Valentine's Day is just around the corner, which means it's time for all you lucky lovebirds to treat each other to overpriced chocolate and meals.
Hearts and cupids aside, I think this rather spurious day is a great opportunity to revisit one of my favourite topics for discussion - customer service. That's because I reckon great customer service is much like a strong and healthy romantic relationship.
Don't know what I'm on about? Let me elaborate with a few reminders on the fundamentals of customer service.
Marketing geeks are always raving about the importance of maintaining communication with your customers, for example. You have to really open your ears and listen to the wants and needs of your clients in order to sustain a healthy relationship - and keep them coming back for more. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
In order to treat your customers right, you should also make the effort to get to know them and learn about them, just like you'd stalk a potential date on Facebook (I'm kidding). Believe me - people love it when their favourite businesses take the time to get to know them personally and tailor their services to them. This can be as simple as just learning their name.
Lastly, while many businesses may focus a lot of time and effort into winning their customers over in extravagant ways, sometimes it's the little things that are most effective. In much the same way a simple bouquet or thank-you note can make your partner's day, the smallest of actions can go some way in making your customers feel valued.
Regular readers of my blog will remember I mentioned the excellent service I received at a New South Wales hotel last year, and how it all boiled down to minute details such as asking us about our day, learning where we come from and saying Hi every time we came down for breakfast.
That made us feel really welcome and I'll never forget that experience. So if you really want to boost your small business finance this year, make sure your customer service is top-notch.
Wishing you all the best for your week in business.