The competition in today’s retail business environment is so competitive that you have to go above and beyond to provide adequate customer service if you want to stay ahead of your competitors. This means that you have to do whatever it takes to win the hearts and minds of your customers (remaining within ethical and financial limits of course).
However, it doesn’t mean that you should always give deep discounts or give away free products that eat into your profit. That is no way to do any business. Instead, you should try to earn their trust, friendship and goodwill so that they will keep coming back to you even if your competitor gives the same product/service at a lower price. In other words, you will need to come up with some very innovative small business ideas.
Here are 5 Tips to Go Above and Beyond With Customer Service and win their long-term loyalty…
Make your customers feel special
People love it when they are made to feel special. Your customers are thinking, feeling and observing people who are not just there to make a purchase, but also to get some attention. They instinctively know who has a special place for them in their heart and who doesn’t, so go the extra mile to make them feel special every time they walk in. Acknowledge their presence, greet them with a warm and genuine smile, show them respect, ask them what they are looking for, help them find what they are looking for, and give them special discounts.
Give your customers more than they expect
Everyone likes a pleasant surprise once in a while and what could be more pleasant than getting more than what they had expected? You could offer a free product as part of a purchase or a free service as part of a contract. You don’t have to do it every day. Doing it on special occasions is enough to win their loyalty. If you can find out when their birthday is, and you could surprise them by giving them a special discount or a free product/service on that day.
Go out of your way to do the little things
People really appreciate it when you go out of your way to do little things for them. Open the door for them, help them pick up the things they have accidentally dropped, keep on eye on their belongings if their hands are full, help them find what they are looking for, offer to carry their purchases to their car, and hand out free gifts to their children. If you have an online business, send them helpful advice and links by email.
Stay true to your word
Building trust is very important for business and the best way to do that is to stay true to your word. For example, if you have announced a special holiday discount of 20% on all items, give your customers the stated discount even if you later find out that one of you staff members posted the discount in error. It leaves a bad taste in the customer’s mouth if a business is not true to their word.
Build a personal relationship
Every small business, whether online or offline depends largely on the loyalty of their regular customers. So try to get to know every regular customer and build a personal relationship with them. Let it be one of mutual trust and respect. Once you win their friendship, many of their friends will soon become your customers.