When people become your customers they want you to be an integral part in reaching the success they desire and all to be there when they need you. Being indispensable for customers simply means being an essential part of what they do and gradually become so necessary for them that they are unable to perceive their business without you. In being indispensable for customers your company also makes them indispensable to their customers in some way. This trait will make your company stand out and be distinct from its competitors. When your brand and business is perceived as being indispensable for customers your customers will be willing to pay more for the products and service they receive from you which may be similar to the offerings of the other market players. As your reputation spreads, your company seems more desirable to work with and you are able to attract sharper and better talent and the office environment is more engaging and exhilarating.
The fact is that unless you can anticipate what your customer needs or pro-actively engage with potential customers and make your current customers appear better than their competition, your company will not be considered indispensable. If customers can function without you, over time they most likely will. This statement is self-explanatory and hence the goal of a company and each individual must be to become indispensable for customers both internal and external. Whatever your job – you clean the bathrooms, service the elevators, a maintenance person, the CEO of a company – the truth is you have customers. There is always someone who is dependent on us to do the job assigned and do it well. Only when your job is done well can the others benefit from it.
The harsh reality is that customers now have more options than ever before and they have the means to use those options. If your company is not ‘essential’ enough for them, they will search for replacements. It has become even more crucial for companies therefore to be indispensable for customers. As an on-going process companies must evaluate how well they are performing and how they can do it better. It is vital to initiate innovation or add some feature or offering that customers will not find anywhere else. When your company is viewed as one that is continually improving and moving ahead, customers will keep coming back and bring their friends.
The shortest way to being indispensable to customers is by making them feel special. It is about letting them know that they can count on you because you will always be responsive, add value and remain concern with what bothers them. The more elements of care and empathy there is in your dealings with customers, the sooner they would consider you indispensable to their business and would keep coming back to you. As with all processes and customer service, being indispensable to customers is a gradual one that must be developed in to a habit before you can actually start reaping the benefits of happy and profitable customers.
– People are known by their name and it is essentially the most personal and nicest sound for anyone. Train everyone in your organization to remember and address customers by their names. Personally too you would know that when you are addressed by name there is an instant connection with the person who is speaking to you. Customers too feel special that they are remembered by name and the feeling of warmth and familiarity is established at the start of the association. Customers are not a number or a transaction – they are real people who will reward you even for the little things you do to make them feel welcome. Imagine how you would feel if shopped at a store for the first time and were greeted with a smile and then the following week you were addressed by name and were welcomed courteously? Wouldn’t you go back repeatedly to the store? Even in on-line transactions, it feels so good to see ‘welcome back XYZ’ when you login again on a particular site. This ‘addressal by name’ is important to customers so why not give them what they want.
– Pay attention to the details connected with your customer. For instance this friend picks up two bags of roasted munchies every week. She picked them out the first two instances but post that the store assistant started bringing them to her and would also let her know about any new varieties launched. This assistant paid attention to the customer’s interests and this friend actually looks forward to her weekend store trip. She appreciates this not necessary but value added service and has told a number of her friends too. What this store assistant did was build a relationship with the customer and the store making the customer like them more and also buy more based on suggestions from the store. Make your customers your friends and watch the magic of this great relationship do wonders for your business.
– Add value to whatever you offer to your customers. With each transaction make them feel like winners and that whatever they bought from you was way more than the price paid. There is a restaurant that we visited for the first time more out of curiosity because of the long line of customers waiting outside. Once we entered the restaurant we were greeted by pleasant and upbeat staff. Our order arrived sooner than we expected and the portions were huge. Not only did we eat the scrumptious food to our heart’s content we also had a ‘doggy bag’. In addition, we were pleasantly surprised at the low amount we paid at the end of the meal. It was a very long time before we needed to eat again. Of course we visited again and will continue to.
– Reduce customer effort and make it convenient and easy for them to do business with you. Cut out the long and tedious steps and processes and the prospect of customers buying and recommending you to others will increase manifold. Make your company the place to get the best deals with a high level of customer service.
– Send out vital and useful information, create easy to navigate self-help and troubleshooting portals and become SMEs on topics that your customers will find extremely worthwhile and helpful. With the fast pace and changing face of technology, customers can get stumped in their use. Provide them with ways to navigate through these situations which will let them know that you can solve their problems. A great way of being indispensable to customers!
– Dole out rewards to your loyal customers. This not only keeps them happy but also gives them reasons to continue doing business with you and also makes them feel that they are important to your business. There is no one particular way to reward customers – each company must decide what kind of reward would work best for their customers.
– With the ‘take over’ of the internet there are now so many communication channels that customers can use to connect with you. Remember if a customer is ‘talking’ to you via these on-line channels it is a winning situation since customers don’t make the time to communicate with everyone. Whatever the comment, respond to them, encourage the conversation and thank them for making the time to engage with you. Being appreciated on visible platforms is a sure way of gaining the attention and delighting customers. When you can delight them you are on your way to being indispensable to customers.
– Never underestimate the power and importance of please, thank you and welcome. These are the most basic of courtesies and expressions of gratitude that your customer always picks up on. Their business and loyalty is not to be taken for granted. In addition, make doing business with your company fun – it just breaks the monotony and dullness of everyday business transactions.
Every business has something to offer to customers – things that will make their lives easier and run their business a lot easier. Happy customers don’t let the effort go unnoticed and will reward your company in many ways. So make it the business of your business to make your customers dance for joy and put yourself on the path of being indispensable to customers