In any business; restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, cafes, it’s very important to know how customers perceive you and your products. This is because you would want to create a good impression so you can easily get these people to buy from you.
According to a study conducted by Conversion, 54% of millennials said they stopped doing business because of poor customer service. Additionally, 50% of Gen Xers and 52% of baby boomers felt the same way.
I doubt that anyone gets up in the morning to say, “I’m going to provide terrible service today.” In fact, the intention usually is to provide good service but somewhere during the actual interaction with customers; we lose that sense of commitment to create an emotional connection and provide an excellent service during each interaction. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are in the process of providing service. Remembering these will help you maintain a high level of service with the understanding that you can’t please everyone.
- Listen to each customer – You can’t provide excellent service to anyone if you don’t take the time to listen to what the customer is saying. Customers say things and however subtle or incredibly loud it is; you will need to pause and listen to get the message. They are giving you information that you can use to direct you to satisfy their needs. There’s nothing as damaging as not listening and providing products and services that they don’t want or want in the way you are providing them.
- Act promptly – There’s no point in getting customer feedback if you aren’t prepared to act on the results. If the results show that you need to make a change to how you provide a service or for example shut down a service and to build others that are more in line with what your customers want, you need to be able to act on it promptly. Timely action is very important because the longer you go without satisfying your customers, the greater the opportunity for your competitors to capture them.
- Anticipate services your customers might need and provide it – How nice that some barber shops, mechanic shops, nail salons, etc. provide coffee and magazines to their customers. Customers want to feel like you thought about them especially when they are doing something they would rather not do. Make them comfortable and feel at home during their visit to your business so that it’s not an unpleasant memory. It’s all about hitting the right spot and creating a life-long, emotional connection with them.
- Smile – No matter what mood you are in, please, smile. Customers don’t want to interact with a grouch and if so, you should expect that customer to have bad taste.
Making your customers feel special is not a one-time event. It’s not a line item on your checklist that you can check off and then forget. That feeling of specialness that you want to create for your customers has a short shelf life. In other words, you have to nurture it. If it is a checklist item, it should be on a reoccurring checklist. This will bring about client retention.
Everybody needs to feel special. What a way to differentiate your business from your competitors. Go out of your way to tell your customers how much you value them and appreciate them, and it will go a long way toward making them feel that they are truly special to you. Through this, there will be an emotional connection between the customer as well as your business. A win-win situation for both parties in the long-run.