The last time I was at LaGuardia, the shoeshine did a fantastic job and I was looking forward to a repeat performance. The gentleman shining shoes was warm, friendly, and took great pride in his work. I was looking forward to seeing him again. On this trip, a different fellow was manning the stand. As I took a seat, I couldn’t help but notice how different this guy’s approach was. Instead of warm and friendly, Joe seemed pre-occupied. Joe worked quickly and efficiently and after he was done, my boots looked great. A few minutes later Joe made a classic blunder that undermined his efforts to fill the seat of his shoe shine stand. Let’s take a look at why it is so important to really wow your customers and how you can do this in your business.
A few minutes later I happened to walk past the shoe shine stand once more. This time I noticed that the seats were empty and Joe was sitting down pretending to text on his iPhone. However instead of texting he was really looking at people shoe’s and when he spotted business travelers, he would say “shine em up” or “shine your shoes” under his breath in a feeble attempt at subliminal marketing. When he spotted my boots, he said “shine em up,” then looking up he recognized me and said “oh, I already got you.” Not exactly how to go about making your customers feel special, if you know what I mean.
Nurture your customers
Making your customers feel special is not a one-time event. It’s not a line item on your check-list that you can check off and then forget about. That feeling of specialness that you want to create for your customers has a short shelf life. In other words, you have to nurture it. If it is a checklist item, it should be on a reoccurring checklist.
Your prospects and customers don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Demonstrating that you really care for your customers is a big part of making them feel special. Nobody wants to feel like just a customer number. So how exactly do you help your customers know how special they are to you?
Tell them they’re special
Everybody needs to feel special. What a way to differentiate your business from your competitors. Go out of your way to tell your customers how much you value them and appreciate them and it will go a long way toward making them feel that they are truly special to you.
You can do this through a thank you card for their business. You can do this through a note sent on various holidays or the anniversary of their first purchase. Your personal touch here is what communicates the greatest depth of feeling. For example a hand written note is way better than a generic pre-printed thank you. The first comes across as sincere whereas the second is easily forgettable.
You want to be unforgettable, for the right reasons. There are lots of ways that you can stand out and ensure that you’re not easily forgotten, especially when it comes to making your customers feel special. That feeling of specialness lasts only as long as it is remembered. Communicate this message in a way that stands out and is likely to be remembered for a long time, and you’ll see an increase in customer retention and referral business.
Hand written notes are good a good start but recognition and gifts are even better at wowing your customers and making them feel special in a way that won’t soon be forgotten.
It is much easier, cheaper, and more profitable to increase revenue through increased customer retention than it is through new customer acquisition. Find ways to make your customers feel special and you’ll increase customer loyalty and the amount of word-of-mouth-referral business you receive.