Recently I travelled to far north Queensland to visit my daughter.
With a long flight ahead, I settled myself into reading an article about personalised service in the Inflight Magazine.
But the word “service” is misleading - providing good quality products or excellent service just gives us a seat at the business table.
It’s the “experience” we offer our customers that makes us stand out from the crowd, and the best example I can think of goes back a long way in my experience.
I grew up in a country town where the Greek family who owned the local café provided superb customer experience for everyone who stepped through their doors.
Even as a kid I remember Mrs K (I’ll call her) engaging with my mother and other women when they came into the café, often coming around from behind the counter to comment on how beautiful the women looked, and how adorable their babies and children were.
Mr K had a steady stream of jokes that he shared with the men – and he was even a little flirtatious with the ladies!
What they clearly understood all of those years ago, was that making great milk shakes and putting a pie and chips on the table quickly, was NOT the reason for their booming business.
It was the CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE they offered - how they made their customers FEEL - that set them apart from the rest.
The tangible results no doubt, were repeat business, higher ROI, referrals, and customer loyalty.
I would hazard a guess that their CLV was many, many times more than that of other businesses with much larger ticket items.
Since those simple days, we’ve moved to a place where UN-personalised service, sadly, is all too common.
You know what I mean, right?
Press One for ABC, Press Two for XYZ, Press Three for HIJ – but you almost never hear the choice you need, and without the benefit of a Press Four to speak to an actual person, you go back to the beginning and start all over again!
As customers, it leaves us feeling annoyed, frustrated, and potentially prepared to take your business elsewhere.
As a business owner, sticking to
this practice may sew the seeds to disaster for your business.
Demand for personalised service is on the rise, and these statistics about why people take their business elsewhere, may be a shock to you:
9% because the competition has offered a cheaper price, or a superior product or service
14% because they are unhappy with the product or service purchased
9% because of other reasons eg death, moved away
The big one:
68% because they don’t feel appreciated, or perceived indifference
All of those years ago, Mr & Mrs K had it right.
They had a clear picture of who their customers were, and then they interacted with them using all of that knowledge.
Ask yourself these five key questions about your ideal customer:
1. What are their previous patterns and behaviours?
2. How can you use that information to better engage?
3. How can you use that information to enhance the value you provide?
4. How can you use that information to retain their loyalty into the future?
5. How do your customers want to hear from you? (and this one might be a moving target!)
If you don’t know the answers, it’s a great place to start.
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