A commercial on the radio this morning caught my interest. It was for a men’s clothing store. All the usual claims were made, but one was phrased in a way I hadn’t heard before: “We treat all of our customers as if they were the only one.”

This is certainly not the first time customers have been promised that they will be treated with attention and care. But it was the first time I was lucky enough to really pay attention to what was being said. It gave me a very succinct way of expressing exactly what you need to do to build your business by providing good service.

Had you asked me for a single, simple rule before today, I would have given you a version of the golden rule: “Treat your customers as you would like to be treated yourself.” But I think “treat all your customers as if they were the only one” is better. Everyone has a different idea of how he wants to be treated, but I think we would all agree on how we would treat someone who was our only customer. I nominate this for the Early to Rise Golden Rule of Customer Service.

Think for a moment – what would you do for your only customer?

7 Ways to Make Sure Your Customers Never Leave You

1. You would definitely be delighted to see him when he walked in. Your face would light up. You would rush to greet him. You would address him by name.

2. You would show him products you know would be “perfect” for him, because you would think about him every time you got a new shipment. You would be correct in your judgment, because you would remember his taste, what he had bought before, what worked for him and what did not, etc.

3. You would make sure he was happy with the price.

4. You would give him a present in appreciation for his patronage.

5. You would expressly thank him for his patronage.

6. You would call him afterward to make sure he was happy with his purchase and make any adjustments he desired.

7. You would call him every time something new and interesting (for him) came into your shop.

That’s a short, off-the-cuff list. You can probably add to it.  (Please send me your suggestions.)

Here’s The Challenge . . .

Now ask yourself how many of these things you do right now for every customer you have. The difference between what you would do for your only customer and what you are doing for your actual customers represents the potential untapped value of your business.

[Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]

Mark Morgan Ford

Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Wealth Builders Club. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.