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Opinion: Do these 5 things to keep customers returning

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Taking care of the client is paramount in almost any business regardless of industry. This includes both great customer service and an excellent customer experience. In my opinion, this is front and center to building a successful enterprise. It’s the foundation of all we do. We may sell different products and services, but at the end of the day we are in the customer-service business. I believe, for sustainability, that is a must.

Why is this so important? Because contrary to popular belief, it’s not the employer that pays the wages, it’s the clients. It harkens back to the satirical twist on the golden rule: He with the gold makes the rules.

We would be wise to remember that it takes years to develop a great client and only a few seconds to lose them. Do whatever it takes to make unforgettable customer experiences that keep them coming back for more.

Creating a great customer experience each time takes hard work and intentionality. It does not happen by accident. At our company, we have built our entire organizational culture around customer service. We call it the Paragon Way. To be successful and to build long-term relationships, we have found that it is essential to build strategies around this customer-focused philosophy. We don’t always get it right, but there is tremendous effort toward this. Here are five goals we aim to achieve in order to create great customer experiences:

1. Create an elevated experience. We always want to make sure the client receives quantifiable value.

Value is not so much about what the customer paid for a product or service but rather what they get out of it. Make sure they get what they expected and then some. This means alignment between their expectations and our brand proposition must be spot on.

2. Leave them pleasantly surprised. Do something unexpected. This may be different from client to client, but if you can surprise them with something extra, it will create a memory worth repeating and keep them coming back for more. Fight against predictability.

Obviously, we want to consistently deliver results but take it one step further and exceed their expectations.

3. Impact the emotion. At the end of the day, did they leave the situation happier than they came in? Did they have a genuine good time throughout the process? Did they notice there was more to this than just what they paid for?

If they did, they will tell people about their experience.

4. Focus on building a relationship. Be laser focused on building relationships, not just customers. It is really a mindset.

Your goal should be to build a lifelong relationship with your clients. If you are successful in implementing these things, the last one will come with ease.

5. Create raving fans. Truett Cathy has been successful at doing this at Chick-fil-A. Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create fanatical fans who want to work with you.

Legendary customer experiences are designed, they do not just happen. You might have to put significant time into building your customer experiences and continually looking for ways to improve.

Finally, be sure to thank your customers for their loyalty. Raving fans become your best recruiters. In business, we all face stiff competition. The client might find a better price somewhere else, because there is always someone willing to do it cheaper, right? Usually, if it’s cheaper, you are giving up something. If you focus on a stunning customer experience, it will be about value and not price.

Donnie Brawner is the CEO of Paragon 360. He can be reached at dbrawner@paragon360.com.

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