I strongly believe that your attitude and actions – and those of your team – are one of the biggest contributors to business success.

Here’s what I mean:

I found myself with a couple of hours this morning, and rather than heading back to my home office and getting caught up in the minutiae of my to-do list, I decided to capitalise on the bonus time and my Monday morning energy, and get stuck into preparing content for the busy coming weeks. I wanted to find a cafe to grab a drink and a snack while I work on my laptop. Almost on auto-pilot, I started heading towards Dello Mano – a cafe / restaurant / slice of chocolate heaven on earth in Brisbane that creates the most decadent, delicious brownies and other sugary treats.

Their products are fantastic and their cafe is air conditioned (a must on a summer Brisbane morning) but one of the main reasons I find myself at Dello Mano on a regular basis is the welcoming, friendly service offered by the owners and their team.

Deb & Bien Peralta - Dello Mano

Deb & Bien Peralta from Dello Mano

I first met Deb & Bien a few years ago when I won a prize from Dello Mano for being their 600th Facebook “liker” (they now have over 5000 and growing). I had already tasted and been impressed by their brownies at a few functions, and winning a sample pack was a welcome surprise. But a delightful conversation with Deb when I picked up the prize is what cemented my position as a raving fan. She was warm, friendly and genuinely interested in me as her customer.

Since that day, each time I venture into the cafe Deb & Bien greet me by name, take the time to have a chat and thank me for stopping by.

The result: aside from buying and eating my own bodyweight in brownies, I have told a lot of people about Dello Mano and bought the brownies as gifts on so many occasions. I also check in or support them on social media whenever possible. I am a passionate supporter of this business, but I’m not alone. Most people I know who have encountered Dello Mano feel the same way.

Would I have continued to buy Dello Mano’s brownies if the product was as good but the relationship not as strong? Possibly, but I wouldn’t have been as likely to spread the word and want to support them as much as possible.

Would new customers to your business feel the same way? Are you inspiring loyalty among those who do business with you?

I had a similar experience recently when ordering coffee for one of my workshops. I dropped into a newly-opened coffee shop next to the workshop venue and asked if I could text my order and pop over to collect it during the break to save time. A passionate barista committed to his reputation, the owner was hesitant to take the pre-order in case I was running late and the coffee became cold, but after a quick chat was happy to help out. He was helpful, personable, friendly and again, genuinely interested in his customers. I’m not even a coffee drinker, but I’ve referred 3 people to his business and will be meeting clients there this week.

For every business, every interaction with your customers is an opportunity to create loyal supporter.  (Click to Tweet).

Does the way you interact with your customers leave them with a desire to return and support you?  Can you take some extra time with your customers to make them feel special, valued and appreciated?

Do you offer something unique, or do you offer a similar service to your competitors? Because it doesn’t take a lot to set yourself apart from your competitors with great service and a customer-focused attitude.

Yes, your product has to be good – but that’s the minimum standard for any successful business. Your attitude and interactions, and those of your staff, are the secret ingredient that can drive your business to success.

Even if your products are a bit more expensive than others in your industry, the experience and value you offer can make it worth it to your customers, making them think twice before switching simply to save a few dollars.

So take a look at how you can create strong relationships with your customers, both offline and online. It’s these relationships that will keep people coming back to do business with you again.