In her latest My Business blog, small business marketing strategist Franziska Iseli-Hall explains five key steps you can take to provide your customers with the kind of unique service gets them coming back again and again.
Last week I was waiting for a parcel to be delivered by a freight company. After no less than seven calls, what felt like ‘endless hours’ spent on hold, and five promises that it will arrive ‘tomorrow’, it finally arrived after what felt like years (it probably only was a couple of days). This made me think about customer service and how important it is, no matter how big or small the business.
Will I ever recommend this freight company? I dare say not! Will I tell someone never to use them? Probably. Now, imagine if 20 or even 30 per cent of their customers have a similar experience – they’d be missing out on so much business.
Most businesses forget how crucial it is to look after their customers and prospects every single day. I’m sure if you look back on your interactions with companies you could tell me about at least one ‘not so excellent’ customer experience. But there are also some fabulous customer service examples that spring to mind, and one that pops into my mind is my hairdresser. Every time I go there I feel like a queen and the ladies at the salon put so much effort into spoiling their clients.
In your own business, think about things you can do to really provide your customers with a unique service that not only gets them coming back over and over again, but also gets them talking about you. Here’s five ways you can do this:
Show appreciation. Make your clients feel appreciated. There is a lot of competition out there and it’s easy for your customers to choose a different provider if they don’t feel appreciated and valued. Maybe surprise them with a birthday or Christmas card, invite them to a special event and give them more value than they are expecting. Say thank you more often.
Surprise them positively. How about giving your clients a call after purchasing your service or product, just to check in and see how they are going. Imagine if your doctor called you up after your appointment to check in, that would be excellent customer service!
Make it a memorable experience. Think about how you can make interacting with your business a special experience. Can you provide some fresh fruit or freshly baked muffins to your customers (imagine the delicious smell of baked goods in your business). Or a dentist who has a massage therapist to give you a foot massage while you get your teeth fixed up.
Be honest. Make honesty one of your top values in business. If you know that a certain product or service is not suitable for one of your customers, say so, don’t just sell it for the sake of it. Your customer will remember your honesty and refer you to their friends and family because they trust you.
Keep in touch. Be in touch with your customers and prospects frequently to stay in their minds. Human beings are very good at forgetting. Remind them of you by staying in touch via email, phone, face to face, mail outs, newsletters etc. Next time they need your service or product, they will remember you over your competitor.
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