Doing More for your Customers
You love your customers! But do they know that? There is one family in Cleveland that does. When I lived in Cleveland, one of my favorite family-owned restaurants was LaRich’s. Our standard order was pizza and a Grossberger Salad. A what you are asking? Here is the story of the salad’s name from their website:
“The Grossberger salad is named in honor of the family that frequented our restaurant in the 70’s. Mr. and Mrs. Grossberger always ordered our LaRich salad, an antipasta salad for 2 people, but then their family grew and they asked to make it for 3 so their daughter could share too. Their family grew even bigger and they asked to make the salad larger for their new son-in-law. It turned into our waitresses simply telling the kitchen they needed a Grossberger Salad. It stuck, and now it’s on our menu. There are two things that we care about above all else at LaRich’s Pizza, the quality of our food and the families we feed.” http://larichs-pizza.com/
This is a wonderful example of making customers feel special and creating a memorable product. While this particular example may not apply to your business, there are many other ways to make your customer experience stand out and build loyalty as a result.
Be the Expert
Start by educating your customers. Let them know everything you sell, and how to use it. A quick video demonstration can be highly effective, and entertaining. Remember, the message has to be about the customer – not you. The email or newsletter explaining the health benefits for my family by changing my furnace filter is far more motivating than a note on my calendar to do it.
Ask your customers what they want and need from you, then narrow your offerings to what you can sell to your niche market. Having too many options can be overwhelming for your customers. Differentiate yourself – offer something that no one else has, then promote your unique offering.
Create a Great Customer Experience
Help your customers to buy from you. Use checklists and suggest additional products (think of the fast food restaurant asking, “Do you want fries with that?”) Try bundling products at a special price that will encourage your customers to buy more from you, while meeting their needs of getting everything they need in one transaction.
Make it easy to buy from you. Accept multiple payment methods such as credit and debit cards, gift cards, as well as cash. Make sure that your ecommerce site is secure and easy to navigate. Let people know your hours, any restrictions, and if there are delivery and pick up options. Don’t forget to say “Thank you”!
Get Up Close and Personal
Many of your customers are not comfortable, whether it is shopping in person, or buying online. Meet them where they are at. Offer special, restricted hours for the people avoiding crowds. Private parties and member-only sales events allow people to feel safe and special. For those unable or not willing to shop online, can they call and place an order? An enterprising local boutique started offering Personal Shopping Zoom calls. The customer is able to see the merchandise before buying it and the owner is able to suggest other, new items for the buyer. Win, Win!
Loyalty programs are a great way to reward your customers and make them choose you over a competitor. You choose the terms and the rewards of your program, so make sure there is value to the customer without a high cost to you. Loyalty programs can be a small investment that results in repeat customers.
Most customers leave you because of perceived indifference – they think you just don’t care about them. Take the time to let your customers know just how much you love them. In return, they will brag about how well they are treated and become your best salespeople.
If you want to make sure your customer experience builds loyal customers, call us at 502-625-5646 or contact us online to schedule a free 30 minute Strategy Session with one of our coaches. We are ready to help you create Happy Customers, and a more profitable business.
Sandy Merritt, Business Coach in Louisville, KY