1. Customers are just like you: Remember that your customers are no different than you. They’re people who happen to use tools, not tool users who happen to be people.
2. Familiarity breeds respect: Put yourself in situations where you meet people in your community you wouldn’t otherwise.
3. Walk on the other side: Buy several magazines you typically don’t read. Watch a TV show you’ve heard people talk about but you’ve never seen for yourself.
4. Hone your sense of adventure: Do something this weekend you’ve never done before. Nurture your relentless curiosity.
5. Look a little deeper: Watch the people coming into your store and notice the details. Then ask yourself, “What’s the insight? What should I keep doing, or do differently in my business?”
6. Generate new ideas: Explain your insights to someone else, watch their reactions, and listen to what they say. What ideas come up?
7. Look through a different lens: When you meet someone you don’t like or can’t understand, ask yourself, “what does life look like from their perspective?”
8. Find the fun in every customer: Develop your ability to get a kick out each and every person you meet. People are never ordinary.
9. Cultivate that sense of connection: Ask yourself, “would I be willing to spend an evening with my customers?” If not, you need to do some work to be able to do this in the near future.
10. Find your trick for recharging energy and love what you do … every day! If customers bore you (for more than a day or two), recall the first customer you helped. Remember the fun? Recapture that magic!
Customer relationships need continuous work. As one of our Ace retailers shared with me, it takes a lifetime to build a customer relationship and it can take just one poor experience to lose that customer. Remember, a more engaged customer is a more profitable customer. How engaged are your customers? I encourage you to apply one or more of the tips above to re-energize your focus on customer engagement.