I'm not promoting my personal blog. Rather, I'm trying to spread the idea of Radical Customer Service as an altruism-based competitive strategy.
Since each customer is extremely important, and a person in a store is generally close to a buying decision, far closer than your average potential buyer on a list, you simply must treat each customer As If They Were Your ONLY Customer.
Yes, you heard me.
Like they were your ONLY customer.
Someday, they may be.
Treat each person you meet as if they were the only other person on Earth, and you'll be amazed at how kind and forgiving and helpful you might be. Use the same process of imagination on your customers.
Treat each customer as though they were the most important event in your life at that moment. Pay total attention to every word and nuance and body language expression. Try to get at the core problem or the real meaning behind a compliment or request.
Identify with customer problems, expectations, desires.
Remember how you want to be treated at the shops you yourself frequent. Keep in mind the euphoric thrill that comes from treating others kindly and being treated kindly by others.
You do that and you'll be providing astonishing, viral buzzy customer service.
Stop hanging out with fellow business associates in pity parties and get down and "dirty" with the folks who put money in your pocket.
Customer service is probably the #1 vulnerability of all your competitors, the bigger they are, the more they may suck at it.
Charge forward, smiling, advising, both in the store and on social media. Provide expertise, product model guidance, differentiation from competitors, strong reasons why customers should be loyal to you.
Always keep in the forefront of your consciousness how lousy you have been treated in some stores and places of business. Recall the insults, mediocrity, incompetence, uncaring attitudes. Burn them in your brain, without anger, but with zeal to do the opposite.
Listen to your fans. Pay attention to the needs, complaints, hatreds, fondnesses, questions, praise, and problems your customers express online and in person.
Take their input very very very seriously. Let their attitudes dethrone your pet perceptions. Identify with them and meet them genuinely in their valley of need.
It is far easier and cheaper to properly serve and upsell current customers -- than it is to acquire new customers. Business has been seduced into the more exciting and flashy customer acquisition strategies, packages, and programs, while neglecting their most valuable asset: the customer base.
Too often, business people try to increase sales and attract customers with reduced pricing or special events. These are band-aids, they don't address the root problem.
Want to increase sales? Improve customer service.
Want more new customers? Improve customer service.
Want more public goodwill? Improve customer service.
Want more store traffic? Improve customer service.
And this means training and enforcing effective customer relations with every employee, from the CEO to the janitor. Every contact a customer makes with any aspect pf or person in your organization is an opportunity to showcase your service and corporate culture.
Start with the customer closest at hand and work your way outward.