Do Your Customers Love You?

Because “you need your customers more than they need you,” Jeb Blount offers the “Seven Essential Principles of Customer Service” in his book, People Love You – The Real Secret to Delivering Legendary Customer Experience.

As Blount explains, “The fact is customers are not loyal to products, services or companies. Instead, they are loyal to people they like, trust and believe in.” So while the mechanics and process of servicing customers are important, your real goal is to build “strong emotional bonds with customers that last a lifetime.”

Thus, the “Seven Essential Principles of Customer Engagement”:

Principle 1:  You Need Your Customers More Than They Need You. “The number one reason companies fail is a lack of customers.”  Whether you are the boss, account manager or sales person, “top customer service professionals believe their mission is to help their customers win and reach their goals. They are advocates for their customers. And they believe that by helping their customers reach their goals, they will reach their own.”

Principle 2:  Customers Are People. “They are emotional, irrational and human. They feel fear and stress. They are overworked and underpaid. They are time starved. They have ambition and goals. They have an insatiable need to feel important and appreciated. They have families and priorities. Each interaction with a person crates an experience that they remember. Though you may believe that your product or service has a greater impact on your customer’s experience than you do,” remember that “customers don’t do business with companies, they do business with people – you.”

Principle 3:  You Are Always On Stage. “Business is a grand stage and…from that stage you deliver customer experiences. Everything you say or don’t say, do or don’t do, your facial expressions, tone of voice and body language can and will have an impact on your customer’s experience. Your words and actions have meaning. A misspoken word, display of raw emotion, or slip of the tongue will impact the relationships you have with customers. … This is where customer experience is born.” Yours and theirs.

Principle 4:  Customers Act on Emotion and Justify with Logic. “One of the core principles of the People Love You philosophy is the universal law of human behavior: People act first (or buy) on emotion and then justify those actions with logic.” Yes, there are “folks who will argue this point to the death.” And, yes it is true that we all try to make logical purchasing decisions based on facts, numbers, observations and stats. “But it is the emotion we feel that causes us to act.”

Principle 5:  Customers Do Things for Their Reasons – Not Yours. Account managers or customer service professionals should “embrace the belief that though customers may not always be right, they are always first. They stand in their shoes and view situations through their customer’s perspective.”

Principle 6:  Customers Don’t Do Illogical Things on Purpose. While some managers believe “customers do dumb things on purpose … there is usually an alternative explanation for their actions. … Top customer service professionals assume positive intent. In other words, they recognize that the customer thought she was doing the right thing. They know that when a customer is doing the wrong thing, there is a reason and it is in their best interest as a service professional (because they need their customers more than their customers need them) to investigate why the person is doing something that seems illogical rather than simply judge it as such. This helps them to either gain understanding or uncover and remove the root cause.”

Principle 7:  Always Give More Than Is Required. Generally, when discussing customer service, the cliché is to “exceed customer expectations.” But, Jeb Blount explains, it is not always possible to exceed their expectations, since you may not know what they are or can’t exceed them. “At my company, we have a simple value statement that we live by. We always do more than we have to and we will be kind to everyone, no matter what. … Focus on what you can control – your actions. … That is, give your customers more value that they paid for.” We often forget about our expectations and instead think about how good we feel and our experience.

Blount also discusses the “Five Levers of Customer Experience that help you move people to love you by tapping into the motivations that are driven by human emotion,” and he explains how to “make breaking up hard to do.”

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One Response to “Do Your Customers Love You?”

  1. Hi there. After reading this amazing post, I am delighted to share it with colleagues.

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