I was recently the best man in a wedding. In my fumbled speech, I managed to get out one important piece of advice. I told the groom to never stop dating his new bride. I told him, “the dating does not stop on the wedding day, but it continues and grows.” I didn’t give the advise as if I had attained some sort of mastery, but I know when I treat Gina, my wife, like I’m still trying to win her heart, we both feel like the butterflies never leave (I promise I’m not trying to make up for a fight I had with my wife last night). It feels like our relationship is still a new, fresh, exciting thing, along with the firm foundation that years can bring in a relationship. This example undoubtedly parallels our relationship with our customers.
I know the idea of treating your customers right is not a new idea, but I’m reminding you to date them. Remember what it took to attract them. Remember the effort it took to get that first order. Remember the time it took to explain and show why you and your company was/is so different. Add up all that time and now compare it too the time and energy you put into keeping them. Is it the same? If it is, you are still dating them. You are still keeping the relationship fresh, along with that foundation of months and years of trust. Just delivering on time and meeting expectations is not dating. Don’t just marry your customers. Don’t just tell them you love them. Show them you still want to court them and prove you still get butterflies every time you can serve them. Find out what interests them. Find new ways to engage them. Not because you have some selfish end goal in mind, but because you like to see them smile. When you do this, your customers will always see you as that young hunk who swept them off their feet. The attraction will be based on a foundation that is sure while still feeling young, fresh, and exciting.
Go and marry as many customers as you attract, but never, never stop dating them.