I’ve only recently joined the Text Republic team and have been getting used to my new surroundings. Plotting out my route to work, getting to know where is best for lunch and where the best coffee is.
Coffee is one of my vices. I will happily admit that I LOVE coffee. I love coffee and I’m not ashamed of it.
So when I moved to my new office, one of the first things I had to do was find a place that provided great coffee, affordable pricing, good deals and most importantly great customer service.
Luckily I found a place (just around the corner!) that ticked all the boxes, especially the customer service element . So much so that I took to the Twittersphere to tell the world. And while I was tweeting that, I got thinking about what great customer service is.
As consumers we all want it. As businesses we all want to provide it.
We all know the basics; to provide an efficient and pleasant customer experience.
But how do we go the extra mile? How do we truly help our customers understand that we value their custom and that they are important to us? How do we help them become the loyal customers we strive for on a daily basis?
Build that relationship.
If you’re in a customer facing position, behind the counter or serving customers face to face in any capacity, you subconsciously take in information about the customers you see on a regular basis. You start off with a simple hello and before you know it you’ve bonded with that customer, you will have developed an inside joke or a regular conversation.
In my case it’s the amount of coffee I drink a day, i.e. the number of times I’m in that particular café in a day. I’m greeted with a smile and a laugh as soon as I walk in. That automatically makes me feel good.
Making your customers feel good is key to great customer service. Think about that the next time a regular walks into your shop. How can you start forming a relationship with them?
Make them feel special
After building the basis of that relationship. Keep it going by making that customer feel special when you interact with them. It’s not difficult to do. Know their order off by heart, or give them great personalised advice on which of your
products is best suited to their needs. Or simply make sure they are the first to know when a new product is in store.
In my case again it’s the extra marshmallows I get on my very rare hot chocolate. I’m sure they do it for everyone but the baristas make a point of giving me a wink when they’re putting in the second spoon.
Making them feel special reinforces the good feelings that the customer has while interacting with your brand. If your customers feel good and special then you are well on your way to a loyal customer, who would go out of their way to interact with your business over others.
Go the extra mile
Going the extra mile should be standard in any business. You should want to do absolutely anything that you can to make your customers feel good and special. What the “extra mile” entails varies depending on the business you are in. It could be extra advice, spending extra time with them to ensure that they are happy with the product or service.
Or as it is in my case, anticipating their needs. The other day, I walked into my little café and my barista had my order ready for me by the time I walked in the door. He saw me waiting at the traffic lights and all I had to do was pay and add in way too many sugars! I was so thrilled that I immediately took to Twitter to tell the world about this amazing customer service.
Of course as I had only been going there for three weeks, I was a little ashamed that they knew me so well in such a short space of time. But looking at it now, it was top class customer service and Insomnia Coffee now has a loyal customer for life. And not only have they gained a loyal customer, they have also gained an advocate. I became a marketing tool. And I will happily spread the word to anyone who asks. I’ve even converted some of my colleagues.
Do you have customer service down to a tee, why do you think your customers keep coming back? Have you experienced great customer service? What made it amazing? Why do you go back to the same store over and over again? Let us know on Twitter