“Excellence comes out of respect, which is at the heart of customer service”. – Shep Hyken
Respect from customers is earned and sustained through top class service. This is an indispensable and invaluable tool for any business to gain more customers and keep them loyal. When a business remains steadfast in its promises and upholds its values, trust, and respect from customers becomes a reality. Everyone understands that customer service should be the responsibility of every person within the company and cannot be limited to the customer service teams. To gain respect from customers therefore, every employee must believe in the company’s values, be committed to the products and overall respect the company and its business. The employees’ belief and respect of the company would naturally flow in the manner that they serve the customer. As customers perceive respect and courtesy, they become more inclined to stay with the company, provide repeat business, and encourage others to collaborate with the company too. Trust and respect from customers, in many ways, make a company invincible.
Respect from customers and for customers is a vital component of customer service and when a company has this, it can lay claim to superior levels of service. A customer’s perception of service, as we know, is subjective and depends on their particular needs and expectations. This naturally translates to the respect from customers – this too would be subjective depending on how important and valued they feel while associating with the company. It becomes imperative for a company, therefore, to demonstrate consistently respect and courtesy to all its customers. Demonstrating respect would translate to genuinely caring about customers, understanding their needs and emotional requirements, and remaining appreciative of their business. They must ‘feel’ gratitude and should know that their goals, expectations, and aspirations are as important to the company, as they are to them. Companies that do these things well will gain and be able to sustain respect from customers.
As mentioned, every customer must know that the association with the company has its own identity. A company would need to invest a large amount of resources – time, person-power, and money – in gaining even one customer. It would be prudent to show new customers respect and appreciation from the very beginning, in order to gain respect from the new customers. This would help to accelerate the new association and make it mutually beneficial for both. Respect from customers and in the business world (in other realms of life too), cannot be demanded. Companies must command the respect by establishing a positive reputation built by stellar customer service and outstanding offerings. Even the largest and most flourishing companies, owe their success to respect from customers, which they gained by working hard and consistently to ensure that their customers receive the best. Do you believe that your company has respect from customers? If not, what can be done to gain it and ensure that it never wanes?
Respect from customers (or anyone) arises out of trust. In the world of business, trust is critical to the success of a company. In order to gain trust, a company must ensure that it practices ethical behaviour, has honest and transparent dealings, and remains authentic irrespective of changing circumstances. Customers of today are smart and intelligent – it is not easy to fool them by pretending to be other than what you are or what your company can do. At the slightest hint of dishonesty, customers would stop trust the company and ultimately there would be no respect from customers. In order to sustain trust and respect, ensure that your company and its representatives conduct themselves in a manner that displays high integrity, an attitude of service and unadulterated empathy and care towards customers.
As mentioned, customers view a company’s service subjectively based on their needs and requirements and a company that can provide for their needs would be the ideal candidate for respect from customers. However, in order to know the customers’ needs and proactively predict their future behaviour, a company must be truly interested in the customer. Make it a practice to listen actively to whatever customers say through the many different channels of communication. Customers constantly provide data and clues as to what is important to them and those companies that pick up these hints would gain a clearer understanding of their customers. Companies therefore, would be better equipped to put together customized solutions and personalized offerings to display their understanding of their customers. This in turn would draw customers closer to the company and over time, trust and respect from customers would become part of the relationship.
In the current market, new companies selling the same products and offering similar services are on the rise. While this means more choices for customers, it can also be extremely confusing for them to differentiate between who, and what would be best for them – many times customers refuse to buy owing to this uncertainty. In order to gain the business and respect from customers, a company must strive to remain unique and offer products that would be relevant and useful for their customer base. This differentiation would establish the company’s leadership and authority – this expertise would ultimately gain respect from customers and the business market. As the company’s reputation and profits soar, it would be in a better position to expand its reach – thereby helping and serving a lot more people. By being a contributor to society, helping customers achieve their goals and just by being there for their customers, a company would pave the path for sustainable success based on trust and respect from customers.
In our personal lives too, we know that if someone breaks a promise, we tend to feel alienated and have feelings of distrust and disrespect. In business too, the rule is under promise and over deliver in order to gain respect from customers. Customers do not forget broken promises on the part of a company and tend to hold it against them. Ensure that everyone in the company understands the value of keeping promises and makes every effort to uphold them for the customers. Broken promises are one of the top reasons that customers tend to lose faith in a company and soon seek to part ways. In conjunction with keeping promises, is the fact that if there is a genuine error on the part of the company, it must be quick to accept, apologize and remedy the mistake. Customers know that there would be problems and lapses and are more amenable to forgiving if they perceive passionate and committed effort from the company to make things better. Owning up to your mistakes would keep the customer’s trust intact and would increase the respect they have for your company.
There are a number of reasons that a customer would remain with a company and there are even more reasons why they would not. Customers want that the association with a company would enable them to have a large number of choices – serving as reasons to stay with the company. However, if the customers’ needs and wants change, they must not feel compelled to stay with the company – the company’s policies should allow them to exit the relationship if they deem appropriate. By allowing such flexibility, not only would the company gain respect from customers, it would also ensure that the customer would either, come back when they wanted and or refer a friend or associate. Such relationship building forms a solid foundation for any company.
The list of how a company can gain respect from customers is seemingly endless. It is the company’s onus to see what would work best for its customers and follow those methods. In order to get love and respect from customers, ensure that your company is strong and united on the inside. Take care of your employees to start with, such that they show care and respect to the customers, leading to happier customers who love being associated with your company.