Do you remember your first sale? The first time somebody paid you for your product, service, or information? I sure do, and I bet I’m not alone in getting that giddy feeling when somebody was actually paying me! What a thrill, and my enthusiasm was through the roof.

That first customer of mine had a great experience because I was so inspired. I met and exceeded every need they had, looked for ways to impress them, and made sure they saw the value in what I was offering. If memory serves me correctly, I may have even shined their shoes. Since then that same customer has used my services many times through the years, and continue to be a paying customer to this day. So What’s the Secret?

Treat every single customer like you did your first customer

Each one of your customers deserves the same level of service you gave to your first customer. This needs to be the foundation of your customer strategy. You cannot afford to short change one single customer from having that unique experience with you and your business. Go above and beyond their expectations, added value to their experience at every step along the way, and treat them like the most important person you’ve ever had the pleasure of dealing with…use that approach with every customer, every time!

Remember This: What’s old hat for you, is brand spanking new for them

Even though you’ve given the same sales pitch 1,000 times, or had hundreds of people shop your website and come into your store, the experience for the next customer is completely new. You only have one moment to capture them as a customer for life. If you aren’t into it, if your enthusiasm wanes for even a moment, you short change their experience and they likely will not be back. Conversely if you treat them as you did that first customer, you better believe they will be back and the beauty of it is they are going to tell all their friends about you too.

For those of you old enough to remember the band Foreigner (or have parents who listened to them) you may recall a song of theirs called “Feels Like the First Time”. Now while the merit of the band can be debated, the hit off their debut album should be kept in mind when trying to build your repeat customer base:

Feels like the first time, feels like the very first time.

Once you have the experience nailed, make sure you keep on top of things and improve your productivity with programs like Microsoft Project and Sharepoint. From my point of view they are key to running a successful business, no matter what the niche. And remember, keep it feeling like the first time, and you’ll have happy customers coming back for life.

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