Great Customer service is a game changer. It can elevate a “good” product to “great” status. It can build fantastic loyalty with Guests and it can make you the envy of your Industry.
When you think of companies that give great Customer service, it makes you smile, doesn’t it? Don’t you wish you were there right now? Doesn’t it make you happy to think about the next time you’ll be there?
I feel the same way.
Those best-in-class organizations really get it right on multiple levels and tug at your heart strings. The Disney’s, Ritz-Carltons, Zappos, and Nordstroms of the world give the little extra something that sets them apart.
So what are the 5 things you can do to romance your Guests every day?
Treat Them Like Cherished Friends This is truly to key to all things Customer Service. When you can take your Guests and give them the same care and attention you would Guests in your home, you will certainly find success. This is a great exercise to do with your teams, in fact. Ask them to visualize their parents or children or spouse stopping in to be served. If they received the type of care and attention that they deserved, what would that look like? How can they use that as inspiration to ensure everyone receives that level of service. Let’s face it, everyone is someone’s mom, dad, sibling, or spouse. Its helping folks draw that corollary that sets apart those who deliver the best in terms of experience. I told someone this the other day, and they retorted that the idea of hospitality was a cliche. I reminded them that only things that are true to their core ever become trite.
Anticipate Their Needs Guests are looking for businesses that make their experience effortless. It is nice when you can just go into a location and it seems like every movement in the service experience was crafted with you in mind. In point of fact, that is what you must do. You must run every scenario in your business and plan for the most notable “what ifs.” Once planned and scripted, Associates must be trained in the process and then sent to work their magic. That magic happens when your Guests feel as thought you have thought of everything and move easily through the process. Have you ever had an interaction at the grocery store, gas station, or shipping office that seemed way harder than it needed to be – almost as if you were in the middle of some elaborate prank? We all have. Don’t put your Guests through that hassle.
Value Their Time Time is money, they say. The currency of the day is absolutely time and everything must be considered when it comes to how Guests will view convenience and time. Making things easy for them and also ensuring that nothing takes longer than it needs to will help you win here. Customers hate to waste time – and that is even if there is a perception of lost time. This means offering self service or self checkout where appropriate, setting up your business for maximum ease of use, and ensuring that your Associates are ready to serve efficiently each day. A well trained team that seeks out Guests and helps them in the moment is a great way to help your Customers feel like they are making the best use of their time.
Surprise and Delight Going above and beyond is something that has its place. I believe that fierce execution to the basics has to be first and foremost each day, but when you have a moment to do a little extra, it makes your Customers feel like they’ve won the lottery. It doesn’t even have to be anything that over the top. When Associates remember a Customers name, give a free sample, or somehow make them feel like a VIP, it goes a long way toward cementing a loyal relationship. Just remember, that the basics have to be buttoned up first. The folks on Southwest don’t start singing before all the safety checks are complete.
Keep Them Safe Safety can take many forms and they are all extremely important. While it operates in the background, nothing erodes relationships and reputations like a breach of trust. If a Customer slips in a business because of an extension cord on the floor or falls in the parking lot because of ice that wasn’t salted, that can lead to your Customer being seriously injured. Make safety a true priority each day in your business by touring your spaces and making sure your team knows they are empowered to stop everything to keep people safe. Think about the fast food chain that has a food poisoning outbreak – not only do they injure their Guests, but they lose the trust of the public and often don’t recover from the bad publicity.
These 5 tactics can help you ensure that your Guests find the love for your organization. Give them a little extra priority each day and you’ll discover that your Customers will start to form a deeper emotional connection to your brand.
Have a powerful, Customer focused day – and show your Guest’s the love every chance you get.
Tony Johnson -Customer Experience Leader
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