By Karen Cortell Reisman
You have lots of choices of places to spend your money. Your decision is partly based upon location and pricing. However, when you are choosing from several options that are equivalent in convenience and value, you'll pick the shop that shows an interest in YOU.
It's more fun to do business with people who care about you.
Take these hints from my cleaners, grocery store, and coffee shop. These examples can help you achieve your own business success.
When I walk into my cleaners, Ralph has already begun to process my order. He greets me by name and when I reach the counter, my cleaned clothes are on the take-home rack.
At my grocery store, Tom Thumb, the sales clerk always calls me by name when I check out. She hands my receipt while saying, "Thank you, Ms. Reisman."
Recently I asked Connie Yates, PR director of Tom Thumb, about how Tom Thumb manages to turn an aggravating errand into a positive experience.
Connie said, "Our goal is to provide clean and neat, well-stocked stores with extraordinary service."
"We greet our customers with a smile. And we try to be helpful from the beginning to the end of the sales process."
"It's built into our culture and has been passed down for many years. We believe that pleasing the customer is the foundation of success. Everybody walks the talk from the top down. We lead by example."
Another errand might be going to a coffee shop. Actually I've finally kicked the caffeine habit (a proud accomplishment!) so my friend, Frank, provides this example. He orders a specific type of coffee drink every afternoon. Just before the holidays, the staff at his coffee shop, a Starbucks, gave him a holiday greetings card that read: "To iced triple espresso with a splash of milk."
The key to keeping your customers for life: PERSONALIZATION! Show your customers that you know them and will take care of them.
Do you anticipate your customers' needs? Do you use their names? How do you show them that they're special?