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Respect is important in all walks of life. You won’t get qualifications if you don’t respect your teachers. You’ll lose your job if you don’t respect your boss. While going it alone marks the end of respecting authority figures; you still need to respect your customers. If you don’t, you’ll fail to make a go of your business.

Whether you’re marketing your product to teens, or the older generation, you need to show them the respect they deserve. Otherwise, why should they pay you any mind? Why should they respect your brand if it doesn’t offer the same courtesy? Respect is, after all, a two-way street.

This way of thinking shouldn’t be new to you. But, if you haven’t considered the best ways to respect your customers before, this list should give you some ideas.

Let them have their say

Listening to what your customers say is a crucial starting point. With social media making customer interaction easier than ever, it would be foolish not to utilise this option.

Send out questionnaires, or Twitter polls, which allow customers to vote on changes. Or, do surveys to get their suggestions on new product possibilities. Reaching out in this way will show them that you respect them enough to care for their opinions. And, make sure to follow through on popular suggestions. That way, they’ll be able to return your initial respect. It’s hard to respect a business who doesn’t take advice when it’s given. But, if your audience can see you’re putting in an effort, respect will come flooding.

Don’t insult their intelligence

As business owners, we often make the mistake of insulting our consumer’s intelligence. Many companies use clumsy advertising methods and think they’re clever. Outdated advertising, as mentioned in this article about bad SEO, is a prime example of this. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can release advertisement-heavy content without customers noticing.

Underestimating your clients in this way is a huge breach of respect. And, if anything, it shows that you’re not as intelligent as you think. Hence, customers will lose respect for you in turn. It’s a nightmare in every way. Instead, be open and honest about advertising. Customers will appreciate that honesty. Everyone understands that you need to advertise your product. But, that doesn’t mean you have to do so to the detriment of your customer’s intelligence.

Try to help where possible

Ever heard the saying ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours?’. Well, it applies to business in a major way. You want your customers to help you by buying your product, and perhaps even spreading the word. But, they won’t do these things if they don’t respect you.

A good way to ensure respect and returned favours is to help them first. Simple things, like allowing them to haggle your prices, or going above and beyond with service, are all it takes. Throw in free delivery, or have someone take their items to the car for them. Simple things will take you far.

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Vanitha has been a technology and security professional. For a decade of experience in technology, she has worked on dozens of large-scale webdesign, development, enterprise security projects, and even writing online marketing articles. She now lives and works in India.

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