Know Your Customer

August 13, 2012 — 17 Comments
Know Your Customer | Joseph Lalonde

Imagine walking into your favorite store. The owner greets you by name. Asks how your spouse is doing. Inquires about new events in your life. They get to know their customer.

You’d be pretty impressed, wouldn’t you?

This is the type of service I love to receive from the stores I visit. Personal, friendly, hometown.

There’s two places locally that I receive this type of service.

The first is an old-time candy shop called Lakeside Emporium. It’s run by Gary and Lori. Whenever we walk into the store, a few things happen.

  • We’re greeted by name
  • If my wife is not with me (or I’m not with her) they will ask us where she is and how she’s doing
  • They ask if I want my regular treat. That would be a bear claw for me
  • They make small talk with us

The other place is Laughing Tree Bakery. They come to our local farmers market to sell bread and cookies. Their booth is always packed. Sometimes going back 50 feet or more. We got hooked on Treehuggers and Expedition cookies. They’re just that good!

Anyways, Charlie is the man. He’s always willing to take a few minutes to talk to us about life. He remembers events and adventures we’ve taken. Our most recent was a trip to Maine. The interest he shows in our lives is invigorating.

Why’s this important to you?

When you show your tribe members attention, and that you remember who they are, they will become loyal to you. It’s what brings us back to these two places time after time.

You can apply the same type of personal attention to your tribe members.

  • Begin taking time to get to know one or two personally. Recognize them by their avatar. If it changes, give them a shout-out. Shoot them an email or two. Let them know that they’re important to you.
  • Craft messages that speak directly to that person. They’re be shocked and amazed that you called them out. You’re returning the good will they’ve given you by visiting your blog and subscribing to receive updates.
  • Give your best tribe members special deals. Inform them of deals before everyone else. Give them the opportunity to test new products. Trust will build when they see you’re doing special things just for them.
  • Pass out samples liberally. Keep giving your customers little tidbits that make them want more. At the candy shop, they’re willing to give out samples for almost any treat they carry. They know once they get a taste of that great treat, you’ll want more.

Take the time today to focus on a couple of special customers today. Build the relationships that will keep readers coming back for more.

Question: How do you show your tribe members that they’re special? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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  • Marietta_lalonde

    There are people who come in to Bed Bath and Beyond who will tell me things that they are going through or that they have a loved one who is very ill. I had one lady come in for a period of about a year when her son in law was diagnosed with a terminal illness. She would come in about once a week and update me and ask me to keep him in my prayers. She didn’t come in for a month or so and when she finally came in, she told me he had passed away. She said her daughter was doing ok but needed prayer. She started to come back in often and would update me on things. She would always hug me when she saw me. Her daughter met someone after a long while and she is marrying him. I thought it was a nice ending to her story.
    There are people who will search me out so they can tell me things going on. Never be too busy to care. You don’t always know what a customer is going through. They have bad days too.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Mom, that’s a terrific story of knowing your customer and making them feel special.

  • http://www.brandongilliland.com/ Brandon Gilliland

    Showing people appreciation and making them feel like they are important is key. Thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      It’s one of the ways to inspire and blow your customer away. How do you do this?

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    Good ideas!
    I’m still praying about your eBook suggestion.

    Right now, I try and visit all the blogs of those who visit mine and leave them comments. From time to time I also mention their blogs in tweets.
    I offer a monthly newsletter and in it I have a Featured Blogger section so we can get to know each other and so one blogger can have some free advertising.
    I also offer to pray for people.
    Even if people don’t ask me to pray, I pray for each person who comments on my blog and ask God to be with the ones who read and don’t comment.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Thanks TC. Glad you enjoyed it.
      I hope you’re able to come to a decision about the eBook. Whichever way you choose, you won’t be disappointed.

      That’s awesome you pray for those that comment. They get a little bonus without even realizing it most of the time.

      Have you received any feedback on your Featured Blogger section? That’s similar to what I do in my monthly reviews and it seems they really like it.

      • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

        not much feedback. Though it’s hard for people to let me know if they really like it since they can’t leave comments.I have gotten a few emails saying people enjoy my Newsletter and I’ve never had trouble finding someone to be Featured- they seem more than willing. So I take that as it’s doing well.

        I enjoy your monthly reviews!

        • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

          That sounds like a lot of fun even if there hasn’t been tremendous feedback. At least you know the ones who you ask to be featured are excited!

  • http://alanamokma.wordpress.com/ Alana Mokma

    I experience this with two different companies as well and to varying degrees.

    My dry cleaner. I go to Peachtree Drycleaners in Kentwood, MI. EVERY TIME the owner sees me pull up, he immediately gets my items and has them ready for me. Although he does not greet me by name, I continue to go back to him because he shows he recognizes me.

    The second: Virginia Tile. I am a part time Interior Designer and often need to select ceramic tile for my projects. There are two tile shops near my office. I ALWAYS go to the first and rarely step foot in the second. Why? Customer Service. It has nothing to do with the products each company offers – because they both offer great products. However, the customer service difference is HUGE! When I walk into Virginia Tile, they greet me by name, they ask how my exercising program is going, my latest self-employment endeavors, they has if I have finished working on fixing up our foreclosed house… Then, I walk into the other shop and sometimes have to wait 20-30 minutes to get helped. They are understaffed and always seem flustered so I feel like I am actually inhibiting their work flow by being there. Such a big difference. Great post!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Great stories Alana. You make an especially powerful point when you say that one of the stores actually makes you feel like you’re inconveniencing them. Got to wonder how many others feel that way.

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    What an important topic when it comes to retaining and having loyal customers or followers. I think great things happen when you show care and add value to others. Great post Joe!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Thanks Dan.

  • http://intentionaltoday.com/ Ngina Otiende

    “and that you remember who they are, they will become loyal to you.”
    I like that statement Joe. It becomes about ‘us’ all too often.

    right now am working on an ebook to give away. I also like linking-up (mentions, quotes, posts e.t.c) of other bloggers in my posts.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Awesome Ngina. You’ll be adding value to your readers by giving away your eBook. Looking forward to seeing it come to life!

      • http://intentionaltoday.com/ Ngina Otiende

        thanks Joe, am looking forward too :)

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    I hope in a general sense I’m writing directly to my tribe about the things that matter to them. I do the things you talk about like one one one coaching (for Free) sending them my books and helping anyway I can :)

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      You’re doing it right Kimanzi. I’m sure those you’re coaching are getting a tremendous value for you for free. They’ll remember it and come back to you for more!