feel About You

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Scenario: "We really don't like our customers -- but only in secret, so that they can love us and buy more from us. Yay!" Like most bad businesses-builders, Oblivious Opie recounts his experiences dealing with customers:

  1. "I always smile at them."
  2. "But inside, I'm thinking: 'Would this bastard hurry up?!'"
  3. "It's always a me-against-them mentality. I have to make my money, so I'll put up a false front."
  4. "That's the best way to run a business."

You ever hear about those business bosses/owners/reps/yadda (like Opie) talk smack about their customers at the local pub? As in:

  • "They're always so ignorant!"
  • "I really don't like them!"
  • "They think I'm Superman!"

Well, you awesome folks, it runs both ways: If Opie's talking smack about Hector, Hector's probably talking smack about Opie. The rule of thumb: Whatever you feel about your customers = how your customers likely feel about you.

"Why should I care how customers feel about me?"

Customers that don't like you:

  • Don't come back.
  • Tell their friends to avoid your business.
  • Create a spiraling effect of lost customers.
  • Severely, drains your bottom line.

Customers that love you:

  • Become repeat clients.
  • Bring masses of folks to your business.
  • Fatten your bottom, exponentially.

One customer relationship has a massive impact on what happens to your future business. If you can cultivate it into a strong relationship, you'll start seeing some pretty rockin' things coming to you.

"But, what if my customers really suck?"

Two solutions:

Option ^1: Fix the relationship.

It takes a lot of humility, but here's how we'd do it: Blame everything on you.

  • If a Sally's ignorant about corporate design, mock up those manuals for her.
  • If Billy Bob requires too much service, create a FAQs message board on your website.
  • If Cristofolo's slow on his invoices, help him pay more efficiently (e.g. offering online payments, etc.)

Option ^2: End the relationship.

If a customer's an incurable pain, your next best bet to building a rockin' business: End the relationship, so you can focus on those customers who get you out of bed everyday. You'll boost your business's morale, longevity -- and of course, those future transactions. (The more you work with those you love, the more future transactions you create.)

"So, how do customers feel about my business?"

A rough-but-good guideline for ya:

  • If you feel indifferent about them = they couldn't care less about you.
  • If you secretly despise them = they secretly despise you.
  • If you like them somewhat = they like you somewhat
  • If you love them = they love you

Sure, outliers do exist, meaning you could love Customer Cassie with all your heart -- but she just thinks you're super-creepy. For the most part, however -- by psychological rule of reciprocity -- you'll discover how much customers like you by asking yourself how much you like them. The rule of thumb to guide your success:

"If I'm loving all of my customers, I'm doing something super sexy awesome."


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Posted on March 13

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