Here is what I know: the time when customers are the least loveable is the time when they need the MOST from you. Just like with children, your customers need more from you during times of stress. When they are made to feel appreciated and valued during the good times, it is much easier to have a smooth ride during the difficult times. And we all know about those difficult times.

When caring becomes part of your corporate culture and I mean real customer care, every employee in your company will respond to customer situations in a way that will enhance your client loyalty.

When customer caring stops at the executive offices, the chances for sporadic evidence of caring increase. When the culture of caring is not consistent throughout your company, confusion dominates client interactions and sends unsettling messages to the client. Then starts the diffusion of loyalty. Customers know when you care and they will seek out business partners who DEMONSTRATE that they care by their behavior. Should the appreciation not be felt by your client, he/she will move to a vendor who can demonstrate care.

If your message of appreciating customers EVERYDAY is not heard and resonated within the heart and soul of EVERY person working in your organization, you will NOT be successful in delivering outrageous service and win the loyalty so much needed for growth. Take a look today at the people who represent your company. Truly investigate where you find deficiencies in service and customer care attitude in your organization. Retrain or replace those who cannot demonstrate to your clients what you have set forth as customer care core values. You cannot afford to employ anyone who treats clients differently than does management in your organization. To do so is to enable behavior that is a direct opposition to your beliefs and core values.

How do we show “Loyalty Winning Appreciation”? Several ideas come to mind:

1. Thank them for their business every time you speak with them.

2. Go out of your way to remember your contact’s birthday or special events that you know about.

3. Address them using their name.

4. Take care of their special requests immediately.

5. Make sure they know they can depend on you to respond quickly in cases of emergency.

6. Sell the value of doing business with you EVERY day.

7. Never say “no” or “there’s nothing we can do” or “sorry about that”. Always offer an alternative even if it means sending them to your competitor.

8. Treat every customer as if it’s your ONLY one.

9. They know when you care!

Loyalty and Longevity ARE possible in our business in spite of cost cutting directives. Not only are they possible, but they are the main ingredient for long term growth and success.

They know when you care!