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10 ways to a great customer experience

 

It is often the little things that customers recall. Little details that customers notice, details that makes them feel good about making the purchase from you.

If you have direct contact with the customer, it is your job to behave in the following ways. If you are a team leader or manager, it is your job to behave in the following ways to your staff, and to make sure they behave in these ways to your customers.

1. Recognition

Greeting your customer by name is a very meaningful and treasured detail that adds greatly to the way they experience doing business with you. One of the things a friend of mine always mentions when talking about her lcoal car delaer is, "I love going there because they always know who I am and are happy to see me."

2. Be polite and respectful

A study found 25% complained staff were impolite or disrespectful. Three percent defected as a result. Another study found 26% said their customer experience was made poor by pushy staff.

3. Pay attention to detail

The devil is in the detail. Many large and costly mistakes are caused by failing to notice a small detail. These mistakes can make you look unprofessional and weaken your brand.

4. Follow up

Making a follow up call shows you care and gives you a great opportunity to find out what you are doing right, what you need to improve, what you could start doing and what you don’t need to do. It is essential to follow up when dealing with a performance problem or customer complaint.

5. Take responsibility

Customers expect you will take immediate action to help them solve their problem. They hate getting the run- around. In the UK, research found 88% of customers said, when I ask where a product is I want to be taken to where it is located. Don’t send me! In other research, 36% said they had a great experience if staff made a genuine attempt to help them.

6. Be available

In a US study, 33% saw this as the major problem – 6% defected because staff weren’t available. If you are slow to answer the phone, 31% hang up and call a competitor and 26% hang up and forget about the whole thing. You need to be mentally available not just physically available.

7. Consideration

Do you or your staff regularly walk customers to the door and open it for them as they're leaving? Do you or your employees regularly help customers carry their purchases to their car, particularly "women of a certain age" or anyone who appears frail or a bit unsteady on their feet? If you have a waiting room and some of your clientele are older, do you have chairs that are a bit higher than usual and have arms on them so they are easier to get in and out of?

8. Do what you say you are going to do

You want customers who stay with you for a long time. As you have learned in your personal life, long-term relationships are based on trust. If you don’t do what you say you will do, you destroy that trust.

9. Keep your customers informed.

No news is not good news. Past experience will have taught your customers that 98% of all surprises in business are bad. Therefore they will want to be kept informed. Do this when things are going well and your customers won’t have to worry. Do it when something outside your control is going to cause you to fail to meet a commitment you have made and then your customers can plan an alternative.

10. Go the extra mile

Delight your customers by looking for problems your customers would just love you to solve but cannot reasonably expect you will – and then solve them! Going the extra mile is really important when something has gone wrong.


The sum of the parts is greater than the whole

Meaningful, memorable, fun, unusual and unexpected experiences influence the way customers perceive you in general and feel about you in particular. These little details are so easy to overlook, so tempting to brush off as unimportant. But add a number of seemingly minor details together, and you end up with something of far more value than you would without them.

It's the little details that keep a customer coming back over and over, it's the little details that cause a customer to rationalize paying more because she feels she is getting more, it's the little details that keep people talking about you and recommending everyone they know to you.

Anyone can do the big things right; it's the little things that differentiate one business from another and that influence customers to choose one over the other. Often, small-business owners cut out the little details when times get tough, and this is a big mistake. Attentiveness and recognition cost nothing, nor do personalization and consideration.

 


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