Happy customers are loyal customers, and loyal customers can make or break a business.
It’s easy to get into the mindset of, “How much money can I make this month?” But how much are we really helping our customers if that’s our primary focus?
Customers can tell if your’e primary interest is your business bank account. This can destroy the perceived authenticity of your business and ultimately leave your profits in the past.
But with a small shift in thinking, you can improve your connections with your customers and grow your business – all while genuinely improving their lives.
When writing about Zappos, Jens-Petter Berget said, “It’s not about the shoes (or the other products they’re selling), it’s about happiness. Happiness converts people into lifelong customers.”
This is the same kind of message Seth Godin preaches daily on his blog.
By focusing on how our service, product, or business is making people happy, our fundamental approach to business will change.
- We’ll avoid taking shortcuts that screw our customers in the long run.
- We’ll build businesses in a way that anticipates customer needs instead of hurrying to “shut them up” with another patch.
- We’ll enjoy interacting with our customers and encourage openness, not make ourselves impossible to reach.
- We’ll only offer products/services that work, leaving the cheap products to the scumbags. (Self-help and diet industries, I’m looking at you.)
In addition to our customers’ experiences being better, I believe our own lives will improve, too.
- Our businesses will grow, freeing us from the stress of unwanted failure.
- We won’t struggle with the guilt of essentially “tricking” customers into buying products that won’t enrich their lives.
- We’ll feel happy ourselves knowing that we’re positively influencing the lives of others.
I suppose all of that boils down to, “We’ll be able to sleep well at night.”
Having turned down several clients due to ethical disagreements, I can personally say the “delivering happiness” mindset is a good way to balance improving the world with the necessity of earning a living.
So how do we shift our focus to delivering happiness instead of simply making sales? I’m not an expert by any means, but I think the process is just like the one used by copywriters, but taken a step further.
Asking, “What are the benefits to my product or service? is a place to start. Pushing to the question, “How will this make their lives significantly better?” is the next step. Arriving at “How can I share this in a way that gives happiness to my customers?” will lead us to the actions we need to take to live up to this ideal.
(A company I think is great at delivering happiness is the Dollar Shave Club. Every month, I get a package of razor cartridges in the mail. But what makes it special is the packaging and inserts. There’s a photo of one of their team members, and their copy is always very enjoyable – see examples here and here. It makes me want to hold on to their packaging and continue my membership, even though I can buy the razors from their supplier cheaper.)