I am still perplexed at how surprised and totally uplifted I feel when faced with really genuine Customer Service. I don't believe small business owners really realise the impact it has on their customers and how it can build their Brand in a way that stands out.
You may think Agh c'mon, the majority of small business owners get it. Everyone knows the power of great Customer Service.
Or do you believe you give fantastic Customer Service but never question the standard you are giving. Do you ask yourself - how can I improve this part of my business?
So I ask myself this -
Why have two businesses I have dealt with lately jumped out at me with such impact?
I am a consumer. I use many services and products on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. I am always looking for the 'right' service for my needs, especially services like personal development, beauty, fitness and food which are top of my radar.
I have tried numerous hairdressers, numerous beauticians, numerous gyms all in the search for the one that hits the spot. Very few actually do. There is always something missing. What is it?
Well, two businesses I have recently come in contact with have highlighted the missing link. Consistency and over delivery, it is in the detail. So who are they and how can we learn from them.
Ok so this has been a major pain in my life. The gym, urgh. I hate going to the gym.
You know the drill.
- Entering a brightly lit space,
- Covered in mirrors,
- Crappy dance music,
- Pouty staff who are more interested in talking to the buff weight lifter than taking 5 mins to have a few words with the middle-aged baggy tracksuit wearing female.
Quick get me out of here!!
Once again I grasped at the fitness option. I found a flyer in my letterbox. BHAF, I liked the graphics and layout of the flyer so decided to check these guys out. Not expecting much I called and a friendly voice told me to pop down for a chat. Here we go - the sales pitch.
I arrived and met Colin, one of the owners. Weirdly enough there were a lot of smiling faces in the gym. I observed the lack of mirrors (yay) and also took in the positive messages around the gym. I liked the vibe, Colin and his team want to change the way people look at fitness. Nutrition, exercise and education. These guys are embracing the future of fitness. YES SCORE!
But what really stood out for me was the extra effort Colin made, making sure I was comfortable. It is intimidating enough trying to attend a gym every week. BHAF have the right attitude and they are there to help and accommodate you, the customer. Facebook messages to keep you focused, a private Facebook group to share recipes, articles and a general feeling of ' You can do this'.
So what can we learn from BHAF?
- Think about your target audience and what the main pain point is. With the gym for example, it is not only how to exercise correctly. Gyms are emotional. People feel like shit starting out going to the gym. So how can you offer them that security and well-being to engage them with your service for more than 2 weeks.
- Figure out what stops people from using your product or service? Is it money, confidence, lack of awareness of its value. What is it?
- Then look at adding this into your plan when you deal with potential clients/customers
- Even when you are designing copy for your advertising campaigns.
The second business that has really knocked my socks off recently is this small business nestled down in East Cork.
I know Emer for many many years. My 40th birthday (yay it is not my 90th) is coming up in a few weeks so the subject of facial drooping has been a topic of thought these past few months.
I reached out to her for advice on my aging skin and BOOM it felt like the postman hooked up with Santa. The very next day I received a GORGEOUS bright pink envelope with so many samples it was like I won the lotto! Not only that but I got a letter with my name on it giving me advice and a low down of all the samples she had posted to me, all hand tied with a pink ribbon.
SERIOUSLY!!!!!! I felt so special and that she really wanted to help me and my skin.
2 days later after using some samples and feeling the difference on my face I immediately ordered 3 bottles. No hesitation. Delighted her product was as good as her service.
So now I have my mail order skin agony aunt who will not only listen to me but will quickly get what I need in a bright pink envelope! Santa watch out this East Cork lady is on your back!
So what can we take away from Emer.
- Attention to detail
- Being personal
- Giving not just the bare minimum - over deliver
- Spend time on the pitch for your business
- Listen to the person
So I want you to look at how you interact with new clients, old clients and potential clients. Do you follow up with a text or email after that meeting? Do you randomly send a nice message checking in to see how things are?
Think about it. Christmas is coming up - get yourself over to moo.com and order nice Christmas cards or organise a client get together to say THANK YOU! This is what will make you stand out and keep loyalty close to your Brand.
Show the love and Keep Creative!