Dr. Zimmerman | Positive Communication Pro & Communication skills

6 Ways to Turn Your Customers into Your Ambassadors (Part 1)

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“Businesses are built on satisfied customers.” True or false?

Almost everyone says “True.” It only makes sense.

However, the answer is “false.” A study by the Forum Corporation says almost 40% of your “satisfied” customers will switch to another vendor.

As Buzz Bainbridge wrote in Network magazine, many people back in the 1980’s assumed there would be a direct correlation between customer satisfaction and repeat business. It’s just not true.

satisfied customer is simply a person who got what he paid for. Nothing more, nothing less. Once he’s paid for your product or service, he feels no particular need to stay with you.

The truth is that you build your business on enthusiastic customers who talk about you. Who spread the word about your business through positive word-of-mouth buzz. Who become, in effect, your ambassadors.

So what can you do to turn your ordinary customers into extraordinary ambassadors? Use any or all of the following techniques.

► 1. Provide moments of magic.

Do something … anything … that will make your customers say “Wow!” and will make them want to talk about it.

Do something … anything … that will make your customers say “Wow!” and will make them want to talk about it.

For example, The ABC Bus Company has seven locations across the country where they sell and repair buses. When I first went there, I expected their shops to be like most mechanical shops I’ve seen–fairly greasy, dirty, and slippery.

Not at all! Their shops are so amazingly clean you could literally go there, all dressed up, sit on the floor and eat your brown bag lunch, and feel totally comfortable. It was so impressive that I’ve been saying “Wow” ever since.

If you can’t think of five or six things that almost always get your customers to say “Wow,” create some moments of magic, starting right now.

► 2. Make life easier.

Everyone seems to have too much stress these days. You know, too much to do and too little time plus the health and economic disasters of COVID. If you can remove some of that stress, you’ll get people talking about you and your business.

The Opryland Hotel does that for their guests. When I asked for a restaurant recommendation offsite, they did more than mention a place. They did more than whip out a basket of menus they had collected. Anyone could have done that.

This hotel went one step further. They told me they had personally checked out several restaurants. They had tasted the foods and thought they were excellent. They even made sure the prices were fair. And they totally removed the possible frustration of a poor dining experience. They made life easier for me and their thousands of other guests.

The result? I became one of their enthusiastic customers. In fact, I just told about 100,000 of you who receive my Tuesday Tip newsletter every week.

Remember, you are not in the business of merely selling goods and services. You’re in the business of making life easier for your customers … if you want to stay in business, that is.

As I said above, make life easier. That’s right, make life easier for yourself and the other people in your life. That’s exactly what my in-person or virtual Journey-to-the-Extraordinary experience will do for you.

That’s what Dr. Sally Webb said about the program. Having spent several decades going to school, getting degrees, and teaching at the University level, I figured she was certain to be a tough critic. Well, she was delighted with the Journey.

Sally says, “Dr. Alan Zimmerman is the perfect guide for the Journey-to-the-Extraordinary. He combines his personal experiences and those of others with years of research and academic and business success. Whether adults are young or old, Alan gives participants valuable, rich, practical, new guidelines in these fast-paced, interactive sessions. Participants left the Journey energized with a new zest for their family, friends, and careers. And I learned so many take-aways that I have to say my life and career have never been better.”

Register now for my next Journey coming on November 12-13, 2020. You can attend in person at our St. Louis meeting location, or you can attend virtually. Register now and save $500.

► 3. Serve with a super-caring attitude.

Whatever your product or service, I presume it is a quality product or service. But face it; there are lots of quality products and services in the marketplace. Your competitors can give you a healthy run for your money.

What your competitors can’t do, however, is duplicate your exact attitude. They can’t add the precise personal touch that you can add. And if your attitude stands out as especially attractive, the customers will remember you.

Now you may not want to hear that. You may think your product or service speaks for itself. You may think you don’t need any of this “touchy-feely, mumbo jumbo attitude crap.” That’s what one of my audiences said.

As I pushed them to take a good hard look at their service, they told me, “Look, we’re no worse than anybody else.” I thought to myself, admittedly somewhat sarcastically, “What a wonderful advertising slogan: ‘We’re no worse than anybody else.’ That should really draw in the customers.”

Fortunately, I was able to get through their defensiveness. I helped them see the importance of attitude and how it would add to their bottom line. They ended up with a lot more success with their customers and a lot more profit.

If you work with people in person or virtually, what are you doing to make sure your attitude is a positive one? Does your attitude impress customers or does it turn them off.

If you manage people, what are you doing to help your people develop a positive attitude? And what are you doing to ensure their attitude stays positive? If you’re leaving it to chance, you might as well be flushing some of your profits down the toilet.

It’s weird. Some organizations have focused all their energy on lowering prices, but they haven’t learned how to raise their attitudes. I sometimes think they should hang a sign that says, “We give lousy service, but we’re cheap.” At least that would be truth in advertising.

The more enlightened companies are starting to “get” it. They’re starting to realize that they may have been hiring the wrong way. They were hiring people with skill but they were overlooking the attitude of their new hires.

Disney changed all that. They said it was easier to give someone a skill than an attitude. Disney said hire for attitude — and then train for skill.

Are you doing that? You need your customers to be impressed by the positive, professional attitude of your employees. You need your customers to feel good about the quality of your product, and you need your customers to talk about the quality of the service they received.

Final Thought: Everyone in your life is a customer. Your spouse, partner, kids, coworkers, friends, family members, and yes, of course, your organization’s customers are all YOUR customers. Which means you can use all three of today’s tips on any of those people to create better, more profitable relationships.