It’s the small things that make a customer feel special. It’s the tiny additions that you add to your services or products that make your business stand out. It’s the tone of your voice over the phone when discussing anything with a client that makes them remember the experience. These small, seemingly inconsequential things can make the difference between a ho-hum experience and a truly memorable one. And one that makes people come back to the shop or store to find that special touch that they can’t seem to find elsewhere.
It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have – bricks and mortar or completely online, finding ways to make your customers’ experiences memorable is invaluable. Customers can have short memories, but you can make it longer by doing something that separates you from other businesses.
The Customer Is King
If you can make your customer feel like a king or queen while you’re working with them, they’ll come back. You can do this either in person or at a distance. Take notes when you are talking to them; most customers will mention their kids, their family, and other events. If you can drop them a note about a special day or event in their life, they’re going to remember you and feel appreciated.
Just taking their items to a dressing room and hanging them nicely with their name on the door goes a long way. And remembering their name if they are repeat customers.
Try to Always Say Yes
While there are times when you simply cannot deliver what your customer wants, you can still turn the no into a yes. Instead of saying “no, I can’t do that” say “I know someone who can do that for you.” Keep a list of contacts that offer different services or products from you so that you can offer the information to your customers. If you’re not sure, take a break, tell the client you will do some research and get back to them within a specific time frame.
While this may seem counterproductive, it actually makes you more helpful to the customer and they will remember that you helped them in a time of need.
Small Details Matter
If you sell a product that you have to mail, wrap it in an extra special way. If you are a service provider, go a little over the requirements each time you do something for your client. If you notice something that needs to be done which only takes a couple of minutes and that will mean the world to your client, do it. Tell them you threw that extra in, and they’ll remember you always. Even just the way you fold and package their clothing upon purchase at the store makes an impression. The bag can be special too – have some imprinted with your name on it. My favorite place to get this done is: American Paper and Plastic
If you have employees or contractors who work directly with your clients, empower them with a certain dollar amount to reward good customers with nice little extras. Whether it’s an extra chocolate in their bag, or throwing in a free bookmark or coupon on a big order, these little things matter. Frequent rewards programs do this too, don’t forget. But one of my favorite things to do is to suggest that you might have a 10% off coupon (for customers who have reached a certain threshold in a purchase – like $150+) for them just because. That is something your clerks can do.
Call Out Awesome Customers
If you have a really awesome customer, you can call them out on social media. Mention them by name, and link to them. Say why they are awesome, and they will appreciate the shout out. You can ask them if you can take a picture with their purchase to post on your social media sites – you bet they will share that picture and link with friends – leading to more publicity for you.
Listen to Your Customers
Provide a place, whether in person or online, where they can talk to you and your contractors or employees about your products and services. It could be a message board, a Facebook Group, a Yahoo Group, or other avenue. As long as it’s a safe place for them to talk and get answers, it will make them feel extra cared for and they will remember you. Doing this gives you an advantage – they won’t complain to others about service if you listen to what they say, and they will extol your service across the web if you can make it right. You can also offer specials, previews, and other “deals” through the group as a perk to membership. They are already on Facebook, go there with them.
No matter how you go about it, it’s important to find ways to go the extra mile to make your customers remember you. You don’t have to wait until they have a problem to address an issue or make them feel special. You can make them feel special every single time you interact with them.
What is something you do special for your customers? Have you gotten any feedback about it?