Tiger Woods was on ESPN radio this morning and mentioned a lesson his father, Earl, taught him.
Love is a given. Trust and Respect have to be earned.
That is true not only in people, but in businesses too.
You have customers who love you. We all do. Sometimes it is just the nature of our store. Heck, who doesn't love a toy store? But have you earned your customer's trust?
You can earn their trust a number of ways...
By always doing what you say you will do. If you promise to call someone back with information, you better call them back with that info. If you promise delivery at a certain time, you better deliver at that time.
Sure you might slip up along the way. We all do. but if you can't do what you said, you better be upfront and honest with why you didn't perform. When you make a mistake, admit it quickly and apologize profusely.
By always being consistent in who you are. If you stand for quality, you have to drop the products that don't meet your standards and stand behind the products you do sell. Whatever your principles, you have to show that you are willing to give up some of your profit to be consistent with your values.
By always looking at your business from a "what's-in-the-best-interest-of-the-customer" point of view. Is your cash wrap set up for quick and easy checkout? Does your return policy favor you or the customer? Are you willing to do what is right by the customer even when it costs you money?
To earn respect you have to be respectful. Do you always have a positive outlook or are you a skeptic who sits back and take potshots at everything? Do you join in on the solution or just talk about the problems? Do you help out others or only look after yourself?
Your attitude goes a long way towards your ability to earn your customers' respect.
We all have customers who love us. But if you want to grow your business, you have to earn their trust and respect. And you have to earn it anew every single day.