Let’s take a break from marketing for a second….

You can do a lot to push your business with sales and marketing, but what really helps your business succeed is not local marketing, SEO, paid search, or even your powerful copywriting.  It’s certainly not your awesome sales guy.
It’s the relationship you create and maintain with your customers.
It doesn’t matter what kind of customer you have (from patients to contributors of non-profits) each of us has less-than-ideal characteristics that come to the forefront when we step into the role of customer.
If you knew all these things about your customers and took them to heart, you’re far more likely to gain their trust and it’s that trust that builds awesome customer relationships.  Think about – who doesn’t want to be loved despite their flaws and insecurities, and we all have them.  The better you understand the secret and not-so-secret wants and needs of your customers, the better you can serve them… and the more prosperous you’ll be.
Here are 42 things that your customers wish you knew about them, about how they perceive your business, and about the relationship you have with them.

  1. I don’t need you to be perfect, but I do need to know I can rely on you.
  2. Telling me what you don’t know makes me trust you about what you do know.
  3. I really do love it when you tell me you genuinely appreciate my business.
  4. Want to be a superhero? Just do what you say you will do.
  5. A friendly voice on the phone means more than you can possibly imagine.
  6. Your employees will always treat me about the same way you treat them.
  7. I’m always OK with spending the money if I feel I’m getting real value
  8. My life is stressful.  If you can help me reduce or control that stress than you become valuable to me.
  9. I would love to tell you what would make our relationship better, but I’m waiting for you to ask me.
  10. I’m not clear on the messages you send to me, and would love it if you could make them clearer.
  11. If I trust you then it’s OK to screw up sometimes, I’ll forgive you as long as I don’t feel like you take me for granted.
  12. I look and feel smart when a referral I send you gets awesome service, and I love you for that.
  13. I spend more time than you know being scared, especially about buying things.
  14. I love free stuff, and the more free stuff I get the more I’ll spend on you.
  15. Sometimes I feel like a lost kid and don’t know what I want, and I really want to be taken care of.
  16. I respect you when you admit that you’re wrong because I know how hard it is to do that.
  17. I have a hard time with your website, but I don’t want to feel dumb by admitting it.
  18. There’s no worse feeling than feeling like I was suckered into trusting you. If I’m screaming at you or one of your employees, that feeling is probably behind it somewhere.
  19. Our relationship isn’t equal and it never will be.
  20. I get crazy jealous if I think you love another customer more than you love me.
  21. I don’t have any interest in your excuses. In fact, I usually don’t notice them at all, and if I do, they annoy me.
  22. I find myself endlessly fascinating.
  23. I hate salespeople, but I really like to buy things.
  24. I want to buy your product, but I need you to help me justify it to myself.
  25. There’s something in my life I’m afraid of losing. If you can make me feel like you’ve protected it for me, my gratitude will be intense and eternal.
  26. I’ll give you anything you ask if you can help me not feel silly.
  27. I want you to do the hard work for me. Even better if I can get all the credit.
  28. I’d rather do it the convoluted hard way than learn something new.
  29. I have the attention span of a goldfish. Go too long without contacting me and I’ll simply forget you exist.
  30. Money is no object when it comes to my obsessions.
  31. What you think you’re good at is not what you’re good at. Ask me, and I’ll tell you what you do better than anyone else.
  32. I like it when I feel like you’re talking just to me.
  33. It infuriates me when you answer the phone while I’m talking with you face-to-face.
  34. Embarrassment scares me more than death.
  35. I’m lazier than I would ever admit.
  36. I’m more selfish than I would ever admit.
  37. I’m more vain than I would ever admit.
  38. I’m more insecure than I would ever admit.
  39. Despite all that, I secretly think I’m a better person than most people. Help me believe that and we’ll be fast friends.
  40. I believe I deserve much more than I’m getting.
  41. I mostly daydream about making life better for myself, but I’ll take action to keep from losing what’s mine.
  42. It really is all about me.