Large and small companies can benefit from large and small efforts to provide best-in-class customer service. The rewards, both small and large, with consistent effort can be accumulative and measurable over time.
Think what it costs you to acquire a new customer. Now think about what it costs when one of your customers tells about their good experience with you. You have got to like the cost of a new customer that comes from word of mouth. Free.
It makes some sense to put some time and maybe a little investment into making sure that most, if not all, of your customers have the best of all experiences. From the smallest, creative gestures, to an overall mission to your own testing and surveys of your customer experience by your own staff, a stem-to-stern review should be worth every moment spent in rewards and loyalty.
Even the smallest of gestures can resonate with consumers. We had dinner at Mykonos, a Greek restaurant in Tarpon Springs, Florida. The food and services were very good. What knocked my socks off was the crowning touch. We didn’t order dessert, but the waitress just brought out a plate with some thinly sliced apple, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with cinnamon. No charge. A delightful presentation. Did that small gesture increase her tip? You bet it did. It brought a smile to our faces and made the experience unforgettable. The benefit goes beyond a tip. I’ve become a loyal fan and evangelist for their restaurant and I have told and will tell others about how they went the extra mile.
With most companies these days, you often get lost in endless loops of voicemail and never reach a real person. I had occasion to try to reach someone at Gevalia. Not only did I reach real people, but they followed up with me to make sure that I got all the help I needed. In this day and age, I was blown away by their customer service staff and deeply appreciative. I will always have warm fuzzies for Gevalia and their staff. I am very impressed with a company that puts these measures in place. To me, these efforts are worthy of sky-high loyalty.
This past Mother’s Day I had a wonderful experience with ProFlowers because both my mother and mother-in-law were impressed with their flower deliveries, presentation, and duration of the arrangement. I feel that ProFlowers made us look good with some not-very-easily impressed ladies. That goes a long way with me. Completely unprompted, they each expressed their pleasure and comments. Who do you think I’m going to order all my flowers from? Not the company that gave me a terrible experience on a previous Mother’s Day when their call center was overwhelmed and their email response was nil. It continued through the Mother’s Day weekend. The frustration level was such that it’s not likely I would order from them again. However, it’s very likely that I could be wooed back with follow-up attention and special offers. How little the cost would be to reach out to a previous customer with a small amount of personalized TLC? I’d wager that a little attention could increase retention and re-acquisition rates for less than the cost of new customers.
Take a look at your own processes. Go through the experience of a customer yourself. Talk to your customers. Build a team to go through the customer touch-points and reevaluate these experiences on a regular basis. Survey your customers periodically and build a process to respond to issues. You are bound to reap rewards for your time and trouble.