Friday, September 11, 2009

Four Ways to Show You Care About Your Customers

There are four simple things you can do to build strong relationships with your customers

Simple words and actions go a long way to improving relationships with your customers.

You can demonstrate your concern and appreciation for your customers through four kind responses that send a message of caring friendliness. When used regularly, these four things show how much you value your customers.


One of the best ways to send a message to your customers that they are important to you is to simply acknowledge them. Notice people when they enter your business. Be aware of those who are around you. Make eye contact and smile. As soon as you have an opportunity to speak, acknowledge the person and greet them in a friendly manner.

Several years ago I read a survey where people were asked to identify the one thing that would cause them to take their business elsewhere. The results were surprising. Only 20% of the respondents said they would take their business elsewhere if they were treated “rudely.” But 86% of those surveyed said they would stop doing business with a company if they were treated “indifferently” — as if their patronage was not important.

Another way to acknowledge the customer is to respond appropriately to their comments and inquiries. Acknowledge what people say. Never ignore a customer’s comment. If they say it, they want you to hear it. Find a way to acknowledge every comment from a customer.

Some comments call for a quick response, such as when a person mentions a new home, a grandchild, or an upcoming vacation. You can quickly acknowledge the comment with a response such as:

• Great!
• That’s terrific.
• Congratulations.
• That’s great news.
• How exciting.
• You must be thrilled.
• You deserve a vacation.

All customer concerns or complaints should immediately be acknowledged. Respond with an appropriate apology. Be sure to include in your response the reason for the concern or complaint and tell the person what you will do to help. Here are some examples of what you could say:

• I’m sorry you couldn’t get into your room. Let me make you a new key.
• I apologize for the delay. How can I assist you?
• I’m sorry we’re out of Clam Chowder. The Corn Chowder is equally good.
• I’m sorry you had to return your laptop. I can transfer your old hard drive to your new laptop if you’d like.


You can show appreciation to the customer during almost any interaction. At a minimum you should include a statement of appreciation at the end of a transaction. For example you might say:

• Thanks for calling. I enjoyed talking to you.
• Thanks for staying with us. Come see us again soon.
• Thanks for being so patient and understanding.
• I appreciate your willingness to work with me on this.
• It’s been wonderful seeing you again.
• You’re my favorite customer.


Affirmations are positive statements you make that compliment others. Compliments are easy to make. Be sure you are sincere and really mean it. Don’t invent compliments, but look for the good in others. Find things to praise, such as:

• Wow! I love your car!
• Excellent choice, sir.
• You look cheerful this morning, Madam.
• What a nice looking family.
• Your kids are so well behaved.
• That was an amazing accomplishment.


Whenever a customer has a need or concern, he or she wants assurance that you will take personal responsibility to resolve the problem. After acknowledging the customer’s concern and expressing appreciation that the issue was brought to your attention, make a confidence building statement that assures the customer you will handle the situation.

• I’ll take care of that for you personally, sir.
• I will make sure it is in your room when you arrive.
• My name is Maria. I will call you back in a few minutes with an answer.
• I’ll do it myself to make sure it gets done properly.
• I’ll check into it immediately and contact you as soon as I find out what is going on.
• Let me take it and get it fixed for you. It will be done when you get back.

These four kind responses go along way toward the development of lasting relationships with you customers. Practice using them with your customers (and your family). Both they and you will be glad you did.

Innovative Management Group offers one, two and four-hour customer service training programs that hone your employees' customer service skills and get them to truly focus on satisfying your customers. For more information call 702-258-8334 or email

1 comment:

  1. Mr. McIntire,

    Complete Customer Service and Satisfaction is a passion of mine. Although I have not worked in the corporate world for some time now, I have never lost my fervor for the absolute art of making customers feel like they have been given the best service possible. I feel a little odd cheerleading for customer service but, as a former trainer and work force motivator, I can't help but comment on what I have read from you.

    I am doing some research for school and ran across your blog and just wanted to leave a comment to let you know that I am impressed by your philosophies on each of your published business ideas.

    If I should make the choice to rejoin Corporate America, and quite frankly even if I don't, I will surely mention your name and company to business contacts that I feel could benefit from your services.

    My very best.