5 Ways To Show Your Customers You Care
No matter what industry you’re in, one of the easiest ways to stand out from your competition is to provide exceptional service to your customers. You could have the best burger on the block, but if your customers don’t feel good when they come into your shop, chances are, they’ll go elsewhere. Making your customers feel welcome, and cared for can make a big impact on how they perceive your business.
Don’t worry – improving your customer service standard won’t require a huge overhaul of your staff or general operations (although, in some cases that might be necessary). Customer service is all about sweating the small stuff.
Here are 5 easy ways to show your customers that you care:
- Say Thank You – In a world of automated emails, tweets and posts, a handwritten thank you note can go a long way to show your customers that you care. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes, and the impact is huge. If possible, include a personal anecdote that will let the customer know you remember them (when they were in, what they purchased, etc.).
- Seize The Opportunity – A key element to excellent customer service is surprise. Do something unexpected for your customers, just because you can. If your wine shop customer is buying several wines for a dinner party, provide him or her with background information on the wines, so that they can be informed for their guests. Another fun idea is to set up a beverage dispenser with lemonade or iced tea in your retail store, allowing your customers to cool off on a hot day.
- Anticipate Needs – Think about what your customer might need before they ask for it. In my years at Ralph Lauren, this was the easiest way to avoid customer dissatisfaction. For example, if a customer entered our store holding multiple shopping bags, I would offer to hold them behind the counter so they can browse with ease. Or, if I knew they were visiting from out of town, I would provide directions to nearby attractions, or even draw them a map of the neighborhood to show them how to get from here to there.
- Make Things Right – Not every customer service experience is going to be a positive one. But, a dissatisfied customer provides an opportunity to showcase your excellent customer service skills. Say your customer placed a special order, and it was to arrive on Tuesday. However, it doesn’t show up, and they are less than pleased. Take time to honestly explain the situation, and offer them a small token of your appreciation for your understanding – whether it be a discount on or free delivery for their next purchase, or something different. After the wrong is righted (i.e. their shipment shows up), follow up with them to make sure they know that they are a valued customer (see tips #1 and #2).
- Personalize Your Service – Making a connection with your customers above and beyond what you are selling in your store is an easy way to be memorable. Customers love to be seen as “regulars” at the places they most often frequent. You don’t have to know their whole life story but try to remember their first name to start. Then, do they live near your store? Do they have any upcoming travel plans? Do they have any pets? Seeing your customer as human (and having them see you as one), sets the foundation for excellent customer service.
The bottom line is, customer service comes down to making connections. People love to feel connected to one another. In fact, it’s part of what makes us human. And, the more connected a customer feels to you and your business, the more likely they are to return and to refer friends and family to check you out. How easy is that?