How to Cultivate Your Business's Best Customers
Every customer who buys from your business deserves your total courtesy and best service. But your best customers — those customers who become loyal, repeat clients and speak well on your company’s behalf — deserve a little TLC.
Be aware of the following three customer categories, and weight your efforts toward developing relationship customers in your business:
Relationship customers: Value loyalty and commitment. Recognize them, remember them, do them favors, offer them gifts, bend your rules, anticipate their needs, and win their trust, and they’ll become loyal customers for life.
Transaction customers: Interested primarily in price. They represent sales and generate word-of-mouth for your business, but they’ll leave you for a deeper discount in a split second, so gauge your efforts to meet their high demands accordingly.
Toxic customers: Sooner or later, you’ll encounter an excessively negative customer. Use the same friendly service style for which your business is known with these customers — listening, trying to solve the customer’s complaint, and working to arrive at a mutually agreeable outcome. Many times, this service approach will calm the customer and lead to a positive outcome.
But some customers demand concessions you shouldn’t make, and those customers are simply not a good match for your business. Catering to their demands risks the financial stability of your business and threatens your ability to retain your good employees. When you encounter an overly negative or abusive customer, make a choice in favor of your business.