Having respect for clients and showing it are two very different things. Having respect for another is simply recognizing they are valuable. Showing respect puts that recognition into action!

Here is a simple plan for business success:

1. Have respect for clients;
2. Show respect for clients;
3. Repeat continuously;
4. Earn customer loyalty, and;
5. Reap the benefits of better customer relations.
a. Repeat business;
b. New client referrals, and;
c. Good references.

Showing your client respect will become natural when you actually do respect your client. Unfortunately, some consider the client a necessary evil or a fool that must be parted with their money. When that is the attitude of an individual in business, they cannot honestly show respect for their client. They can only act respectfully, and the client will soon know where they really stand. That attitude will infect the entire culture of a business, and customer relationships will suffer. So, the first step to being respectful to clients is to actually respect them.

Find reasons to have respect for your client. Even if it is respect for their good taste in selecting you for their purchase. It should be easy to respect a customer. They earn our respect by allowing us to be a profitable business. After all, it is the client’s money in our pay envelopes each week. The income of a business is not money that fell from the sky or we shook out of a tree. It is money from the client’s wallet — and they can choose to spend it anywhere.

Once we put the client on the pedestal where they deserve to be, it is easier to look up to them. When we remember the ultimate value of a client, being respectful to them becomes an integral part of business life, and it becomes easier to admire, defer and revere clients and harder to disrespect them and their time or to disregard their needs. Remember, the money a client provides a company is their vote of confidence in that business, the products and services they provide. A business must return that favor and elect to include a healthy portion of respect with each purchase to earn customer loyalty.

Showing respect goes beyond the normal courtesies of being punctual, polite and well-mannered…

Clients need to have respect shown for them in every way. We must be attentive to their needs, anticipate future possibilities to improve relationships and be proactive about finding solutions to our clients’ problems. We must recognize their time is valuable. Wasting a client’s time with meetings that go nowhere, or discussions without follow-through, is just as disrespectful as being tardy.

The customer is the “Most Valuable Player” on our team. It’s important for every member of our business team to have and show respect for our most valuable player or they will go and play for another team. Customer loyalty can be earned or lost by any one disrespectful employee. Every representative of a business with a long list of loyal customers shows respect for their clients and recognizes their value every time they interact. So, the culture of respect for clients must never be forgotten by any company representative — from the phone operator to the customer service representative or even the janitor who may come into contact with a client.

When a business makes it a priority to have respect for its clients and show their clients the respect they deserve, one-time clients become long-term loyal clients, and the business reaps all the benefits of a loyal customer base.

This blog is part of an ongoing series. Please read my previous posts to learn more about the “Top 10 Ways to Earn Customer Loyalty”.

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