Small Business Talk
The Podcast to Grow your Business Faster
Business is built on relationships, sometimes they are built quickly and other times they take a long time. I have a client that I knew for 4 years and we saw each other occasionally at networking events before one day she rang and asked to catch up for a coffee. For another client, all it took was a 30 minute Zoom call, send the paperwork via email and boom.
So, if you can get clients so quickly why should we be trying to build relationships with our prospects?
Our clients do!
Good customer service, rapport and trust are essential for attracting prospects, keeping customers and creating long term clients.
Do you know why 68% of customers leave a supplier to take their business elsewhere?
- Better Price? NO
- Bad Service? NO
- They Die? NO (not 68% anyway)
- Product / Service didn’t perform. NO
68% of customers leave because they don’t think you care!
Good Customer Service
Good customer service is even more important than an outstanding product. McDonald’s whole business model is built on consistency. Your expectations are met every time. No one would call their product exceptional food and even calling it food might be going too far. But we all know that McDonald’s is leading the world in their training so that every experience is the same and they have amazing systems to make so it is repeatable all over the world.
Being outstanding one day and awful the next is a very short road to not having a business. Customer service is all about how the customer is made to feel.
Imagine turning up to a hotel after a long flight (ok probably drive) exhausted, a bit anxious as it has been a while since you travelled, to be escorted into the foyer and be presented with a warm chocolate cookie. Do you think that might make your day a little better?
Double Tree by Hilton has been doing just that for 30 years and welcomed 75,000 people with their signature cookies. These cookies are now so popular that you can order them online and have them delivered to your own home. Now that is a memorable moment and fabulous customer service.
People buy on emotions; because of the way we feel. That is why impulse buying is so big. It is not until after we have bought that we rationalise our decision and realise we already have 4 of “those” and get buyer’s remorse.
People often buy products and services that they don’t need and will never use because of a feeling. Luxury goods make us feel specials, acceptance, a cut above.
Sporting products inspire confidence, competition, achievement.
Communication entices us with connection to family and quell the guilt of not being with friends and family.
Major brands spend thousands of dollars on packaging to create an amazing unboxing experience so that they create the right feeling.
Caring For Your Customers
I was at a hotel restaurant with a group of friends. The restaurant had a large bar and drinking area off to one side. To get a drink you had to go to the bar to order and then a waiter would bring you your drinks to the table when they were ready.
When the drinks arrived one of the guys at our table asked if we could order more drinks for people who hadn’t ordered theirs yet. Our friend began to tell the waiter what our additional order was.
The waiter cut him off and said “Sorry Sir, you have to go to the bar to order”
“But you are right here can’t I just order with you?”
“No Sir, you have to go to the bar.”
“Would you like to provide us with remarkable customer service?” Our friend asked the waiter.
“Yes of course Sir.”
“Then why can’t you take our drinks order?”
“Because you have to go to the bar Sir, it is our policy”.
Taking a drinks order doesn’t seem like an unreasonable request and the hotel policy did not care for their customers.
What policies are you sticking to because it suits you better than your customer?
Customer service is the easiest way of keeping your customers happy and happy customers are repeat customers. Keeping loyal customers coming back is a lot easier and cheaper than always searching for new customers. Most businesses are always chasing the shiny new customers forgetting that they are sitting on a gold mine if they look after their current customers.
Happy loyal existing customers are more likely to buy again from you than new customers.
Belonging – Why We Need to Care
If these last few years have taught us anything it is that we all need to feel a sense of belonging and community. Community is stronger than ever, and we crave things that are the same. We form bonds with people because they go to the same gym as us, drive the same kind of car, children go to the same school etc.
The smallest things can create these emotional bonds and build a community around your business. Remembering people’s names, their children’s names, pets; giving them a friendly wave or smile, adding lollies to their order, sending a gift after a purchase and many more small things that make a huge difference to people and their perceived buying experience.
Caring Fosters Communication
If your customers know that you care they are more likely to complain.
Wait a minute, I don’t want complaints.
Actually, yes you do.
If something is wrong with your business, wouldn’t you rather know than have other people and customers leave and never return. Customers that don’t think they will be listened too will never bring a complaint to your business but be sure that they will tell everyone that will listen. They often post on social media spreading their negative message. When customers complain treat them well because they care enough to want to get their problem fixed and help you so that you can take steps to make sure it does happen again.
As hard as it might sound, complaints are a gift.
Caring for your customers helps to get them talking about your business for the right reasons and becoming an advocate that will recommend you and your services to others.
Or you can bet your boots your opposition will. Your customers need you to care.
Businesses that care make a huge impact to their customers, their community and often further afield to.
Listen to Episode 143 of Small Business Talk for the full details.
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The Podcast to Grow your Business Faster