Customers don’t anticipate being blown away by the experience when they make a purchase. They drop by the store, or visit a website, make their purchase, and continue on to their next task. It’s usually an uneventful experience. But when the shopping trip does become memorable, customers will not forget.
The market is tough for businesses such as grocery stores or big-box retailers. You’re not the only business in town that can meet those needs, and your store may be viewed as one in the same compared to your competition. Small things such as a genuine smile, a clean restroom, or extra effort in finding the last of a particular item will go a long way in garnering repeat business. Your competition is likely just a few blocks over, so it’s up to you to convince customers that you’re going the extra mile. Your customer service is what will set you apart, but it’s not as simple as “just showing up.” Rising above the status quo will make you worth driving an extra few blocks.
The importance of superior customer service and a great customer experience is paramount for businesses that handle discretionary purchases. You cannot be sure when a customer will have the money to make another similar purchase. It could be years depending on the product. You undoubtedly want the customer to come back, so it’s up to you to ensure that the customer is impressed by the entire shopping experience. You must go above and beyond the call of duty to guarantee their satisfaction from the moment they walk in or log on. These are discretionary purchases — the things we buy that make us happy and our lives a little more exciting. A bad customer experience when making these purchases will forever stand out in a customer’s mind, and they may hold those feelings for a long time.
The service industry isn’t immune to poor customer service either. Customers feel more comfortable with companies that work hard and go the extra mile. It may seem as simple as lawn mowing or a haircut, but these are things people really care about. You’re unlikely to return to a barber who gave you a poor haircut. The service industry handles an aspect of the customer’s life that they care about, but are not comfortable doing themselves. Customers will look elsewhere if they feel uneasy about your service.
At NBRI, we recommend using a customer service survey to evaluate the service level your customers expect from your business. The results of the survey will allow you to create a plan to refine your customer service and customer experience so that your customers always leave with a smile. After your initial survey, re-survey periodically to gauge the effectiveness of your improvement initiatives. Contact us today to get started.