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Thursday, September 1,2011

They´ll Never Forget

By Deborah Brown, Ph.D., MBA  
In a tough economy, you might be reducing prices, running sales, offering coupons, or other strategies to attract customers who are counting every penny. But what happens when a valuable customer completes their transaction with your business? When every single customer is more important to your business than ever, how does that customer feel after doing business with you?Maya Angelou wrote, ?I´ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.? People will forget whether you mentioned, ?Have a nice day.? They will forget whether you took a moment to offer them another product or service that might be beneficial for them. But they won´t forget a feeling of being special and valued as a result of interacting with you. Take a look at some of the companies that are renowned for their superior customer service. Southwest Airlines, for example, has an excellent reputation for making their customers feel positive about flying with them. Their flight attendants often make light-hearted jokes as they go over the safety features on the plane, and singing is not uncommon. Harried, busy, tired passengers can take a moment to laugh and relax before takeoff. They might not remember exactly what the flight attendants said or did on the flight, but they remember how it made them feel. Nordstrom´s and Disney are also well known for their outstanding customer service. Front-line employees are empowered to go the extra mile to ensure that customers don´t walk away until they are pleasantly surprised by their experience. That investment in customer service is a brilliant business strategy because those customers are not only more likely to be repeat customers; they´re also more likely to share their positive experiences with other people on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, text messages, and more. One customer service experience that I´ll never forget took place several years ago when I placed an online order for a CD from a company called CD Baby. The confirmation email that promptly arrived in my inbox was the best customer service email I´d ever seen, and I remember that they included an extra CD in my order for free just to see if I might like it. It was the best customer service I´d ever received from an online order. But I wouldn´t have been able to tell you what that email said until I searched for it online just a moment ago. David Tooman wrote, Sales without Customer Service is like stuffing money into a pocket full of holes.? But in this tight economy, smart business owners are doing more than just serving their customers; they´re delighting their customers, entertaining their customers, and making their customers feel something truly unforgettable!


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