Making Emotional Connections for Great Service

I believe this year will be remembered in years to come as one in which people in the world of work embraced the spirit of consistently providing customers with great service across the entire customer journey!

We have studied the ingredients for GREAT service for many years and we have consulted with some of the brands most renowned for great service.  One of the five key characteristics shared by these great service providers is building strong emotional connections with customers across the entire customer journey.  Customers are favorably attracted to organizations when they get an emotional connection.  This means heart-touching encounters filled with spirit, caring and a positive attitude.  Whether in line, on-line or face-to-face, customers recall the experience long after they’ve forgotten you met their need.  Here are our favorite eight rules for building customer loyalty through emotional connections.

Eight Rules for Emotional Connection

Be the Attitude You Want Your Customers to Show

We all enjoy serving happy customers.  You can help them act pleasant by showing them how.  Aim your best smile and warmest attitude toward your customer.  Then, deliver a warm greeting that says:  “I can’t wait to give you really great customer service.”  Optimism and joy are contagious.

Never Let Customers Leave Disappointed

Even if you can’t always give customers what they want, you can always give them a great service experience.  Find a way to help.  And make sure they leave remembering your great smile and upbeat disposition.

“The Answer is ‘Yes,’ what’s Your Question?”

This “we'll figure out a way to do whatever you need” tells customers your utility has a “can do” attitude.  Go out of your way to help.  Show customers your pride.  Try to never say “no” to customers unless their requests are inappropriate or unethical.

Great Manners Make Customers Loyal

Customers enjoy getting respect and manners.  Customers may not always be right, but they are always the customer.  If they all decided to not return, you’d be out of a job!

Listen to Learn, Not to Make a Point

One challenge we both had as a parent was listening with no agenda.  When our children expressed any concern, we’d feel the need to make a point, teach a lesson, or offer advice.  Most parents have that challenge.  When we stopped trying to be smart daddys and simply listened, our kids began to trust us because they felt heard and valued.  Customers are the same; give them your undivided attention.

Find Customers, Don’t Make Them Find You

Staff costs can be the most expensive item in the company.  It can sometimes mean too many customers for the number of people to serve them.  It also means being more assertive in finding customers to serve.  Never let customers have to search for assistance.  And, let your “how may I help you” sound like you mean it.

Fix the Customer, Not Just the Customer’s Problem

It is not enough to fix a customer’s problem when things go wrong.  Just as important is “fixing” the customer’s feelings.  Give the customer a sincere apology, show you understand their concern, and let them see how fast you are working to get them back to normal.  Follow-up after their disappointment to make sure they are okay.

Thank Customers Like You Really Mean it

Customers love it when you tell them you appreciate their business.  They never forget they have options and they feel valued when you show you never forget that fact either.  Sound enthusiastic!  If you sound like a “thank-you-for-shopping-at-J-Mart” robot, they will remember your insincerity, not your gratitude.  Be a joy carrier.  If you give customers the best that you have, the best will come back to you!

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© Chip Bell Group, 2016.  Courtesy of John R. Patterson (  Permission is given to download and distribute this article as long as it contains this copyright notice.

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