â€œThe best plan now is to have as many bosses as possible. I call it boss diversity. If you work for a company and you have one boss and that boss doesn’t like you or wants to get rid of you, you’re in trouble. But if you work for yourself, you have lots of bosses, who are your customers, and if a few of them decide they don’t like you, that’s okay.â€ â€“ Scott Adams
My father has this habit of hanging out in one of our local banks. He had an account there and did make some transactions, withdrawals and deposits from time to time. The weird thing is, he regularly goes to the bank and chit chats with the people there for 5 minutes and then leaves. One day, I asked him what he did in the bank and he said â€œNothing.â€ Surprised, I followed up by asking him why he went if he did nothing. He then answered â€œI just like going there because the moment I step in they always ask me if I want a cup of coffee.â€
Successful businessmen know that getting customers is hard, but keeping them is harder. Itâ€™s like dating. You nail all the first date basics but getting the relationship going is another thing. The story about my father is one great example. He had a bank account there and will use that bank as long as he lives. Is it because of the coffee? Maybe. We always have coffee in our house and my mom can easily make a pot, but itâ€™s the gesture that matters. Asking my dad if he wants a cup of coffee translates to a sign of respect and sincere thoughtfulness.
If you want to know how to make customers feel like family, then emulate my local bankâ€™s friendliness. You can also continue reading for valuable tips.
Start with Your Employees
One of the keys to making your customers feel like family is to create a family oriented culture inside your company. Asking your employees â€œHow do you do?â€ and â€œHow is your day?â€ can mean a lot. Set up a long kitchen table so your employees can eat together. Make your offices feel homey, put comfortable furniture, open up the windows and let the air and sunshine in. Make your employees feel that itâ€™s good to be in the office.
Involve the Community
When youâ€™re done with your employees, branch out to your neighbors. Set up an event like free martial art demos and screen your favorite Jacky Chan or Bruce Lee flick. Hand out some pop corn and just have a fun day.
Staying real is being honest. Show what you have to offer, like your prices, the quality of your products, and your facilities. Your contracts should also have no hidden fees and no fine print. Donâ€™t make promises that you canâ€™t keep.
The last thing is to be a caring leader to your employees and your customers. One of the best things that you can do is to introduce yourself to customers and making them feel welcome to your shop or your dojo. Inquire about their needs and answer any questions that they may have. Help them fully to the best of your abilities without thinking too much on how you can make a buck out of them.