Just stop and think for a moment – when was the last time you made a purchase and left thinking Wow –That was impressive! I was really made to feel special!!??
I bet for many of you, you really have to rack your brains!!
Now, how many times do you leave feeling nonplussed, or worse still, undervalued? Amazing isn’t it, when you think, however, which are the stores that you’re going to return to?
Too many times I find myself standing at a till whilst the assistant continues talking to a colleague, barely recognising my presence? Should I apologise for interrupting them, I wonder?!?
I am equally frustrated when my items are being placed into a bag and a phone rings behind the till, only to be answered, leaving me mid-sale, waiting for the conversation to end before I can complete my purchase? You wouldn’t break off mid-conversation to speak to someone else would you, so what’s the difference? I feel like saying “excuse me – you were dealing with me first…….”, but how would that comment be met, I wonder?
Regardless of the general rudeness, it’s bad for business and doubly so when you think about it….. not only are those businesses potentially deterring people from making repeat NEED purchases, but they’re missing the simplest of tricks – making someone feel really special may get them to return to make WANT purchases. PLUS your customers will tell others about you and business statistics suggest we’re more likely to tell others of bad experiences than good. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anybody spreading bad comments about my business.
This doesn’t have to apply simply to the high street either – online purchasing is just as important. Let me give you an example:
I purchased some swimming goggles online recently – let me tell you the experience was fantastic. Having visited two or three websites, my attention was drawn to one particular site which claimed to have the largest selection available. When I clicked through, I was met with an array of goggles, as promised, however, most had customer reviews and, even better, many had short video clips – just a minute or so – with somebody showing the highlights of the product. Having made my choice and placed an order that afternoon, I was amazed to receive delivery the following morning, not 18 hours later. Now how did I feel? Amazing!! And I didn’t even speak to anybody! How simple was that!
This spurred me to look at my own business. Despite priding myself on setting myself apart from the competition through the service I provide, was I resting on my laurels? What more could I do to achieve customer satisfaction? Even the word satisfaction didn’t seem adequate somehow. I don’t want my customers to be satisfied, I want them to be delighted! I want to think that they’ll be so happy they’ll not even consider the competition when it comes to their next project and in the meantime, they’ll be spreading the word about my direct marketing company amongst their associates, recommending me in their social media. What better unpaid sales force can you have??
In my business of direct marketing, I already offer a number of things to my customers such as a data quality guarantee, free data quality audits, free record “counts”, replacement records etc. Many of these things set me apart from my competition already, nevertheless I want my customers to be DELIGHTED. As such, I will shortly be introducing a brief customer delight survey – my customers are my business and without them, I am nothing. If they’re not delighted, my business is under threat. I can’t have that, so this is the first of what I anticipate to be several initiatives I’m bringing in to improve the service my customers receive.
So my message is, quite simply, don’t forget the basics – they used to be the foundations of what a good business was built upon but with that practice seemingly rapidly becoming old hat, this simple attribute could be the differentiator between you and your competition..