Customers are the life blood of every business. That’s why every successful business has mastered the art and science of attracting and retaining great customers by making them happy.

In this guest post, Nneka Okonkwo shares a simple but very symbolic experience she had with one of her teachers from back in the day.

Here we go:

Mr. Asare remains the best teacher I ever had. I had sat through the class in Primary 4, day after day, lost to the lessons being taught and never knowing what to do with the puzzling exercises.

And one day, Mr. Asare asked a question. His finger was stretched in my direction but I was certain it must be some other child seated around me. And then, he said, “You!”. Of course, all eyes were on me so, I slowly stood up.

“Answer the question.”

“What question I thought?” And I looked at him with a blank facial expression.

“Don’t you know the answer?”

I was quiet.

He was irritated. “Ok. Read the question on the board”.

I squinted and tried to read unsuccessfully.

The irritated look changed to one of concern. “So, you can’t see? All this while you sat in class, you really haven’t followed the lessons because you can’t see the blackboard..and I know you must be intelligent. Pick up your bag and come to the front seat.” And he smiled at me.

He immediately changed my seat and sent someone to sit in my previous position.

I felt important because my teacher took notice and solved my problem. The exercises were no longer puzzles and I did excellently at my subjects.

Mr. Asare won the heart of an eight year old because he made her feel relevant.

The greatest desire of human beings is a sense of importance. People need to feel relevant, cared for and respected. That is why people go the extra mile for things that give them that feeling. Things like money, love, status, beauty, power and relationships.

Unfortunately, not many business people are aware of this. A customer brings her money to your business which needs her patronage and referral to survive and at best she’s given a dry routine welcome. Not as much as a smile, or an offer of options where available to make the right choices.

If your business relationship with your customers leaves them feeling unnoticed, irrelevant and disrespected, they would soon stop coming. People would rather take their business where it is wanted. Business service providers must work to ensure that customers feel important.

So, here are some simple ways to make customers feel special:

Pay Attention

Attention is the intangible currency that earns you lots of tangible cash. All it costs you is valid concern for your customers, an ability to observe their needs and solve their problems.

Smile

People have problems and the least you can do is be the bright spot in their day. If your business environment is full of sunshine and happy days, people will naturally gravitate in its direction.

Remember Personal Things

Names, Anniversaries and Birthdays are very personal and just remembering them creates that distinct touch that tells people they are particularly special to you seeing that you have gone the extra mile to take note of things that matter to them.

Be Courteous

Mr. Asare was indeed an extra-mile teacher. I remember him not only for his concern, his smiles, but his courtesy to the little people he taught endeared him to us all and that made him unforgettable.

The question to you is, what are you doing to make your customer’s buying experience unforgettable?