Providing good customer service can make a real difference. Customer service is what sets you apart from your competition. Not only can it create a repeat customer, but that customer is also a free advertiser and positive word of mouth advocate. Positive customer service can determine how much a customer spends and how frequent they shop. This can also be the competitive advantage you are looking for.
Repeat Customers are 60-70% More Likely to Purchase
Did you know it is up to five times more expensive to gain new customers than it is to keep current customers. Return customers are 60-70% more likely to purchase, but new customers are only 5-20% likely to purchase.
With that in mind, encourage yourself and staff to take that extra step. Learn your customers names and use them. If your business takes appointments, then make sure to use the information you have.
“Hi Shannon, is this your first time in?” “Welcome, we are glad you chose us”
“Welcome back, are you shopping for anything specific today, I’m happy to make recommendations or help you find sizes.”
My dentist office is amazing at this. They took my pictures the first time I came in, so not only will I always be youthful in their database, but they welcome me by my first name every time. I only go twice a year to get my teeth cleaned, but I have referred a ton of business their direction because they took the time to provide excellent customer service.
Make Eye Contact it is One of the Easiest & Most Powerful Ways to Make a Person Feel Recognized
We tend to trust people who look us in the eye. Eye contact is also one of the easiest and most powerful ways to make a person feel recognized according to Business Insider, as a result it is a powerful tool when it comes to customer service. This can be the difference of what sets you apart from your competition.
The bottom line is that eye contact is easy and free. In particular, if you are helping another customer there is no reason why you cannot look up, make eye contact and smile. That just told the customer “hey, I know your there.” It’s an easy action that speaks volumes. Check out the video below on the importance of eye contact. Remember, customer service is what sets you apart from your competition.
Get Out from Behind the Counter & Make a Connection
I learned this tip along time ago, when I worked for the Marriott. Marriott is an amazing company with some great basics. Marriott’s philosophy is “Empowering Employees and Enhancing Customer Service to Drive the Bottom Line.” Basically, we trust you as an employee to know what is going to make the difference between good customer service and great customer service. That may mean buying a customer breakfast because they had to switch rooms. No that does not mean buy every customer breakfast, however the $15 breakfast could mean the difference between a repeat customer or someone who chooses another brand.
I worked at the front desk and we had some regular business travelers. As a result when I would see them coming, I would pull out their paperwork and walk out from behind the counter.
“Good evening Mr. Smith, thank you for joining us again. I have you in your favorite corner room on the 5th floor. Here is your paperwork, and room key, if I could just get a signature. Also, our chef has an amazing special with Salmon this evening.”
Additionally, I would then walk across the lobby and push the elevator button and hold the door. Mr. Smith traveled about 300 nights of the year and made the point to let my manager know that he is loyal to Marriott because the customer service that is consistent across the brand, but also because of employees like me. He had never had an associate come out from behind a counter before.
This simple act can also diffuse a situation. Remove the barrier and you will be amazed at the results. Practice the action and it will become a habit.
“Thank you” is a Powerful Tool & it is FREE
The simple phrase of “Thank you” is a powerful tool. When was the last time someone thanked you? As a result of a thank you it can double the customer’s willingness to engage with you?
With a thank you, you have consequently increased your ability to get positive reviews, increased customer engagement, and increased the likeliness of a purchase and finally but not least increased the willingness to tell a friend. In fact, multiple studies have shown that thanking increases the well-being of the recipient. It is not difficult to see why you should be thanking your customers. Check out this article from bonjoro for more great ideas.
What are some of the basics of great customer service?
1. Make eye contact and smile.
2. Always recognize the customer, especially to say I will be right with you.
3. Thank them for their purchase, the power of a thank you is often overlooked or Thank them for coming in.
4. Be knowledgeable, and make sure your front-line staff is knowledgeable. There is nothing more frustrating than “I don’t know” …. are you telling me you “just don’t care”?
5. Get out from around the counter. Offer to hold a door. It makes you appear more approachable and creates a differentiation between you and your competitor. When was the last time someone walked you to the door and thanked you for your business?
7. Social Media is important. About 80% of internet uses are on at least one social media platform.
8. Remember, customer service is what sets you apart from your competition.
Watch for the next blog on why good social media can be easy and highly effective.
I challenge you to try one new thing…I bet you will see results!