How do you blow customers away in business?
Here's the thing: it's not just about the grand gestures, which cost a lot of money and time. All you need to do is to nail those micro customer experiences. Basically, we're talking about the small gestures that bring a smile to your customer's faces.
Now, while some people might not think much of small gestures, trust me when I say that the smallest things can and will impress customers. Over time, these positive experiences add up, and they turn your shoppers into lifetime customers.
I learned about this concept from Michel Falcon, an accomplished advisor on customer experience and employee engagement. Michael's clients includes McDonald's and Verizon Wireless, and he owns and operates a $10 million a year Toronto restaurant.
On a personal note, I'm a huge believer of micro experiences as well. I've gone the extra mile to create these positive experiences for my customers many times, the most memorable one being when I showed up at my customer's doorstep with a Starbucks gift card and flowers in hand. This particular customer was fuming mad before I showed up, but after personally apologizing for our mistake, I managed to turn the situation around.
Need more inspiration? Here are some great ideas of micro experiences you could create for your customers:
1. "Stalk" your customers on social media.
This helps you understand your customers, especially when it comes to how to serve them better. Here's an example: say my customer has ranted on Twitter about how their gate is rusting quicker than they thought. While my technician might go to their place to fix a garage door, they could also make sure to give them a few tips on maintaining their gate. Simple enough, right?
2. Take notes while on the phone.
When booking a customer for a service over the phone, listen for cues that can help the team deliver an unforgettable experience. For example, if my client mentions over the phone that they're in a rush, and they need to get something fixed ASAP? I try to send a technician over right away, so that they can get the job done quickly.
3. Go the extra mile in the face of a problem.
Here's how you really impress your customers: when someone has a problem, make it your business to fix it. A company that does this right is Zappos. If a customer is looking for a product which is out of stock at Zappos, for example, they'll refer them to a competitor who will be able to fulfil the order. Now that's what I call great customer service.
4. Refund when you don't need to.
Even when things go wrong, not all customers will ask for a refund. Some people hate confrontation. Some people might not have the time. Some might just assume that you'll turn down their request, without even bothering to ask. But by taking the initiative and offering a refund, you're showing, again, that you're putting your customer first. You're telling your customer that you're more concerned about their satisfaction than you are about making that extra sale. And guess what? That's the kind of thing that turns people into loyal customers.
So here's an analogy for you to consider: would you like it if your partner goes all out and splurges on an expensive gift for you on Valentine's Day? Or would you prefer it if they shower you with affection and small treats regularly throughout the year? Go ahead, erase the phrase "go big or go home" from your vocabulary. It's your turn to impress your customers with micro customer experiences!