Have we ever had so much choice? Whether it's restaurants to go to, construction companies to hire, financial institutions to go to for their services, or even training companies to book with, we really are spoilt for choice.
Organisations are clamouring for our business and quite a din they can make, too.
On the other hand, if you are a businesses seeking new customers and ensuring you retain your current customers, how much of a din are you making and is it the right kind?
Businesses have to be so attuned to what will not only draw customers to them, but keep them returning as well. It's the extras that make a difference; the extras that appeal to our emotions by the way we are taken care of.
It's common sense: why on earth would you go back to any place that didn't treat you well? Obviously, we have to sometimes: we're locked into an iron-clad contract; it's expedient to stay; it's cheaper and for those on strict budgets, price may win out over customer care.
However, given that we, the customers, really do have a smorgasbord of choice, there are countless opportunities to please us, to take care of us, to stand out from the crowd through outstanding customer service.
- This means really listening; I mean really listening and not mouthing scripted platitudes.
- It means building a relationship with the customer, even if it's only seconds long. Think of the difference you can feel when someone at a check-out gives you eye contact and a pleasant word.
- When you have a longer time to create a relationship, it means making connections, finding common ground and making people feel special.
- It means accepting that customers aren't rational and more often than not, they vote with their emotions rather than logic.
This last is really important. The number of times we've run Customer Service courses and heard delegates bemoan the fact that the way their customers behave doesn't make sense. We have heard many times, "Why can't they see we're trying to help?"
When people are in their emotions they can't see. Take care of their feelings, let them know you genuinely understand where they're coming from and then they have a far greater capacity to hear what you have to say.
Make a bond with your customers and you will create trust; when you create trust, you rise above the clamour to become first choice.
Check out Impact Factory's Customer Service courses.