Successful Customer Service: A Secret or Back to the Roots?
Excellent customer service is one of the essential elements for successful business development. It is well known that when companies provide excellent service, consumers usually spend more money, and they are much more likely to become repeat customers. However, let’s face it: With intense competition in every market, it gets harder and harder to stand out from the crowd.
So what makes us unique?
When I was a kid, I used to go with my grandmother to the local food market. It was a fantastic place where people came from all over to sell their goods. You could buy organic vegetables and fruits, homemade fresh bread, artisanal cheeses, and beautiful flowers. She used to walk all around the bazaar looking for the perfect products. After hours of browsing and chatting with the locals, she always came back to the same vendor and would say, “I now realize after browsing this whole market, your potatoes are the biggest and your onions are the sweetest!” They would both laugh, and as a kid, I never really “got it.” The potatoes weren’t so big, and the onions were like anywhere else, so why the big deal?
After many years, I grew to understand what made my grandmother come back to the same vendor, year after year. It wasn’t about the sweetest onions or the best potatoes in the market; it was about the successful customer-client relationship. It was all about the personal connection between my grandmother and the vendor, i.e., the customer and the seller.
The Human Connection
Nowadays, we are living in the digital era. Internet, technologies, and social media have forever changed our perspective on interaction. Sometimes it seems like a personal connection is no longer relevant, that it is almost a thing of the past. Is that true? The answer is simple: absolutely not! We are all human beings, and sometimes we forget that we are also very social creatures. Despite all of our technological advancements, everyone still looks for that human connection. We hope to find a unique personal touch that makes a difference. In this modern era, we are more dependent on technology, and working via the Internet. As a result, our (direct) human relationships have become a much-valued asset! To grow our businesses, we have to support, accommodate, and welcome our personal connections with our customers.
The benefits of building personal connections with your customers:
- You have the opportunity to develop a trusting relationship.
- You will learn what your client truly wants and needs, and that will position you to be one step ahead of your competitors.
- You will attract loyal clients. Your clients will continue to come back, and they also will tell their friends about you.
Soon your business’ bottom line will be expanding!
That Special Feeling
Building a personal connection is not always easy. It takes some time and effort, but there are many simple things you can do to ensure that your customer recognizes your efforts to make him or her feel special.
A few suggestions:
- Pick up the phone. When you can, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call your customers. The 10 minutes it takes to check in with them will beat any online comment you could post.
- Personally respond. When you do engage your customers online, keep your responses personal. Don’t use boxed templates that you recycle for all of your customers. Make it personal. Reference something they have said to you, and be genuine in your comments.
- Give them the time they deserve. If you are lucky enough to see your customers in person, take some time to talk with them. We are not talking about when they need something or when you are selling/showing them a new product. Have a conversation, just because!
Keep in mind that many factors influence the customer’s decision with regards to what to buy or who to do business with. Providing quality customer service will go a long way in setting you apart from the rest, and it also will build sustainable relationships with your clients.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and make a personal connection.
Galyna Myronyuk is a Global Learning and Performance associate for Oculus Training Europe, a British Columbia-based corporate training and mystery shopping company offering sales management, reservations, sensitivity, and customer service training programs for a variety of service-based industries throughout Canada, the U.S., and the world. For more information, call 888.OCULUS4 or visit www.oculustraining.com. You also can connect with Oculus on Twitter @oculustraining, via e-mail at email@example.com or visit it on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.