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How Are You Treating Your Customers…In Life?

In business, we talk a lot about the importance of how we treat our customers and clients. Statistics such as “It’s five time more expensive to generate new customers than to keep existing ones” help to remind us of the economic benefit to treating our customers well. We know that it makes good business sense to go out of our way to treat customers well.

But what about our customers in life? How are we treating those who are important to us in other areas of our life—our family and friends, for example. These people are certainly more important to us personally than our customers. Yet, who do we treat better, our best customers, or the most important people in our personal lives?

As in business, building lasting relationships in your personal life is one of the most beneficial things you can ever do. The difference is, people on their deathbed don’t often complain about not having spent enough time with the customers in their business.

Here are some ways that we can make those closest to us—our family and friends—feel special. By the way, these tips work for our customers in business, too!

Acknowledge your appreciation for them. By acknowledging people, we make them feel recognized and special. For our children, this might come in the form of praise. For our spouses, it might mean sending him or her flowers. We can provide this for our business customers by calling them, or sending them an article in which they may be interested. We can also acknowledge people’s importance in our lives by writing a note, or sending a holiday, birthday or special event card.

Discover what’s most important to them, and let that thing guide you. In our family, I find that time together is most important. Each of our children has activities that they enjoy doing with me. So I make sure that I play basketball with my son, and sit down to play cards or other games with my daughter. A business client might enjoy a particular sport. If this is the case, then take that customer to a couple games per season. By investing in these relationships, you are demonstrating that what they value is important to you.

Communicate with them. It has been said that “the quality of our relationships is determined by the quality of our communication.” One of our greatest needs is to be understood. By truly listening to those who are important to us, we are communicating that we care. And that goes a  long way, both in business and in our personal lives.

Be intentional. If we are not intentional about making this a priority, a natural consequence is that we take relationships for granted. This can happen in business, with our longstanding, reliable customers, as well as with our friends and family. More sales are lost through neglect than for any other reason, and neglect is a contributing factor in the demise of personal relationships, as well. We simply must be intentional about making sure that we devote time and attention to the important people in our lives.

Little things make all the difference in relationships, especially when they are performed consistently over time. As you apply the tips described above, you will notice dramatic improvements in the quality of your relationships.

If you have been successful in applying these characteristics, please share your story with us! And if there are other traits that you think should have been included, please contact me. I’d love to hear from you!

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